top of page

Online Learning Now Counted for Canada Express Entry Points

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Since the emergence of COVID-19, many, if not most, of how we do things traditionally have been transformed with the assistance of technology. We can now shop conveniently in our homes, request services with just a few clicks online, and even continue learning digitally through video calls and e-materials.

Our lives never stopped even with the greatest health challenge. And because people chose to evolve, and adapt instead of resist, public and private institutions, including government agencies responded as well.

One of those quick to take action was Canada's federal government. If you’re among the international students who opted for distance learning, either completing all or part of the program between March 2020 to August 2022 at a Canadian institution, this article should inform you how you could benefit from the relaxed rules and have your online learning counted for Canada express entry points.

Canada’s Primary Measure: Online Learning Qualified to Count towards PGWP

If you’ve read our previous post, we talked about the update released by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), where international students can gain PGWP eligibility while enrolled through an online program.

Let’s take a quick review as to how this worked for distance learners.

The PGWP Program and Its Validity

The Post-Graduation Work Permit is provided to international students who have successfully completed a course from a designated learning institution (DLI). This program is designed to allow graduates to acquire Canadian work experience and support future PR applications.

The length of stay granted usually depends on the student’s study period, however, it cannot go more than 3 years. Also, those who only have a course duration of 8 months won’t be eligible.

Distance Learning for International Students

International students from different parts of the world were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Many find it hard to return to Canada and resume their studies due to health and safety reasons, while others experience lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Since Canada experienced the first wave of COVID-19 infection around January 2020, institutions decided to switch to hybrid learning to avoid total disruption of classes. The IRCC then announced last November 26, 2021 that starting March 2020, distance learners can start counting their studies towards the PGWP.

The good news opened the doors to many afflicted international students and made the country even more attractive. The government’s efficient response to the pandemic definitely reinforced the favorable reputation it holds.

The Inclusion of Online Learning in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Points

Under normal circumstances, online or distance learning isn’t counted as part of the Canadian educational credential points. But recently, the IRCC released surprising news allowing those who completed their degree, diploma, and certificate online between March 2020 and August 2022 to use their credentials and improve their CRS score.

Who Are the Eligible Candidates?

International students who completed all or part of their course:

  • via online delivery

  • outside of Canada

  • through part-time studies

How to Have Your Online Learning Counted for Canada Express Entry Points?

Check out the Education History section of your profile to see the three new questions added. The applicants must update this part and ensure that the following details are given:

  • The length of studies spent through in-person.

  • The length of studies completed inside Canada.

  • The amount of full-time studies done.


What happens to those who have already passed their application?

According to IRCC, applicants were already notified of the changes and were expected to do the updates on their Express Entry profile by August 2, 2022.

Is the eligibility of online learning a permanent or just a one-time offer?

Under normal circumstances, distance learning doesn’t count for CSR points if at least 50% of the lessons were delivered online. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the immigration policies shifted temporarily to help cater to disadvantaged students and aspiring migrants.

Which colleges or universities accept distance education in Canada?

Many institutions are offering hybrid and online learning in Canada. Some of these schools include the University of Canada West, Centennial College, and Humber College. If you wish to know more about the programs offered, contact any of our friendly Fil-Global agents.

Is a distance education degree as valid as a regular degree?

A degree completed through distance learning isn’t of any lesser value compared to a regular or traditional degree as long as it is awarded by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

Are online degrees respected in Canada?

Definitely! Online degrees offered in different Canadian institutions are accredited by the provincial government and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).


bottom of page