August 18, 2023

Temporary Public Policy Allows Work Permit Holders in Canada to Study Without A Study Permit

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 30 May 2023, IRCC announced a new public policy that would allow work permit holders with valid work permits to study in Canada without a study permit.[1] This policy was introduced to acknowledge that “[t]emporary foreign workers are a valuable part of Canada’s economy who continue to contribute to Canada’s economic recovery post-COVID pandemic.”[2] The intention is to provide “opportunities and more flexibility to study in order to update their skills, credentials or licensing.”[3] The public policy came into effect on 27 June 2023, and is set to expire on 27 June 2026.[4]

To be eligible for this public policy, an individual must hold a work permit, the application for which must have been received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on or before 7 June 2023, or submitted an application to renew a work permit on or before 7 June 2023 and is already authorized to work under “maintained status” or “implied status.”[5] The exemption from requiring a study permit for the individuals who meet the criteria of the public policy applies until their application for a work permit as referred to in the public policy is refused, their work permit which renders them eligible under the public policy expires, or the public policy expires or is revoked.[6] This update has recently been added to IRCC’s Program Delivery instructions, as of 15 August 2023.[7]

This public policy is certainly an important recognition of the invaluable addition that temporary foreign nationals play in the Canadian economy, allowing them the reciprocal benefit of upskilling to potentially provide the opportunity to seek higher-skilled, higher-paid employment in Canada, and even qualify for permanent residence in the future. If you have questions about whether this public policy applies to you or would like to assess your options for working in or immigrating to Canada, feel free to schedule a consultation with our office.