October 25, 2016 – The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released an operational bulletin that dramatically affects international students who were denied post-graduation work permits for taking online courses. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has approved special measures to issue work permits, to restore temporary residence status and to waive fees to individuals who were denied these post-graduation work permits. To be eligible for consideration for the work permit, restoration and waiver of fees, the international student must meet the following criteria:
- They were refused a post-graduation work permit between September 1, 2014 and March 15, 2016;
- The reason for the refusal was because the applicant completed the majority of their coursework online;and
- The entirety of their program of study was not considered when the determination was made that the majority of their coursework was by distance learning.
Affected individuals can now apply for post-graduation work permits even if they are out of status. Complete applications are expected to be processed within 40 days. Applications under these special measures are being accepted until March 17, 2017.
Green and Spiegel’s own Ravi Jain, a strong advocate for the rights of international students was one of the first to commence litigation to rectify the students’ work permit refusals. Congratulation to Ravi for being on the front line of fixing this complicated and frustrating problem that affected so many international students. The requirements under this special policy are complicated, and IRCC is requesting specific documentation, so we encourage all affected individuals to contact Ravi Jain if they require assistance.