Please visit our COVID-19 page for the latest news, resources, and FAQs.

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services: JUNE 2021:
1. International students with a valid study permit (or approval letter) can travel to Canada (McGill is on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan).
2. The 14-day quarantine is still required from ALL travellers entering Canada (even if vaccinated). For travellers arriving by air, the first three days of the quarantine must be done in a hotel designated by IRCC.
3. Before making travel plans, please refer to McGill's quarantine resources and to our vaccination FAQs.

Please visit our COVID-19 page for additional news, resources, and FAQs.

Work FAQs - COVID-19

Please review the official government resources before reviewing the FAQs. Many answers to your questions can be found on Immigration Canada's and Immigration Quebec's websites.

1. I began or was completing a program at McGill from outside Canada in the Summer 2020, Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 term and my courses are proceeding remotely (online) due to COVID-19. Am I still eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?

Yes. Normally, time spent studying outside of Canada is deducted from the length of the PGWP and only online courses completed from within Canada (less than 50% of your program) can count towards the total length of the program when determining the length of the PGWP.

However, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions, IRCC has announced a series of new facilitative measures that allow students who were forced to begin their program, continue their studies, or complete their program remotely from outside Canada to maintain their post-graduation work permit eligibility

As stated on IRCC’s website these facilitative measures for students studying remotely from outside of Canada  include the following:

"If you’re outside of Canada

If you can’t travel to Canada at this time and you’re taking your classes online, you’re still eligible for a PGWP.

To be eligible, you must

and

  • have been enrolled in a program that was in progress in March 2020, or
  • have started or will start a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, and
    • you have a study permit, or
    • you’ve been approved for a study permit, or
    • you applied for a study permit before starting your study program
      • your study permit must eventually be approved

How much of your studies count toward a PGWP:

You can complete 100% of your studies online from outside Canada. All your time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing 2 study programs.

If you’re completing 2 study programs, you can finish 100% of your studies online if the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and fall 2021, and

Time spent studying outside Canada after December 31, 2021, won’t count towards the length of a PGWP."

For more information on the new facilitative measures see IRCC's COVID-19 webpage for International Students and IRCC’s news release on post-graduation work permit eligibility. For information about the PGWP, see IRCC’s PGWP Program website.

2. I began or was completing a program at McGill online from inside Canada in the Summer 2020, Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 term and my courses are proceeding online due to COVID-19. Am I still eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?

Yes. Normally, if more than 50% of a student’s program of study’s total courses are completed by distance learning (online) from inside Canada, the program may be considered a distance-learning or online program, and the applicant would be ineligible for a post-graduation work permit.

However, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing public health restrictions, IRCC has announced a series of new facilitative measures that allow students who were forced to begin their program, continue their studies, or complete their program online from inside Canada to maintain their post-graduation work permit eligibility even if they complete more than 50% of their program online.

As stated on IRCC’s website these facilitative measures for students studying online from Canada  include the following:

"If you’re inside Canada

You’re still eligible for the PGWP if:

  • your in-person classes in Canada have been moved to an online-only format and you are taking your classes online because of COVID-19, or
  • you had to put your studies on hold, or study part-time, during the winter, spring or summer 2020 semesters because of COVID-19

As of the fall 2020 semester, you must be studying full-time to be eligible."

For more information on the new facilitative measures see IRCC's COVID-19 webpage for International Students and IRCC’s news release on post-graduation work permit eligibility. For information about the PGWP, see IRCC’s PGWP Program website.

3. I am currently outside of Canada. Can I complete my mandatory co-op/internship requirement remotely from outside of Canada while my study permit and co-op work permit applications are processing?

It depends. IRCC’s Students – Work: COVID-19 program delivery instructions state:

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
  • work for a company in their home country

Note: If you would like to work for a Canadian employer, please check with them to see what documents are required to hire you remotely.

4. I am currently in Canada and have applied for my co-op work permit. I still have not received my co-op work permit and my co-op/internship will start soon. Can I start to work?

