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Arriving in Canada

  • Travel restrictions, Students

    In the context of COVID-19, the Canadian government has implemented travel restrictions. For the time being, only those individuals who are exempt from these travel restrictions may come to Canada.

    International students can come to Canada if they meet all applicable requirements. These requirements apply to new students and to current students already enrolled in a program of study.

    To be able to come to Canada as an international student, you must:

    1) Be admitted or already enrolled to a cégep whose COVID-19 readiness plan has been approved by the government. The list of institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans and able to reopen to international students is published on IRCC’s website. All cégeps are on the list. Have the documents with you that prove your admission to or enrollment in your Cégep, you may be asked for this upon arrival.

    2) Have all the immigration documents required for coming to Canada (Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies, study permit approval letter, temporary resident visa or Electronic Travel Authorisation). Note that IRCC had implemented a temporary measure with a two-step process for handling study permit applications. If you have received notification from the first step, be aware this initial notification is NOT a study permit approval letter and you are not authorized to come to Canada. You need to wait for your study permit approval letter.

    3) Have a realistic quarantaine plan (where you’ll stay, how you’ll get food, etc.) and adhere to it for 14 days upon arrival at your final destination.

    4) Don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and present a negative test result to prove it. Air travellers 5 years of age or older will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada.

    An online tool to help you determine if you are exempt from travel restrictions is available on the Government of Canada website.

    IMPORTANTExchange students whose programs are less than six months are exempt from obtaining a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies and a study permit to study in Quebec. If you are in this situation and you do not hold a study permit, you are not exempt from travel restrictions and you are not allowed to come to Canada even if your cégep is on the IRCC list. You may have already obtained an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), but these documents do not authorize you to come to Canada at this time.

  • Quarantaine plan, pre-arrival to Canada

    You must prove your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination. The quarantine plan is the responsibility of the student.

    Air travellers will be required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before they board their flight.

    This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. Travellers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada; a border services officer will verify that they have submitted their information digitally. If you don’t submit your information through ArriveCAN, you won’t be denied boarding but you may face additional delays at the border for public health questioning and be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to $1,000 fines.

    To find out about Canadian border requirements, also visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

    In order to properly prepare your quarantine plan, consult the Guide for International Students in Canada arriving from abroad, the other tools available on the Government of Canada site and the Accueil Plus website !

    Cégeps can provide you with information and support, contact your cégep representative if you have any questions !

    Reminder : Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.

  • Quarantaine plan, post-entry to Canada

    As of November 21, 2020, travellers who enter Canada will be required to submit information during their quarantine period.

    Within 48 hours of entering Canada, you must confirm you have arrived at your place of quarantine and you must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during your quarantine period. To submit the required information, you could use ArriveCAN or the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number.

    Penalties for failing to respect the quarantine plan may include: a fine of up to $750,000; 6 months of prison; being considered inadmissible (meaning you may not enter or remain in Canada), removed from Canada, and banned from entering for one year.

Current students

  • Application Processing

    Even in the context of COVID-19, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), which is the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are continuing to work and to process renewal applications both within Canada and abroad.

    However, some services have been interrupted and processing times can be longer than what is posted on the ministries’ websites.

  • Renewing Immigration Documents (Students in Canada)

    As an international student you must maintain a legal status at all times during your stay in Canada. Read the specific cases detailed in this section to better understand how the special measures affect you.

    Special measures implemented for students who are in Canada are intended to allow you to preserve an implied status. This status has special conditions and will be lost if the student leaves Canada. We encourage you to visit the IRCC website to familiarize yourself with these conditions.

    Program of studies ending before December 31, 2020:

    If your student Certificate d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ), which is the Quebec Acceptance Certificate, expires between April 30 and December 31, 2020, it is automatically extended until December 31, 2020 (a special measure from MIFI). You don’t need to apply for a new CAQ; you can submit your study permit application online with your expired or about-to-expire CAQ and add a letter explaining your situation. The study permit will be issued up to December 31, 2020, or up to the date your passport expires if that date is earlier than December 31, 2020.

    If you plan to apply for a post-graduation work permit at the end of your study program, there are several things you will need to consider. See the “Graduating Students” section of this site for more information.

