One of the options available to overseas students who want to stay in Canada and start establishing a life here is to apply for a Canada Post Graduate Work Permit.
Staying in Canada after graduation with a PGWP– When international students travel from their home countries to study at a Canadian approved learning institution, they bring a bright, unique, and fresh viewpoint to the academic environment in Canada (DLI).
Canada takes great satisfaction in being a top choice for overseas students wishing to advance their educations and lifestyles.
Beyond their formal education, the majority of overseas students have shown a wish to remain in Canada after graduation, which is another source of pride for the country. In reality, a study conducted in 2022 by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) found that “59.4% of respondents” intended to settle permanently in Canada following graduation.
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Canada Post Graduate Work Permit
For international students, Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) programme is a step in the right direction. Through this programme, qualified DLI graduates can work for any Canadian employer of their preference without having a job offer at the time of application for a maximum three-year open work permit. The length of a permit will depend on the length of the educational programme the applicant graduated from, even though this scheme provides for permits to last up to three years.
PGWP Eligibility Criteria
In order to be eligible for the PGWP, an applicant must:
- completed a least eight-month academic, professional, or vocational training programme at an accredited DLI that results in a degree, diploma, or certificate.
- received a transcript and a formal document certifying they’ve completed their program’s requirements.
- every academic session of the programme or programmes of study they finished and listed in their post-graduation work visa application, maintaining full-time student status in Canada (note below)
- graduated from a public post-secondary institution, such as a university, college, trade school, or CEGEP (in Quebec), a private post-secondary school operating under the same regulations as public schools in Quebec, or a private post-secondary institution.
Note for Quebec: Depending on the type of diploma awarded, graduates of vocational and professional training programmes in Quebec must also satisfy extra PGWP requirements set forth by IRCC.
Those who have started or will start a programme between spring 2020 and summer 2022, graduates whose programme was already underway in March 2020, or international students who took a leave of absence from their studies in their final academic session may be exempt from the “full-time student status” requirement.
Online Education and PGWP Eligibility
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, distant learning students at a DLI may still be qualified for a PGWP. There are many date-specific exclusions to the standard eligibility requirements outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, provided that all other conditions are satisfied (IRCC). They are as follows:
- Prior to August 31st, 2022, international students can finish all of their coursework online and still be eligible for the PGWP by enrolling in courses from another country or submitting a study permit application.
- First of September 2023: After this date, all study abroad time “shall be subtracted from the length of the PGWP for international students, regardless of when the international student’s studies were first initiated.”
PGWP Application Process
All PGWP candidates have six months (180 days) from the day they receive their official transcript and letter attesting to programme completion to submit their application.
Once you have the required paperwork, which must be submitted with your application, the process is rather straightforward.
The website of the Canadian government lists the following documents as being a large portion of the applicant’s essential duties:
- A diploma or degree
- An Formal letter from your institution
- A copy of your transcript from your school’s website, or an official transcript
Note: When an application is received, IRCC may require more documentation.
After completing this stage, applicants can move on to submit their PGWP application, either online or on paper, as needed. Depending on whether the PGWP candidate is applying from inside or outside of Canada, the application process will differ.
Note that applicants must demonstrate that they either have a current, valid study permit, have held one in the past, or have been granted permission to study in Canada without one. If a candidate’s present study permit is about to expire, they can either leave Canada and apply for a PGWP from overseas or apply for a visiting record to stay in Canada longer.
Important Details About the PGWP
- International graduates must submit two important papers with their application to the PGWP programme: a letter and an official transcript attesting to the completion of a course at a DLI.
- The duration of the applicant’s educational programme determines the PWGP’s validity period. As per IRCC recommendations:
If the Completed Program Lasted:
- Less than eight months: The applicant does not qualify for a PGWP.
- Less than two years but more than eight months: The applicant’s PGWP will be valid for the duration of the programme (16-month programme equals 16-month PGWP)
- Two years or more: The applicant’s PGWP will be valid for three years.
Additionally, if a candidate has finished more than one programme (minimum eight-month programme), they could be able to combine the PGWPs they have earned.
How a PGWP Might Quicken the Process of Obtaining Permanent Residency
Holders of PGWPs position themselves favourably for prospective applications for permanent residency (PR) in Canada. This is so that qualified candidates can gain professional work experience through PGWPs. To be qualified to apply for a PR programme in Canada, “a PGWP holder needs to obtain one year of professional work experience in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, or B.”
Because several of Canada’s immigration systems favour PR applicants who have previously studied and/or worked here, obtaining a PGWP is useful when a PR application is evaluated.
Canada Post Graduate Work Permit | Post–Graduation Work Permit Program