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All You Need to Know About Post-Graduation Work Permit Canada (PGWP)

Apr 8, 2024 12:36 PM
Hana Emily
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Many international students graduating from a program in Canada are able to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit, commonly known as PGWP. The PGWP helps the fresh graduate to gain significant work experience in Canada for up to three years. In today's blog, let's find out 

What is a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

International students who graduate from a program of study in Canada are eligible to apply for post-graduation work permit, sometimes known as PGWP. These are open work permits. PGWPs give the holder the ability to work in Canada for any company, for any number of hours, and in any location they want.

Canada Post Graduation Work Permit 

Canada Post Graduation Work Permit

Who can apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada?

A foreign national must be at least 18 years old in order to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Additionally, the foreign national must have studied full-time in Canada for a program that was at least 8 months long. The educational program must have been finished in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), and it must have been of the type that is listed below. Additionally, in order to submit an application for a work visa, a non-citizen must do so within the first 180 days following the conclusion of their academic program.

At the time of application, a potential candidate must demonstrate that they are eligible to work in Canada if they are applying from within the country. Prior to submitting an application for the PGWP, the individual may submit an application for visitor status in the event that their study permit has expired or will soon expire. However, candidates who submit their PGWP applications prior to the expiration of their study permits are entitled to begin working full-time immediately while their applications are being processed. This is true even if the applicants' study permits have already expired. Applicants from other countries are welcome to submit their PGWP applications.

Eligible study program to obtain a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Students who completed the following program are eligible to get a PGWP:

  • Public post-secondary school (university, college, trade/technical school, CEGEP in Quebec)

  • private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)
  • a Canadian, private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees, such as an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, but only if the student is enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree, as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution

Students who completed the following program are not eligible to get a PGWP:

  • an English as a second language or French as a second language course or program of study
  • general interest or self-improvement courses
  • a course or program of study at a private career college

PGWP Canada

PGWP Canada

Processing Time for Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

The processing time for a PGWP might range anywhere from 80 days to 180 days. You are allowed to work in Canada during the time that you are waiting for your PGWP, provided that you applied for it before the day that your student permit would have expired. After you have finished all of the requirements for your program of study, you have a total of 180 days to submit your application for the PGWP. You are now able to apply a PGWP even if you have already left Canada and completed your education elsewhere.

In the past, applications for post-graduation work permits had to be brought forward solely from within Canada. If an application for the PGWP is made from a location that is not within Canada, the visa office that will be responsible for processing the application may seek extra proof.

Can I work while waiting for my PGWP?

Students who completed their program are allowed to work while waiting for the PGWP decisions if they meet the following criteria:

  • they are or were holders of a valid study permit at the time of the PGWP application

  • they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI in a post-secondary academic, vocational, or professional training program

  • they were authorized to work off campus without a work permit

  • they did not exceed the allowable hours of work

I have completed two programs, can I apply the PGWP twice?

No, only one Post-Graduation Work Permit application is allowed for one student, regardless number of programs they completed in the past. Therefore, it is important to choose the program that has the longest time so you can get a maximum of three years of PGWP.

 Where can I work if I already have the PGWP?

The Post-Graduation Work Permit is an open work permit, meaning that the work permit holder can work anywhere, in any position and industry without any restrictions. These will help students to gain valuable experience in one of the most dynamic economies in the world.

Can I get a Permanent Residence Upon Completing PGWP?

This is the common pathway for international students who wish to migrate to Canada and get a PR. At the end of your PGWP validity, do some study on the various immigration routes into Canada to see which of the available possibilities could be the best fit for you. It is to your advantage to get started on this study as soon as feasible so that you can ensure you take the steps necessary to be eligible for these possibilities and boost the competitiveness of your candidature. Performing this research as early as possible is beneficial.

Although the requirements for each PR route are different, in general, you will be evaluated based on the level of your English and/or French fluency, as well as your degree of schooling and the amount of work experience you have. You may also be at an advantage if you have an eligible employment offer and if you have ties to the province or territory in which you now reside. If you have both of these things, you will be in a better position. 

If you have any concerns or questions regarding applying Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada, please contact us at +1 315 715 8498 or email us [email protected].

For related information, click here.

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