    Program of studies ending after December 31, 2020:

    The MIFI measure extending student CAQs does not apply to you. You must submit a new student CAQ application and then submit your study permit application online. If you have not received your new CAQ before your study permit expires you can submit your study permit application with a proof of CAQ renewal and a letter of explanation. Your study permit application will not be refused but you must remember to send your new student CAQ as soon as you get it, using the IRCC web form.

  • Renewing Immigration Documents (Students Outside of Canada)

    If your study permit is still valid, you may be exempt from travel restrictions and eligible to return to Canada before your study permit expires. Consult the “Arriving in Canada” section to find out if you are authorized to return to Quebec and to know the requirements related to the mandatory quarantine plan. If you’re an international student currently outside of Canada and you’re authorized to return to the country, you must renew your study permit upon returning to Canada before it expires.

    However, if your study permit has already expired or if it will expire before you return to Canada you need to apply for a new one from abroad. Here are the two possible scenarios:

    1. Program of studies ending before December 31, 2020:

    If your Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies expires between April 30 and December 31, 2020, it is automatically extended until December 31, 2020 (a special measure from MIFI). You don’t need to apply for a new CAQ; you can submit your study permit application online with your expired or about-to-expire CAQ and add a letter explaining your situation. The study permit will be issued up to December 31, 2020, or up to the date your passport expires if that date is earlier than December 31, 2020.

    2. Program of studies ending after December 31, 2020 or new study program

    The MIFI measure extending CAQs for studies does not apply to you. You must submit a new CAQ for studies application and then submit your study permit application online. If you have not received your new CAQ before your study permit expires you can submit your study permit application with a proof of CAQ renewal and a letter of explanation. Your study permit application will not be refused but you must send your new CAQ for studies as soon as you get it, using the IRCC web form.

    In all cases, you will need to wait until you have obtained your study permit approval letter before preparing for your return. See the “Arriving in Canada” section for more information.

  • Student CAQ, Submitting Documents Electronically

    Students can now electronically submit the supporting documents required when they submit a temporary selection request for studies. First you must submit an application for temporary selection for studies and pay the application fees through the MIFI website. Next you must submit the documents required with your application. Until these documents are attached to your application, your file is considered incomplete and inactive. Your supporting documents can be sent by mail or courier to the MIFI office in Montreal, or they can be submitted online through the ARRIMA platform.

    If you choose to submit your application electronically, be aware that you will need to wait 48 hours to obtain your file number. This piece of information, available in your online application profile with MIFI, will then allow you to create an ARRIMA profile and to submit the required documents.

    If you have already submitted your documents to renew your student CAQ, you cannot submit them a second time through ARRIMA in hopes of speeding up your processing time. Only those students who are contacted by MIFI and asked to submit additional documents to their application in progress (for example by a refusal or non-approval letter) can use the new electronic document submission system.

  • Study Permit, Missing Documents

    In the present context – and as a special exception – IRCC is accepting incomplete study permit applications.

    If a student is unable to attach some of the documents required for the application because of the situation generated by COVID-19, they can submit their incomplete application online and add a letter explaining the reasons why the documents are missing. The application will not be refused despite being incomplete. This special measure also applies to students who usually must include a medical exam for immigration in their application.

    When the application is analysed, the IRCC agent can allow up to 90 days for the student to submit the missing documents. If the first 90-day deadline cannot be respected because of circumstances related to COVID-19, an additional 90 days may be given by the IRCC agent.

    The missing documents must be added to the study permit application using IRCC’s web form. Indicate the study permit application number. When the application is complete it will be processed and, if it meets all criteria, the study permit will then be approved.

    Special measures implemented for students who are in Canada are intended to allow you to preserve an implied status. This status has special conditions and will be lost if the student leaves Canada. We encourage you to visit the IRCC website to familiarize yourself with these conditions.

  • Study Permit, Biometrics

    Due to public health concerns related to COVID‑19, biometrics collection services in Canada will resume at a later date. 

    As a temporary measure, you’re exempt from giving biometrics if you’re applying from within Canada for a new study permit or an extension of a study permit.

