On February 12, Canada announced it would permit international students to complete 100% of their studies online to still be eligible for a PSWP.

All the time spent studying online outside of Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021 will count towards the length of the permit, the government said. Time spent studying outside Canada after December 31, 2021, won’t count towards the length of a PGWP, it noted.

However, students still waiting for visa decisions to study in Québec say there is no guarantee they will receive permits to enter Canada, despite beginning classes online.

“What we need is that international exposure which we will lack completely studying online”

While some welcomed the announcement as “awesome”, others are more critical.

“This news is to bring trust among international students to start their courses online from their home country but I personally feel that why, as a student, will we spend thousands of dollars to study in our home country,” one told The PIE.

“What we need is that international exposure which we will lack completely studying online. Even though it makes us eligible for the PGWP still the employer will have a problem to hire us as we have done our studies online,” they said.

“We request the embassy to expedite the process of our applications and give us all the result we have been waiting for.”

Another student agreed that the experience studying remotely in their home country was not worth the “huge fees”.

“What is the benefit of studying here?” she asked. “There are lots of internet issues here,” adding that her study schedule means classes are often late at night.

“One year has completed still we are not sure about our visas. IRCC is playing with the future of our students,” they explained. “They should give equal priority [to students applying to Québec]. But still even they are not thinking students are waiting from long time.”

The latest government announcement is one of a number of measures it has introduced to relax post study work rules since the beginning of the pandemic.

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