Guide to Obtaining Canada Post-Graduation Work Permit

Studying in Canada presents numerous advantages, including access to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. International students who complete an eligible study program at one of Canada’s designated learning institutions (DLI) may qualify for this program. Curious to learn more? Let’s delve into what a PGWP entails, who is eligible to apply, and its duration.

Understanding the PGWP:

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is an open work permit available to international students upon graduation. An “open” work permit grants students the freedom to work in Canada without being tied to a specific job or employer. Moreover, work experience gained through a PGWP can contribute towards eligibility for permanent residence in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria:

To apply for a PGWP, students must have completed a full-time study program at a designated learning institution (DLI) leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Starting from September 1, 2024, students enrolling in public-private partnership institutions will no longer be eligible for PGWPs. However, those already enrolled in such programs before this date may still qualify.

Application Process:

Students can apply for a PGWP from within Canada or abroad within 180 days after graduating from their Canadian study program. Most applications are submitted online.

Applicants must possess a valid study permit, a visitor record to bridge the gap between their studies and the start of the PGWP, or renewed student status to be eligible. Options for individuals whose study permits expire before obtaining their marks, degree, or diploma are also outlined.

Duration of PGWP:

The duration of a PGWP varies based on the length of the study program completed in Canada. It ranges from as short as eight months to as long as three years, with specific considerations for master’s degree graduates and those completing multiple programs.

Remember, a PGWP cannot extend beyond the expiry date of the applicant’s passport. Therefore, ensuring passport validity for the full potential duration of the PGWP is crucial before applying.

Understanding Program Length:

For study programs lasting eight months to two years, the PGWP duration matches the program’s length. Exceptions exist for accelerated study schedules and master’s degree programs of less than two years.

For programs lasting two years or more, the PGWP can be issued for up to three years. Additionally, if a student completes multiple programs within two years, the PGWP duration combines the lengths of each program.

It’s important to note that individuals can only receive one PGWP throughout their academic journey in Canada.

In conclusion, the PGWP program in Canada offers valuable opportunities for international students seeking to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residency. Understanding its intricacies and eligibility requirements is essential for a successful post-graduation career path in Canada.

Program Categories and PGWP Eligibility

Online Learning: During the period from March 2020 to August 31, 2022, any online study undertaken for a program at a designated learning institution (DLI) eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can be counted towards the PGWP. This applies even if the student was studying outside of Canada.

However, regulations regarding distance and online learning changed on September 1, 2022. For students who commenced their study program or received their study permit receipt between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2024:

At least 50% of their program must be completed in Canada, either through in-person attendance or online learning. Time spent studying online from outside of Canada until August 31, 2024, will contribute to the length of the PGWP, provided it constitutes less than 50% of the total study program duration. For students starting their study program or receiving their study permit receipt after September 1, 2024:

Time spent studying outside of Canada after December 31, 2023, will not count towards the PGWP. Only time spent studying after applying for a study permit will contribute to PGWP eligibility. DLI Strikes: In the event of a strike affecting a student’s studies, they will still be considered full-time students throughout the strike period. Although missed classes due to a strike will not impact PGWP eligibility, students must meet all other PGWP requirements.

Overseas Component: Students completing a study program in Canada with an overseas component remain eligible for a PGWP if they obtain an eligible Canadian educational credential from a designated learning institution. However, the duration of the PGWP is determined based on the duration of their studies in Canada. Immigration officers may contact the DLI to verify that the studies were conducted in Canada.

Spousal or Common-Law Partner Accompaniment: Spouses and common-law partners of international students may accompany them to Canada, but their eligibility for a study permit or visitor visa depends on individual circumstances. In most cases, they will not be permitted to work full-time in Canada. However, spouses and partners of students enrolled in graduate or professional degree programs are eligible for an open work permit.

Unfortunately, as of 2024, spouses and common-law partners of students in other levels of study are no longer eligible for an open work permit.

As an international student, your prospects are promising, and a PGWP can provide valuable Canadian work experience. We trust that this information has addressed some of your queries about the program. For further insights, feel free to explore our blog archive for relevant posts.

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