    If you are in this situation, do not pay the biometric fee (85$) even if the system asks you to pay when you submit your application. If you have a pending request for which you’ve paid the biometric fee (85$), you do not need to do anything. IRCC will process your application and send you a refund for the biometric fee.

    This temporary measure is only for students in Canada and it does not apply if you’re outside Canada.

  • Departure from Canada

    Students who are currently enrolled in a program of studies who are outside of Canada or who are considering the option to travel abroad and subsequently want to return to continue their program must take the following elements into consideration:

    1. You will must to meet all of the return requirements described in the “Arriving in Canada” section upon your return.
    2. The 14-day quarantine requirements are in effect and should be extended.
    3. If you need to renew your immigration documents during your time outside of Canada, read the section “Renewing Immigration Documents – Students Outside of Canada”.

    Travel restrictions and special requirements are in effect in many countries. Check the government websites for your destination country. For students planning to travel to a country of the European Union, we also invite you to consult the specific measures to this region of the world.

  • Restoration of Status

    Temporary residents, including international students, must always maintain a legal status in Canada. If a student loses their status because they did not renew their study permit before it expired, they may, in some cases, apply for restoration of status. Usually, students have a period of 90 days from losing their status to submit an application from within Canada to restore their status. As soon as a student loses their status, they are no longer authorised to work or to study and they must wait for a positive response to their application for restoration of status before they can resume their activities.

    A public policy concerning temporary residents (students, workers, and visitors) without status in Canada is actually in force. International students whose Study permit expired or expires between January 30, 2020, and May 31, 2021, will have until August 31, 2021, to request restoration of their status instead of the usual 90-day period.

Newly admitted students

  • Application Processing

    Even in the context of COVID-19, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), which is the Quebec Ministry of immigration, francisation, and integration, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are continuing to work and process CAQ for studies and study permit applications.

    However, some services have been suspended and processing times can be longer than what’s posted on the ministries’ websites.

  • Who needs a CAQ and a study permit?

    International students who come to study in a program of study that is six months or longer must obtain a student Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) pour études, which is a Quebec acceptance certificate, issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), which is the Quebec ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration. Once the CAQ for studies is issued, international students must obtain a study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It is the study permit that grants a legal status in Canada.

    In addition to these two documents, most students must also obtain a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), depending on their country of citizenship. These documents allow you to enter Canada. When you submit an application for a study permit from outside of Canada you don’t have to complete a special form or pay an application fee for these documents. A TRV or eTA will be automatically issued following the approval of your study permit application.

    You must obtain all immigration authorizations before coming to Canada. You must also meet all the other requirements detailed in our “Arriving in Canada” section.

  • Student CAQ, Special Measures

    In the current context of COVID-19, MIFI has instituted some special measures. Exceptionally, MIFI is accepting photocopies and non-certified copies of documents in cases where applicants are unable to provide certified true copies. In this case, you also need to provide a letter explaining why you were unable to obtain original documents.

  • Student CAQ, Submitting Documents Electronically

    Students can now electronically submit the supporting documents required when they submit a temporary selection request for studies. First you must submit an application for temporary selection for studies and pay the application fees through the MIFI website. Next you must submit the documents required with your application. Until these documents are attached to your application, your file is considered incomplete and inactive. Your supporting documents can be sent by mail or courier to the MIFI office in Montreal, or they can be submitted online through the ARRIMA platform.

    If you choose to submit your supporting documents electronically, be aware that you will need to wait 48 hours to obtain your file number. This piece of information, available in your online application profile with MIFI, will then allow you to create an ARRIMA profile and to submit the required documents.

    If you have already submitted your documents for a new CAQ for studies, you cannot submit them a second time through ARRIMA in hopes of speeding up your processing time. Only those students who are contacted by MIFI and asked to submit additional documents to their application in progress (for example by a refusal or non-approval letter) can use the new electronic document submission system.

  • Study Permit, Incomplete Applications

    In the present context – and as a special exception – IRCC is accepting incomplete study permit applications.

    If a student is unable to attach some of the documents required for the application because of the situation generated by COVID-19, they can submit their incomplete application online and add a letter explaining the reasons why the documents are missing. The application will not be refused despite being incomplete. This special measure also applies to students who usually must include a medical exam for immigration in their application.

