COVID-19 Emergency Border Measures

For all travellers entering Canada by air, land or marine mode on or after October 1, 2022:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required
  • COVID-19 pre-entry and arrival tests are not required
  • Quarantine after you enter Canada is not required
  • Using ArriveCAN is not required
    • if you’re flying into Toronto Pearson, Vancouver or Montréal-Trudeau international airports, you can still use ArriveCAN to complete your Advance CBSA Declaration to save time upon arrival
  • Pre-boarding tests for cruise passengers are not required
  • As always, travel documents are required
  • Health checks to board planes and trains are not required
  • Wearing masks on planes and trains is not required

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you shouldn't travel to Canada.

If you feel sick or experience any symptoms of COVID-19 during your travel to Canada or upon arrival, you should:

  • inform the flight attendant, cruise staff or a border services officer upon arrival. You may be referred to a Quarantine Officer for a health assessment and further direction.
  • avoid taking public transportation
  • check provincial or territorial requirements for what you need to do if you’re symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19

Post-graduate work permit eligibility

Distance learning from outside Canada

Under normal circumstances, all distance learning courses completed outside Canada are excluded from the time accumulated toward the length of the post-graduation work permit, and 50% of a student’s courses must be completed in Canada and in person.

The following temporary policy changes have been made to accommodate eligible international students who have completed distance learning outside Canada due to COVID-19.

Full facilitation measures

All students who were enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program in March 2020, or who started or will start a program of study between March 2020 and August 31, 2022, are not required to complete 50% of their program (or programs) of study in Canada. Up to 100% of their program can be completed online from outside Canada.

  • For the above group of students, time spent studying outside of Canada can be counted toward the overall length of the PGWP until August 31, 2023.
  • For students who were enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program in March 2020, or who started a program of study between March 2020 and August 31, 2022
    • Up to 100% of credits earned toward a program of study completed through a PGWP-eligible DLI in Canada can be earned from outside Canada until August 31, 2023, without the student losing their eligibility for a PGWP.

Reduced Facilitation Measures

All students who started or will start a program of study between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023, are required to complete at least 50% of their program (or programs) of study in Canada.

  • For the above group of students, up until August 31, 2023, time spent studying outside of Canada will be counted toward the overall length of the PGWP only if it constitutes less than 50% of the program.

Officers should use the guidelines below to assess an applicant's PGWP eligibility when the applicant has done distance learning outside of Canada at an eligible DLI.

  • For students who started or will be starting a program of study between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023
    • At least 50% of credits earned toward a program of study completed through a PGWP-eligible DLI in Canada must be earned from within Canada for the international student to remain eligible for a PGWP.
    • Studies completed online from outside Canada through PGWP-eligible DLIs will not be deducted from the length of a future PGWP as long as they constitute less than 50% of the program of study.
Any time spent studying outside of Canada by a student after August 31, 2023, will be deducted from the length of the PGWP, regardless of when the student started or will start their program of study.

Other COVID-19 post-graduate work permit considerations

If your courses were moved online due to the pandemic, the time you spend studying online from within Canada until August 31, 2023, still counts toward the length of your PGWP. However, it’s highly recommended that you attend in-class options when offered.

The temporary policy change for in-Canada students studying online ends on August 31, 2023.

Until August 31, 2023, eligible students who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, when both programs were either in progress in March 2020 or were started between March 2020 and August 31, 2022, may be able to both

  • complete 100% of both programs from outside of Canada (if both programs were either in progress in March 2020, or began between March 2020 and August 31, 2022) and
  • combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a PGWP in the future

Each program needs to be a minimum of 8 months in duration, and the programs need to be completed from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI) within 2 years as per current instructions on determining the length of the post-graduation work permit.

Students who start their second program on or after September 1, 2022, are not eligible for the facilitation measure above, even if their first program was in progress in March 2020, or if it began between March 2020 and August 31, 2022. If students start their second program on or after September 1, 2022, they need to complete at least 50% of their second program in Canada.

Students in or outside of Canada may have been required to put their studies on hold or become part-time students due to course cancellations as a result of public health measures at DLIs. For the winter, spring and summer 2020 semesters only (between January 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020), when a student’s status changed from full time to part time due to changes in course delivery at a DLI, their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit will not be impacted.

Due to circumstances beyond students’ control, many international students may be unable to obtain a letter of completion or final transcript from their DLI. As a temporary facilitation measure, applicants who apply for a PGWP will be allowed to submit an application without their letter of completion or final transcript. When IRCC processes the application, the documents will be requested by the processing officer as per the procedures for requests for additional documents on open applications.

Applicants who need to restore their status will also be eligible to apply without their letter of completion or final transcript.

As per paragraph R186(w), graduates who apply for a work permit, such as a PGWP, before the expiry of their study permit are eligible to work full time without a work permit while waiting for a decision on their application if all of the following apply:

  • They hold a valid study permit at the time of the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) application.
  • They have completed a PGWP-eligible program of study.
  • They meet the requirements for working off campus without a work permit under paragraph R186(v) (that is, they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program of at least 8 months in duration that led to a degree, diploma or certificate).
  • They did not exceed the allowable hours of work under paragraph R186(v).

Co-op Work Permits and COVID-19

Students who are outside of Canada can work while their study permit and co-op work permit are being processed. If their school and employer agree, they can either

  • accept a Canadian work placement and begin working remotely from their home country or
  • work for a company in their home country 

Students who are already in Canada and have applied for a co-op work permit may begin their co-op placement using their on-campus and off-campus work authorization, provided they meet all the eligibility requirements.

There is no limit on work hours for on-campus work. Students may accept employment on the campus of the university or college at which they are a full-time student under paragraph 186(f) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). For off-campus work authorization as per paragraph R186(v), students can work a total of 20 hours per week during an academic term/semester, including both the hours for co-op and the hours for their regular paid job (if they have one), while they are waiting for their co-op work permit. They can work full-time during the regularly scheduled breaks.

However, if the co-op work permit application is refused, they must stop their co-op work immediately.

International Student and Study Abroad Centre

The International Student and Study Abroad Centre's (ISSAC) physical and digital offices are currently open. Visit the ISSAC page for more information on how to connect with our office.