Welcome to the gateway of career possibilities! Canada stands out as a premier destination for international students, and one of the compelling reasons is the exciting post-graduate work permit opportunities it offers. Your journey doesn’t end with graduation; it’s just the beginning of an international career adventure.
About Canadian Work Permit
What exactly is a Canadian work permit? It’s your golden ticket to stay and work full-time in Canada for up to four years after completing your post-graduate (PG) degree as an international student. Imagine the doors it can open for you, not just in Canada but across the globe!
The Roadmap to Post–Graduate Work Permit
Once you’ve aced your PG studies and received those well-deserved academic scores, you’ve got a window of 180 days to dive into the world of opportunities by applying for the Canadian post-graduation work permit or PGWP. It’s important to note that merely completing your PG course isn’t an automatic ticket to the PGWP. There are specific eligibility criteria you need to meet, and an application process awaits your proactive engagement.
Let’s break it down for you. The PGWP application is your key to transitioning from student life to a thriving career. It involves more than just ticking boxes; it’s about showcasing your achievements and potential to Canadian authorities. This permit is designed to bridge the gap between academia and professional life, ensuring you make the most of your Canadian education.
Eligibility for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada
If You’re Inside Canada
- You’re eligible if you apply within 180 days of completing your course. Prove this with your degree, diploma, transcript, or an official letter from the school.
- Your Canada student visa must be valid during these 180 days.
- Eligibility extends if your in-person classes shift to online mode.
- Programs offering both in-person and online modes are eligible.
- If your studies were on hold or you studied part-time during the winter, spring, or summer semesters, you remain eligible.
Note: To qualify, you must be enrolled full-time as of the Fall 2020 semester.
- Starting September 1, 2023, a minimum of 50% of your academic program must be completed in class.
If You’re Outside Canada
- Apply for Post-Graduate Work Permit within 180 days of completing your program, submitting your degree, diploma, transcript, or an official letter from your college.
- Time spent studying online between March 2020 and August 31, 2022, counts towards your PGWP duration.
- Online Academic Programs Recognition (Until August 31, 2023):
- 100% of two online academic programs will count if they were in progress in March 2020 or started between March 2020 and August 31, 2022.
- These programs must be from a PGWP-eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and be at least 8 months long.
- After August 31, 2023, time spent outside Canada won’t contribute to your PGWP duration.
- You must have a valid study permit.
- Your institute must be a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
- Your program must be at least 8 months long and lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
- Maintain full-time student status throughout your program.
Important: Ensure to check the latest guidelines, as immigration policies may be subject to change.
Quebec Graduates and PGWP Eligibility
In Quebec, vocational and professional training programs are delivered at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. The Canada–Quebec Memorandum of Understanding outlines the eligibility criteria for international students seeking a Canadian post-graduation work permit.
To be eligible, you must graduate from a recognized secondary institution in Quebec with one of the following diplomas:
- Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS)
- Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS)
Crucially, these diplomas must be issued by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES), the Department of Education and Higher Education.
Here are the criteria that Quebec applicants need to fulfill to be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP):
Age Requirement: Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
Completion of Full-Time Program: Completion of a full-time vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Quebec.
Minimum Program Duration: The program of study must be a minimum of 900 hours, equivalent to 8 months.
Submission of Official Letter: Provide an official letter from the institution outlining the program’s duration (in hours or months) to expedite processing and issuance of the PGWP, ensuring accurate work authorization duration.
Include in Application: Include one of the following in the work permit application:
- The credential
- An official attestation of program completion
- An official transcript from a Quebec school board or private institution recognized by the MEES supporting the work permit application.
The program or programs of study must be taken in Canada at one of the following eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs):
- Public post-secondary institutions (college, trade/technical school, university, CEGEP in Quebec)
- Private post-secondary institutions adhering to Quebec’s rules and regulations
- Private or public secondary/post-secondary institutions in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to DVS or AVS
- Canadian private institutions are authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees, but only if enrolled in a degree program authorized by the province.
Not Eligible for PGWP
Graduates are not eligible if they graduated from a program delivered by a private career college under a curriculum licensing agreement with a public PGWP-eligible institution in another province. A transitional period is granted for students enrolled or applying for the Post-Graduate Work Permit on or before January 31, 2023.
Students are ineligible if they have completed:
- English or French as a second language course or program
- General interest or self-improvement courses
- A course or program at a private career college.
For personalized guidance and seamless immigration services, trust ImmigCanada – your partner in turning post-graduation into global opportunities.
DLIs Losing Designation: Options for Applicants
In the educational institutions, changes can happen. If the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) loses its designation status before the completion of your program, here’s what you need to know:
Applicants experiencing a change in their DLI’s designation status have options.
You can either transfer to another program or choose to stay at the institution that lost its designation to complete your program of study. Despite this change, you may still be eligible for a Canadian post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you meet all other program requirements and continue to adhere to the conditions of your study permit. This includes remaining enrolled and actively pursuing studies.
Embark on your post-graduate journey with confidence. ImmigCanada – Your Partner in Success.
