Studying in Canada—Don’t Risk your Future and Your Career by Ignoring the PGWP!

If you are an international student in Canada or are planning to study here and if the Post-Graduation Work Permit is a very big part of your plans, then here is some very good news for you.

A new study related to the Post Graduation Work Permit has indicated that those who opt for the PGWP enjoy significant advantages in terms of median salary as well as probability of qualifying for permanent residence as compared other international graduates in Canada.

About the Post-Graduation Work Permit

All work permits, unless specifically exempted, require the employer to obtain positive Labor Market Impact Assessment before the foreign worker can be hired.

The International Mobility Program covers certain work permits that have been exempted from the LMIA. These exemptions are granted for reasons public policy relating to the competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions, or economy.

The PGWP too is covered under the IMP, which means it is an LMIA-exempt work permit. Further, it is an open work permit, which means your work permit is not tied to a specific employer and you are free to switch jobs through the validity period of the work permit without any additional formalities or procedures.

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To qualify for a work permit, you must fulfil the following conditions.

  • Be a full-time student in Canada in an eligible Designated Learning Institution, and
  • Your course program was duration of eight months or more.

If eligible, you will be issued a work permit with validity equivalent to the length of your study course. If the course is of duration two years or higher, then you will get a PGWP with a validity of three years.

This means an international student graduating from a Canadian institution can live and work in the country for a period of up to three years with no LMIA or employer-specific restrictions.

Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker program requires one year work experience while the Canadian Experience Class program under Express Entry requires one year work experience in Canada.

If you have the PGWP, then you will automatically fulfil this requirement. With a Canadian job in hand, you can easily apply for and qualify for permanent residence in Canada before the validity of your PGWP ends.

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So, your Canadian journey would begin as an international student and lead to a work permit, a job, and permanent residence—all on the basis of your eligibility for the PGWP.

The 2022 Study on PGWP

A recent study on the PGWP has noted a near 100 percent increase in the median salary earned by PGWP holders in the country. A PGWP holder’s median annual wages in 2008 was CA$ 14,500. This had risen to close to CA$27,000 in 2018.

More than 75 percent of all PGWP holders between 2008 and 2018 had qualified for Canadian permanent residence in just five years.

Further, older PGWP holders reported highest median earnings while the Oil and Gas industry paid the highest wages to PGWP holders among all the industries in Canada.

What It Means for You?

There are three clear conclusions that you can draw from the results of the study.

One, the PGWP should definitely be a part of your Canadian study plans. This makes sense even if you don’t intend on settling in Canada over the long run. A few years of Canada work experience can make a huge difference to your PR prospects if you ever change your mind.

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With the PGWP in hand, the problems faced by most foreign workers seeking a job in Canada—LMIA— simply vanishes. You can explore your options and stay in Canada for up to three years without any hassles.

Further, since the PGWP doesn’t require you to have a job offer in hand when applying, you can use it to extend your status in Canada and then search for a job at your own pace.

Two, the PGWP will improve your chances of landing a well-paying job. Negotiating a higher salary at the very beginning of your career gives you a good chance of staying ahead of the median wage curve.

The fact that an employer can hire you immediately and that you already have knowledge and experience of Canadian society, culture, and work practices will give you an edge over your peers.

Finally, the PGWP should be a part of your planning process as early as possible. The last thing you want is to end up ineligible for the PGWP because you did not apply in time or for not fulfilling any other requirement.

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