According to a recent policy update from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in light of the travel restrictions currently in place under COVID-19, they will continue to accept and process applications for study permits and post-graduate work permits even if some documents are missing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many application centres across the globe are either closed or, have limited operations. Prospective international students have been encouraged to continue working on their study permit and PGWP applications in spite of these limitations as IRCC will keep their applications open until they can provide all the necessary documentation.

These documents may include:

  • Biometrics
  • Medical examinations
  • Travel documents

In the past, incomplete applications would have been refused by the Canadian government. However, in order to make the process as easy as possible, the government is now continuing to accept incomplete applications as long as the applicant can demonstrate that the missing documents are due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students may begin working on PGWP’s while waiting for the supporting documents.

International students who have graduated from a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) may be eligible to start working under a PGWP, so long as they apply before their student permit expires if they are unable to submit all their documents at the end of their educational studies.

Under normal circumstances, graduates are required to provide a final transcript from their school. However, this may be impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will, however, be required to provide a letter explaining that you are unable to submit all the documents due to the closure of your educational institution. Once your documents become available, you may then submit them through the web form using the IRCC online web tool.

Students who apply to renew their status but are missing documents will be allowed to maintain their status until a final decision is made. They will not be allowed to work during this time. 

Other changes include the ability to restore your student status if you don’t have a letter of completion. Those who apply to restore their status are not able to work during the application to restore status is processed.

Under normal circumstances, international students need to be studying full-time in order to apply for a PGWP. The government is currently making exceptions for International students dropping to part-time status or online classes due to school closures and this will not affect eligibility for a Canadian PGWP.