It depends. IRCC’s Students – Work: COVID-19 program delivery instructions state:

"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.

Students may work full-time on the campus of the university or college at which they are a full-time student per [R186(f)]. For off-campus work authorization per [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). They can work full-time during scheduled breaks in the school year.

However, if the co-op application is refused, they must stop working immediately."

Therefore, if your co-op work permit application is pending and you are registered full-time you may work on your mandatory co-op/internship, however you must respect the on-campus and off-campus work regulations. This means, you are authorized to work unlimited hours on-campus and up to a maximum of 20 hours per week, in total, off campus - including your internship and any other off-campus employment you may have.

5. I am applying for my PGWP, but due to COVID-19 I cannot obtain my printed official transcript. What should I do?

Service Point is not able to provide printed official transcripts at this time due to the COVID-19 related campus closure. If McGill is still not able to provide printed official transcripts at the time you are trying to apply for your PGWP, we are recommending that you include all of the following documents with your application instead of your printed official transcript:

  1. A cover letter explaining that you are providing your electronic official transcript (eTranscript) instead of a scanned copy of the printed official transcript. You can mention that the electronic version of the official transcript is the only version available since the Registrar’s Office is closed to the public due to COVID-19 and is, therefore, not issuing printed official transcripts. NOTE: It is possible that the "COPY" watermark will appear on the eTranscript when you combine the eTranscript with other documents into one PDF, when you save the eTranscript to your computer, and/or when the immigration agent opens the file. You should mention this possibility in your cover letter and also ensure that you view/save your eTranscript according to the instructions provided by the National Student Clearinghouse when you order your eTranscript. 
  2. A copy of your official eTranscript (order an electronic official transcript)
  3. A copy of McGill’s Student Records webpage confirming that printed official transcripts are currently not available AND a copy of the "Services not currently available" letter issued by the Registrar.

You can create one pdf document with all the items above and upload the document in the “Transcript” section of your Document Checklist.

If McGill starts issuing printed official transcripts and your PGWP application is still processing, you can order the printed official transcript and send it to Immigration Canada via the IRCC Web Form with a brief explanation for the delay and a request to have the transcript join your pending PGWP application.

6. I don't have a Social Insurance Number and Service Canada Offices are closed. How can I get one?

Service Canada is now processing SINs online. Please visit the Service Canada website to apply online.

7. How many hours can I work as an international student during an academic term?

Full-time students are authorized to work in Canada full-time on-campus and part-time off-campus (up to a maximum of 20hrs per week) during an academic term. Exceptionally, students who are part-time in their final term but have been full-time in every previous term are authorized to work full-time on-campus and part-time off campus in their final academic term before graduating.

8. I am currently outside of Canada. How many hours can I work while I am outside of Canada?

If you are outside of Canada, you are not restricted to the limits defined by Canadian immigration regulations regarding on-campus and off-campus work. You must, however, respect the allowable hours of work in the country where you are currently residing.

9. I'm about to complete my program. Can I work after the end of my final semester of studies?

It depends. If you were enrolled full-time in every term except your last term, you can continue to work full-time on campus and/or part-time off-campus (maximum of 20 hours per week) after the end of your final semester until the first date you receive written confirmation from McGill that you have complete your program. Once you receive written proof of program completion, you must then stop all work activity – whether or not this work is paid or unpaid.

You can start working full-time on campus and/or off-campus:

  • After you have obtained your PGWP; or
  • As soon as you have submitted on online PGWP application as long as you meet certain conditions. These conditions include holding a valid study permit at the time of application, having been full-time throughout your studies, with the exception of your final term of studies, and having respected the allowable hours of work during your studies.

10. I will be applying for my Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) while under implied status. Can I work in Canada while my application is processing?

Some students are currently in implied status as they wait for a decision on their study permit extension applications.

If you apply for your PGWP while under implied status, you are not currently authorized to work while the PGWP application is processing – even if you otherwise meet the conditions to work after you submit a PGWP application. If this information changes in the coming weeks, we will update our website accordingly.

Updated February 16, 2021

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