    Exceptionally, study permit applications can also be submitted without the CAQ for studies, but it is still advisable to include proof of submission of the CAQ application with the study permit application.

    When the application is analysed, the IRCC agent can allow up to 90 days for the student to submit the missing documents. If the first 90-day deadline cannot be respected because of circumstances related to COVID-19, an additional 90 days may be given by the IRCC agent.

    The missing documents must be added to the study permit application using IRCC’s web form. Indicate the study permit application number.

    When the application is complete it will be processed and, if it meets all criteria, the study permit will then be approved. It’s important to understand that the study permit will not be approved until the CAQ and all other required documents have been provided.

  • Study Permit, Biometrics

    Given the current closure of many visa application centres (VACs) abroad, IRCC has extended the deadline for providing biometrics. You don’t have to provide your biometrics until the sites are reopened. This applies to you even if your instruction letter for biometrics collection mentions that you have 30 or 90 days. To see whether the VAC nearest you is open or closed, consult the IRCC website.

    IRCC has also stated that no application will be refused pending submission of biometrics. When visa application centres reopen, students will need to provide their biometrics using the instruction letter they got after submitting their study permit application (a new instruction letter is not required). Once biometrics have been taken, the study permit application can continue to be processed.

  • Postponing Admission to the Winter 2021 Term

    Given the current situation, you may consider postponing your planned fall 2020 arrival in Quebec and instead starting your program of studies in winter 2021. If this is your situation, the first thing to do is to contact your cégep’s representative to see if this is an option that works with your specific program of studies.

    If it is possible, here’s some information that could help you with your immigration documents:

    1) If you already have your Quebec acceptance certificate (CAQ) for studies to begin your program of studies in fall 2020, you should know that it will still be valid for starting your program in winter 2021. A student CAQ is typically valid for the entire duration of your program of studies starting with the term you planned to start your program. Because of this, it’s highly likely that you’ll have to extend your CAQ during your studies. But rest assured that this is doable and that the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is expecting it.

    2) A letter of introduction for a study permit that has been received for arrival for a specific term will still be valid if you postpone to a later term. No change is required, but be sure to arrive in Canada before the deadline specified in the letter of introduction. A study permit is generally valid until your CAQ expiration date, so it is highly likely that you’ll also have to extend your study permit during your studies. Like with the CAQ, this procedure is doable and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expecting it to happen.

    3) Even though it’s not required by the immigration authorities, it’s always advisable to keep copies of documents that prove the date you arrived in Quebec, like a copy of your plane ticket. It’s also a good idea to check with your cégep advisor to see whether they issue an official document if you postpone your admission. If so, be sure to keep a copy of this document for your future document renewal applications.

  • Postponing Admission to the Fall 2021 Term

    Given the current situation, you might postpone your arrival in Quebec and start your program of studies in fall 2021. If this is your situation, the first thing to do is to contact the representative from your cégep and see if this option works with your specific program of studies.

    If it is possible, here’s some useful information about your immigration documents:

    1) If you’ve already gotten your Quebec acceptance certificate (CAQ) for studies to begin your studies in fall 2020 or Winter 2021, you must submit a new student CAQ application to postpone your admission, according to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI)’s rules. You’ll need to fill out a new application, provide all the supporting documents, and pay the processing fees again. To do this, you’re going to need official, written confirmation from your cégep confirming that your admission is valid for the fall 2021 term. Along with the usual supporting documents, you’ll also need to include a short explanatory letter (signed and dated) that specifies the reason you’re requesting a new CAQ for studies as well as the term to which you’ve postponed your admission.

    2) If you have already received a letter of introduction for a study permit, rest assured that this letter is still valid in case of postponing to a later term. No change is required, but be sure that you enter Canada before the deadline specified in your letter. A study permit is usually valid until your CAQ for studies expiration date, so it’s highly likely that you’ll have to extend your study permit during your studies. But this process is doable and even expected by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    If you haven’t already submitted your study permit application, we advise you to wait until you have received your new CAQ for studies for the fall 2021 term before applying for a study permit.