Latest Updates on PGWP Canada
For the most recent developments regarding the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada, students are encouraged to regularly check this section for crucial updates. Here are the latest updates, particularly for Quebec and the changes introduced by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada:
Changes in PGWP Canada (Quebec)
Students should take note of the following updates pertaining to academic programs offered at certain Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in Quebec:
- If your program concludes before September 1, 2023, and you apply for a PGWP Canada within 6 months of completion, your application will follow existing criteria.
- Starting academic programs after September 1, 2023, allows for PGWP Canada eligibility based on the new criteria applicable from that date.
- If you’re currently enrolled in a program not eligible for PGWP Canada after September 1, 2023, time spent studying before this date might be considered for PGWP calculation.
Changes Introduced by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
Temporary changes apply to specific groups of students
- Already enrolled in March 2020 or started a program between March 2022 and August 31, 2022.
- 100% of the program can be completed online from outside Canada.
- Time spent outside Canada until August 31, 2023, can contribute to the overall PGWP duration.
- Programs started between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023.
- At least 50% of studies must be conducted in Canada.
- Time spent outside Canada until August 31, 2023, counts towards PGWP duration only if it’s less than 50% of the course duration.
Important Points to Note
- Eligible programs for PGWP Canada are a prerequisite.
- Any time spent outside Canada after August 31, 2023, will be subtracted from the PGWP duration.
These updates provide clarity on PGWP regulations. It’s crucial to stay informed about any changes as immigration policies are dynamic. For personalized guidance, connect with ImmigCanada’s consultants who are equipped to navigate you through the evolving landscape of Canadian immigration.
Application Details for PGWP Canada
Here are the key details you need to know when applying for the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada:
Application Window: You have a generous 180-day window post-graduation to submit your PGWP application.
Confirm your program details: Provide details such as your program’s name and duration.
Required Documents: Ensure you have one of the following to prove your completion of studies:
- Official letter from your academic institution
- Official transcript
Application Fee: The fee for a PGWP Canada application is CAD 255.
- CAD 155 is the base fee.
- CAD 100 is the ‘Open Work Permit Holder’ fee.
Study permit expires: Before receiving your marks, consider two options:
- Apply for a visitor record to extend your stay.
- Leave Canada and apply for your PGWP from outside.
If your study permit expires before applying for a PGWP, you have up to 90 days post-expiry.
Restoring Student Status and PGWP: If you need to restore both your student status and PGWP,
- Apply online for your PGWP and pay the required fee ($255).
- Pay the fee to restore your student status ($350).
- Pay online and attach the receipt to your PGWP application.
Processing Times: For online applications, the processing time for the program is 141 days. For paper-based applications, the processing time is shorter at 34 days.
Important Points to Consider
- Plan your application well within the 180-day timeframe to avoid any delays.
- Ensure you have all required documents ready to streamline the process.
- Be mindful of the application fees, and if necessary, the restoration fees for student status and PGWP.
- Processing times may vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your intended start date.
For a seamless application process and personalized guidance, consider consulting with ImmigCanada’s experts.
Can I Get PR After a 2-Year Work Permit in Canada?
Yes, it is possible to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada after obtaining a 2-year work permit, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
- To be eligible for PR, you need to have at least 12 months of full-time or an equivalent amount of part-time skilled work experience in Canada within the three years preceding your application.
- Meeting or exceeding language proficiency requirements is crucial. For occupations falling under the TEER Category 0 or 1, a CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) of 7 is required. For NOC TEER Category 2 or 3 occupations, a CLB of 5 is necessary.
- Work experience gained in Canada, especially with a PGWP, can be utilized in the Express Entry system. This includes programs like the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
- Many provinces have Provincial Nominee Programs that consider Canadian work experience as a significant factor. Obtaining a nomination through a PNP can enhance your chances of obtaining PR.
- Unlike other work permits, obtaining a PGWP does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA is typically required to demonstrate that a foreign worker is necessary to fill a specific job position. However, with a PGWP, you can gain work experience without the need for an LMIA.
Your Journey, Our Guidance
At ImmigCanada, we understand the complexities of these transitions. Whether dealing with changes in DLI status or navigating the intricacies of a Canadian Post-Graduate Work Permit, we’re here to provide guidance.
Canada PGWP FAQs
Q. What is the validity of the post-graduate work permit in Canada?
A. The validity of PGWP Canada depends on the duration of your academic program. Key points to consider:
For programs between 8 months and 2 years, the PGWP will be valid for a duration equal to the length of the program.
If your program is 2 years or more, the PGWP may be valid for 3 years.
If you’ve completed multiple eligible programs of at least 8 months each, their lengths can be combined.
Q. Does the completion of a program in an accelerated format impact the duration of the post-graduate work permit in Canada?
A. The post-study work visa in Canada is assessed based on the original length of the program. Even if you complete your program in accelerated mode, the PGWP duration is determined by the program’s original length. For example, if a 1-year program is completed in 9 months, you may be eligible for a 1-year PGWP.
Q. What are the eligibility criteria if I’ve done my course in distance mode?
A. Students completing programs entirely in distance learning mode are not eligible for a post-study work permit. If more than 50% of your course is done through distance learning, you won’t qualify. However, if the distance learning component is less than 50%, you may be eligible, with the PGWP duration based on the total program duration and credits earned in both modes.
Q. What is the processing time for PGWP Canada?
A. The processing time for PGWP Canada is 141 days for online applications and 34 days for paper-based applications.