People with a work permit in Canada can now enroll in a lengthier study program without needing a study permit.
Before this change, foreign workers could study and work simultaneously, but only if the study program was six months or less. If they wanted a longer education, they had to apply for a separate study permit, which at times takes months, if not years, to process.
This temporary change announced on Tuesday will remove a learning barrier, allowing work permit holders to up-level their skills and knowledge, receive more training, and even help those who need to take certain programs to validate their foreign credentials.
Workers will be able to study full-time or part-time as long as their work permit is valid, or until the expiration of the policy on June 27, 2026, according to the news release.
This new measure is also a game changer for those who want to apply for Express Entry.
Currently, foreign workers or international students who work in Canada during their full-time studies cannot include that work experience for their permanent residency application through the Canadian Experience Class section of the Express Entry. However, with the new measure, candidates may be able to increase their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points to apply. This can be done through acquiring a higher level of education, improving their French or English, or gaining qualifying work experience during part-time studies.
On the contrary, those seeking to apply for permanent residency can include their full-time studies through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, a second section of the Express Entry, as long as they are studying at a designated learning institution.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
The new measure, which will be in place for the next three years, applies to people who hold a valid work permit or submitted an application for renewal on or before June 7.
It also applies to people who received a letter before June 7, authorizing work while the work permit extension is in process.
If a person applied for a work permit after June 7, they will not be eligible for this new measure.