Distance Learning and Post-Graduate Work Permits

The media has recently been covering Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC“) refusal of most Post-Graduate Work Permit (“PGWP“) applicants from Niagara College who had completed a distance learning program.  As Global News reported:

According to Nicholas Keung of the Toronto Star:

Although the Immigration department states on [Niagara College’s] website that distance learning is ineligible for post-graduation work permits, it does not define what constitutes distance learning. Complaining students said the Niagara College program delivered three-quarters of its course work online, but they had to attend the program in-class at least once a week.

The entirety of CIC’s guidance to officers who process PGWPs is:

Distance learning

Students who complete a program of study by distance learning (from outside or inside Canada) are not eligible for the PGWPP.

CIC’s policy is extremely vague.  What percent of the course can be distance learning before it constitutes “completing a program of study by distance learning?” Is it percentage of courses that were distant learning or percentage of total time? What if one course is online and the rest are in person?

Guidance is definitely needed, and I hope that someone takes the matter forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *