WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF PROBATION OR SUSPENSION ON PGWP ELIGIBILITY

Canada makes it obligatory for international students holding a study permit to actively pursue their education. This implies that a student must stay enrolled while their study permit subsists. Moreover, the student must make reasonable and timely progress throughout the duration of their study programs. 

A full-time pursuit of studies fulfilling a minimum duration of presence is mandatory in every academic year to maintain legal status and meet eligibility criteria. It may differ with the designated learning institute (DLI) one has enrolled in. For example, many universities make it mandatory to attend at least two out of three semesters in an academic year. Note, that scheduled program breaks are allowed. 

Failure to do so could jeopardize their legal status and ability to work on and off their campus. Moreover, it could affect their immigration applications including impending hurdles in availing a PGWP or other work permits after concluding their studies. It can even lead to eviction from Canada, in exceptional cases.

Considerations in the Event of Suspension

Consider a situation where a student has been suspended from his/her current college and is not able to “actively pursue studies” as a full time student during a semester. The ‘break’ in the progress of studies could even be attributed to family, health or financial issues. 

In such circumstances, it’s critical for a student to understand the implications on their legal status and whether they’d be able to stay or work in Canada. In the event of suspension or related situations, the following pointers need to be considered.

  • – Any absence from a study program must emanate or be approved from the DLI.
  • – The leave must not exceed 150 days from the date such absence commenced. If the student does not resume the study program within 150 days from the date the leave/suspension commenced, he/she must convert their status from a student to a visitor or leave Canada. If the student does not convert to a visitor visa or leave Canada, they would be held in non-compliance with the conditions of their study permit.
  • – The student is not permitted to work while the leave/suspension subsists. There is a bar on part-time work as well except during the last semester of a study program. A student can resume work only during full-time enrollment in a DLI.
  • – The degree of severity of a suspension or dismissal would be scrutinized by the officer along with various other factors to adjudge ‘reasonable progress’ in actively pursuing a program of study.

In such a case, a study permit would not stand invalid and in case of a suspension a student may:

  • – Decide to change from their current institution to another DLI. Alternatively, they could change their program within the same DLI. However, the change should be available as an option within the scope of their study permit.
  • – Convert his/her status from a student to a visitor or leave Canada in case the student does not change to another institution or program within 150 days from the date he/she ceased their studies.  If the student does not convert to a visitor visa or leave Canada, they would be held in non-compliance with the conditions of their study permit.

A student must duly inform the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) of any updates or changes. Students, however, are not required to notify IRCC when they transfer from one study program to another at the same DLI.

However, if a student has extended their stay as a visitor, they will not be allowed to pursue their studies once their study permit expires.

What are the consequences of probation or suspension?

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A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is a pathway for a student to avail of work opportunities post completion of a study program. It also opens doors for various permanent residence programs.


If you are on probation or suspension at your current college, you must change your college to another DLI to remain a full-time student in order to be eligible for a PGWP. Even if you are unable to register for enough credits to remain a full-time student, you must take courses elsewhere to abide by the conditions imposed on your study permit, as well as to ensure that you remain eligible to be granted a PGWP upon completion of your program.

In the case that these conditions are not followed, a student may attract an enforcement action such as the issuance of an exclusion order. An exclusion order is valid for a year and may extend to five years if issued proceeding from misrepresentation. 

If a student wishes to return before a period of one year, procurement of an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) would be required. This does not always guarantee re-entry depending on the degree of severity of non-compliance and misrepresentations. 

Conclusion

Suspension, probation or not getting enough courses would negatively impact and impede any applications made in the future under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. 

A study or work permit subsequently acquired can be delayed for a period of six months, starting from the day of failure to comply or cessation of unauthorized work. 

However, in certain conditions, a student may stand exempted from fulfilling study permit conditions. For example, if a student finds himself temporarily destitute due to immitigable and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the person the student is dependent on for financial support, he/she may be shown due consideration for resuming studies and availing a PGWP.  

If you are facing difficulties in your studies or cannot get enough courses, we can help change your college so you are complying with the conditions imposed on your study permit. Even if you are on probation or suspension, we can still help change your college. We deal with all colleges all around Canada.

Need assistance for immigration? 

Fill up an assessment form to see whether you qualify for immigration. 

Give us a call @ +1 (778) 929-3447 or +1 (604) 396-0066 to connect with our immigration experts or drop a mail at info@ovationimmigration.com. 

You can also visit our office at Unit 1A, 12777 76A Ave, Surrey, BC, V3W 4Y8.

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