    If your study permit application is pending, you have two options. 1) You can continue the process, but know that the study permit will be issued for up to the expiration date of your current CAQ for studies. It’s highly likely that you’ll have to extend your student permit while you’re studying, but this is doable and even expected by IRCC. 2) You can withdraw or cancel your current study permit application by using the IRCC’s web form and then submit a new study permit application once you’ve received your new student CAQ for a fall 2021 arrival. A reimbursement can be granted if you withdraw your study permit application before it is processed. If the application is already being processed, no reimbursement will be granted, even if you withdraw your study permit application.

  • Distance Learning from Outside of Canada

    Some programs of study can be started remotely from outside of Canada while you wait to be able to come to Canada, but you must first confirm with your cégep if that’s the case for your program. If this option is available, you will very likely have to have submitted your CAQ for studies and your study permit to be allowed to enroll. Because of this, we encourage you to take care of your paperwork as quickly as possible.

    Be aware that you’ll need to attach an official letter from your cégep to your study permit application. This letter must clearly indicate that your program of studies requires your in-person presence in Canada for you to be able to get your diploma. If your entire program is offered remotely, no study permit will be issued. For more details, consult IRCC’s instructions.

  • Programs of Study Shorter than 6 Months

    Exchange students whose programs are less than six months are exempt from obtaining a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies and a study permit to study in Quebec. If you are in this situation and you do not hold a study permit, you are not exempt from travel restrictions and you are not allowed to come to Canada even if your cégep is on the IRCC list. You may have already obtained an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), but these documents do not authorize you to come to Canada at this time.

  • International Experience Canada (internships)

    In the context of COVID-19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented special measures for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

    For the time being, rounds of IEC invitations have been suspended. For those who have already received and accepted an IEC invitation, work permit applications are being accepted but not processed for now. No pending IEC work permit application will be closed or refused for lack of supporting documents or inability to complete the application process in time.

    Effective May 8, 2020, and until further notice, the only International Experience Canada (IEC) candidates who border services officers should allow entry to Canada are those who received a letter of introduction and have an offer of employment with an employer who is still operating during the COVID-19 outbreak (because they are allowed to do so under provincial restrictions). Interns must also prove that they are travelling to Canada for a non-discretionary purpose and they have a 14 days mandatory plan to quarantine.

    If a student cannot prove that their offer of employment is still valid or if they no longer wish to come to Canada, they can ask their employer to withdraw the employment offer in the Employer Portal. Once this is done, the compliance fee will be reimbursed to the employer and the International Co-op (Internship) participation fee will automatically be reimbursed to the student.

Fall 2020 Graduating Students

 

  • Maintain a Legal Status

    If you plan on staying in Quebec after you graduate from college, you’ll need to keep a legal status in Canada.

    If you’ll be continuing your studies after college you need to make sure that you have all your student immigration documents in order.

    If you want to work after you graduate from college and are eligible you can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). If you apply from within Canada you need to have a legal status when you submit your application. There are three options:

    • Have a valid study permit
    • Have an implied status
    • Request a visitor record

     

    The process can differ depending on your case. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for details.

    You can also request a PGWP from outside Canada. If you go that route, you don’t need a legal status when you apply.

    To see if you’re legally allowed to work while your PGWP application is being processed, see the Permission to Work section below.

  • Post-Graduation Work Permit Eligibility

    To be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), you must:

    • Have a legal status if you’re applying from within Canada
    • Have completed a program of studies at a designated learning institution that was at least 8 months long and that resulted in a degree, diploma or certificate
    • Have kept full-time student status throughout your entire program (except for the last term)
    • Submit your PGWP application no more than 180 days after receiving your final grades and/or your proof of completion of your program
    • Have held a valid study permit in the 180 days before you submit your PGWP application
    • Have completed at least 50% of your program in person in Canada

     

    Some students are not eligible for a post-graduation work permit.

    Your PGWP eligibility will not be affected if, because of the COVID-19 pandemic:

    • Your courses were offered online instead of in person. Different conditions apply depending on the length of your program of studies and when it started. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for details.
    • You had to stop studying or study part time during the winter or summer 2020 terms. In this case, when you apply for a PGWP we recommend including a letter from your cégep explaining that it was impossible to continue studying or to be a full-time student because of the pandemic.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit Length

    A post-graduation work permit is granted depending on the length of the program of studies and can be valid for anywhere from 8 months to 3 years.

