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Covid19 Updates from International Student Services
All ISS services are now remote. For immigration questions, please fill in an advising request form. If you have questions on your international health insurance plan, please email [at] Please visit our Covid19 resources page for the latest news and resources from ISS.


Work FAQs - Covid-19

Please review the official government resources before reviewing the FAQs. Many answers to your questions can be found on Immigration Canada's and Immigration Quebec's websites.

I am starting a program in the Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 term and my courses are proceeding remotely (online) due to COVID-19. Am I still eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?

In order to remain eligible for the PGWP, students will still have to respect the requirement to complete less than 50% of their total courses online – either from outside of Canada or from inside of Canada.

If you have to start your program online from outside of Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, your online studies between May 2020 and December 31, 2020 will not be deducted from the length of your PGWP if:

Normally, time spent studying outside of Canada is deducted from the length of the PGWP and only online courses completed from within Canada (less than 50% of your program) can count towards the total length of the program when determining the length of the PGWP. However, as a response to the COVID-19 situation, IRCC has announced that, exceptionally, Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses completed online from outside of Canada by students who hold a valid study permit or study permit approval letter will count towards the total length of the program. For more information on the new flexibility measures see IRCC’s website. For general information about the PGWP, see IRCC’s PGWP Program website.

I am applying for my PGWP, but due to Covid-19 I cannot obtain my printed official transcript. What should I do?

Service Point is not able to provide printed official transcripts at this time due to the COVID-19 related campus closure. If McGill is still not able to provide printed official transcripts at the time you are trying to apply for your PGWP, we are recommending that you include all of the following documents with your application instead of your printed official transcript:

  1. A cover letter explaining that you are providing your electronic official transcript (eTranscript) instead of a scanned copy of the printed official transcript. You can mention that the electronic version of the official transcript is the only version available since the Registrar’s Office is closed to the public due to COVID-19 and is, therefore, not issuing printed official transcripts. NOTE: It is possible that the word "COPY" will appear as a watermark on the eTranscript when you combine the eTranscript with other documents into one PDF and/or when the immigration agent opens the file (whether or not it has been combined with other documents). In your cover letter, you should mention the possibility that a "COPY" watermark will appear on the eTranscript.
  2. A copy of your official e-transcript (order an electronic official transcript)
  3. A copy of your unofficial transcript (from Minerva)
  4. A copy of McGill’s Student Records webpage confirming that printed official transcripts are currently not available

You can create one pdf document with all the items above and upload the document in the “Transcript” section of your Document Checklist.

If McGill starts issuing printed official transcripts and your PGWP application is still processing, you can order the printed official transcript and send it to Immigration Canada via the IRCC Web Form with a brief explanation for the delay and a request to have the transcript join your pending PGWP application.

I don't have a Social Insurance Number and Service Canada Offices are closed. How can I get one?

Service Canada is now processing SINs online. Please visit the Service Canada website to apply online.

How many hours can I work as an international student during an academic term?

Full-time students are authorized to work in Canada full-time on-campus and part-time off-campus (up to a maximum of 20hrs per week) during an academic term. Exceptionally, students who are part-time in their final term but have been full-time in every previous term are authorized to work full-time on-campus and part-time off campus in their final academic term before graduating.

I am a student working in an essential service - how many hours can I work during an academic term?

Immigration Canada recently announced that full-time international students performing an essential service and who are authorized to work during an academic term may now work full-time (unlimited hours) off-campus to help in the fight against COVID-19.

The government has provided guidelines on what is considered an essential service worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you work in any of the following industries your work is likely deemed to be essential: 

  • Energy & Utilities
  • Information & Communication Technologies
  • Finance,
  • Healthcare,
  • Food,
  • Water,
  • Transportation,
  • Public Safety,
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

​​​Please see the Public Safety Canada website for more details.

If the work you intend to do does not fall under the list of essential work above, then you must respect the normal allowable hours set by the on and off-campus work regulations (see question above).

I am currently outside of Canada. How many hours can I work while I am outside of Canada?

If you are outside of Canada, you are not restricted to the limits defined by Canadian immigration regulations regarding on-campus and off-campus work. You must, however, respect the allowable hours of work in the country where you are currently residing.

I'm about to complete my program. Can I work after the end of my final semester of studies?

It depends. If you were enrolled full-time in every term except your last term, you can continue to work full-time on campus and/or part-time off-campus (maximum of 20 hours per week) after the end of your final semester until the first date you receive written confirmation from McGill that you have complete your program. Once you receive written proof of program completion, you must then stop all work activity – whether or not this work is paid or unpaid.

You can start working full-time on campus and/or off-campus:

  • After you have obtained your PGWP; or
  • As soon as you have submitted on online PGWP application as long as you meet certain conditions. These conditions include holding a valid study permit at the time of application, having been full-time throughout your studies, with the exception of your final term of studies, and having respected the allowable hours of work during your studies.

I will be applying for my Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) while under implied status. Can I work in Canada while my application is processing?

Some students are currently in implied status as they wait for a decision on their study permit extension applications.

If you apply for your PGWP while under implied status, you are not currently authorized to work while the PGWP application is processing – even if you otherwise meet the conditions to work after you submit a PGWP application. If this information changes in the coming weeks, we will update our website accordingly.

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