Post Graduate Work Permit
As part of its efforts to attract international students and retain them as permanent residents, Canada offers the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) for up to three years. The PGWP is valid for up to three years (the actual length of each individual’s PGWP is determined by the length of their Canadian education program).
The PGWP is an open work permit that allows international graduates to work for any Canadian employer without the need for a job offer. One of the major advantages of the PGWP is that it allows foreign graduates to obtain professional employment experience in Canada. When PGWP holders go on to apply for Canadian immigration, this work experience may be beneficial.
Many of Canada’s numerous immigration options encourage applicants who have studied and/or worked in the country. A PGWP holder must acquire one year of professional work experience under a National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, or B to be able to apply for a Canadian permanent residence program in general.
Is it possible to pursue a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) while studying overseas?
International students who wish to finish their Canadian education while living overseas and still be eligible for a PGWP after moving to Canada may do so under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s unique approach to the coronavirus pandemic. To take advantage of this option, you must meet the following conditions:
What are the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP's) Eligibility Requirements?
International students must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit:
- At least eight months of study completed at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List institution.
- To qualify for a PGWP, students must complete a curriculum that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- You must have been a full-time student in Canada for each academic session of the program or programs of study you have completed and included as part of your post-graduation work permit application.
- Exclusion orders are no longer necessary for international students attending bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs at Canadian institutions. This requirement has been waived during the coronavirus epidemic in Canada for certain foreign students. Those who began or will begin a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, or who were already enrolled in a program in March 2020, may be eligible for a PGWP without an exclusion order.
- Received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study;
- The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.
- Graduated from:
- a public post-secondary institution, such as
- a college
- a trade or technical school
- a university
- CEGEP (in Quebec)
- a private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec;
- A private secondary school (in Quebec) that provides qualifying programs of 900 hours or more and issues a diploma d’études professionnelles (DEP) or attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP);
- A Canadian private institution that can give degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree) only if the student was enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.
Note: Graduates of vocational or professional training programs in Quebec must meet additional IRCC PGWP criteria depending on the type of diploma obtained.
How Long is a Post Graduate Work Permit Valid For?
A PGWP is good for 8 months to three years, depending on the duration of your program at a Canadian DLI. The following are the restrictions given by IRCC on its website:
- Completed program under 8 months: Not eligible for a PGWP
- Between 8 months and less than 2 years: The PGWP will be valid for the same length of time as your study program (e.g., a 10-month program would result in a 10-month PGWP).
- Completed program of 2 years or more: PGWP will be valid for 3 years
- Completed more than one program: You may be able to combine your Canadian educational programs to get a PGWP as long as the programs are DLI eligible and each over 8 months in duration. The total length of the PGWP will correspond to the durations above.
What is the PGWP's Application Deadline?
The deadline to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit is within 180 days (six months) of receiving a transcript and an official letter from the applicable DLI stating that the program of study has been completed.
Candidates have two choices if the study permit is set to expire before the grades are received:
- Apply for a visitor record to extend your stay in Canada; or
- Leave Canada and apply for the PGWP
Applicants must show that they have a valid study permit, held a study permit, or were authorized to study in Canada without the need for a study permit under sections 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
What are the Required Supporting Documents for a PGWP Application?
Two critical papers needed at the time of applying are a letter verifying completion of the program of study and an official transcript from DLI.
Contact Total Visa Immigration for Assistance
Do you want to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)? The Total Visa Immigration Surrey can help you. Over 15 years of experience assisting workers and employers navigate Canadian immigration rules has made the Total Visa Immigration Service one of the most experienced immigration law firms in Surrey, BC.
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