Notice – Temporary public policy for some refused post-graduation work permit applicants

Ottawa, October 21, 2016 — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum has approved a temporary public policy that affects some foreign nationals whose applications for post-graduation work permits were previously refused.  

Under this public policy, foreign nationals can apply for an open work permit that will be valid for up to three years and, if applicable, restoration of status by March 17, 2017, if they meet these conditions:

  • Their application for a post-graduation work permit was refused between September 1, 2014 and March 15, 2016,
  • The reason for the refusal of the application was because the applicant completed the majority of their coursework by distance learning, and
  • The officer did not consider the entirety of the applicant’s program of study, including transfer credits, when they determined that the majority of the applicant’s coursework was by distance learning.

Eligible foreign nationals should also note:

  • Processing fees associated with the application will be waived, including the work permit application fee, the open work permit holder fee and the restoration of status fee.
  • Applicants must use the paper application option and write on the envelope and on the first page of the application “Public Policy for Refused PGWP Applicants”.
  • The application may be submitted
  • Applicants should include documents that show that the majority of their coursework in Canada leading up to their diploma, degree or certificate was completed in a classroom and not by distance learning, such as a transcript, a notice of graduation or an enrolment report, and if available, a copy of the refusal letter they received as a result of their initial post-graduation work permit application.

This public policy is being put in place following the Federal Court ruling in Appidy v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration, 2015 FC 1356). In the Appidy case, an officer refused an application for a post-graduation work permit because the student’s last program of study was primarily completed through ‘distance learning.’ The Federal Court found that the officer should have considered all of the applicant’s post-secondary studies in Canada leading to their diploma, degree or certification, including transferred credits from a different institution that contributed to their final program requirements, when assessing the application. 

The full text of the public policy and accompanying operational bulletin are available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

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