    The validity of a post-graduation work permit cannot extend past the passport expiration date of the permit holder. Sometimes in a case like this the PGWP can be extended after the passport is renewed.

  • Permission to Work

    Starting from when you apply online for your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) in Canada, you’re allowed to work full time while waiting for your permit if you meet all of the following conditions:

    • You had a valid student permit when you applied for the PGWP
    • You have completed your program of studies
    • You had the right to work off-campus during your studies (this authorization is included on your study permit)
    • You never worked more than the maximum hours allowed during your studies

     

    If you don’t meet all of these conditions, you have to wait to receive your PGWP before you can start working. For example, if you applied for a PGWP with an implied status or visitor status (instead of a student status), you can’t work until your PGWP is granted.

    IMPORTANT: Working in Canada without authorization is illegal. It is a serious offense that can have major consequences.

  • Expiring Immigration Documents

    As a general rule, documents that prove completion of studies for students who graduated in the fall are issued by their cégeps the following January or February.

    The two documents that need to go into your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) application to prove that you’ve finished your program are:

    1. An official letter from your cégep confirming that you’ve completed your program of studies
    2. A final, official transcript or a copy of your final transcript from your cégep’s website

    Because of the pandemic, Quebec’s ministère de l’Immigration, la Francisation et l’Intégration (MIFI) has extended all CAQs for studies expiring from April 30 to December 31, 2020 until December 31, 2020. If your study permit expired during this period and you requested a renewal, you probably received a new study permit with a December 31, 2020 expiry date.

    As an exception, and considering that the official cégep documents required to apply for a PGWP will come in January or February 2021, IRCC currently lets you submit an application without those documents (an incomplete application).

    In that case you must (source, MIFI website):

    • Apply for your PGWP online from Canada before December 31, 2020.
    • Add a letter explaining that you’re unable to provide the required school documents because you’re waiting for them to be issued. You should include in your letter that your situation is a result of the automatic extension of your CAQ for studies related to COVID-19.
    • As soon as the two documents from your cégep are available, add them to your PGWP application on the IRCC Web Form. IMPORTANT: if you do not provide these two documents, your work permit application will be rejected.

     

    Once you’ve submitted your online PGWP application from Canada, even if incomplete, you can work full time while waiting for your permit if you meet all the conditions mentioned in the Permission to Work section including having a valid study permit when applying for the PGWP.

  • How to Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit

    Whether you’re applying from Canada or abroad, you’ll need to apply for your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) online. To see processing times for applications made from within Canada and outside the country, visit the IRCC website.

    In some cases, you can apply with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a border crossing (point of entry). Important: IRCC instructions state that non-Canadians can apply for a work permit upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry if they are not required to obtain a temporary resident visa (TRV).

    However, because of the pandemic, the CBSA states on their website: “Until further notice, travellers should not visit a Canada Border Services Agency office to apply for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence. Visitors, international students or temporary workers who are already in Canada can apply online to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to extend your temporary resident status.”

  • Leaving the Country and Travel Restrictions

    If you’ve completed your program of studies and leave Canada, you need to consider the following:

    • Even if you have a valid study permit, you can’t come back to Canada to submit your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) application. Since you aren’t studying anymore, you don’t have a student exemption from travel restrictions. You’ll need to apply for your PGWP from outside Canada before returning to the country.
    • If your study permit expires after you leave Canada and you’re eligible for a PGWP, you need to apply for the work permit from outside Canada and wait to receive it before you can return.

     

    In both cases, you should be aware that when you return to Canada you’ll be a temporary worker and not a student. Travel restrictions for workers will apply to you. These travel restrictions may change over the coming months but as of December 2020, several criteria apply, including:

    • Holding a valid work permit or an IRCC letter of introduction that confirms that your work permit has been approved and will be issued upon your arrival in Canada
    • Traveling to Canada for essential reasons. This can be demonstrated if you have a valid job offer.

     

    To see the processing times for PGWP applications from outside Canada, visit the IRCC website. You can also stay up to date on travel restrictions for temporary workers on the IRCC website.