Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit & Requirements
In order to work in Canada after graduation, you need a post-graduate work permit. This can be obtained by applying for it before or while studying in Canada. In this blog post, we will discuss the essential information you need about the post-graduate work permit and how to get one!
What Is Canada’s Post-Graduate Work Permit?
The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWP) is an immigration program through which international students who have recently graduated from eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions can gain valuable work experience in their area of studies or related fields by working and living temporarily in Canada.
The permit is also available through the Express Entry immigration program, which helps international students who have recently graduated from an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian experience by working in their field of study or related field.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For PGWP?
To be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must have a valid temporary work permit or have already left Canada. They must have obtained a diploma from a designated learning institution (DLI). They must also provide proof that they fulfill all of the following requirements:
- applicants need to be either enrolled at a designated learning institution during their study term immediately before applying for the work permit;
- have graduated from an eligible program on successfully completing that academic program and received written confirmation of this fact from the school they attended;
- had been authorized under paragraph 186(f) to engage in full-time work during the period of study as practical training, or had been granted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada an exemption from one of these requirements.
Those who wish to continue working need to apply for a post-graduate open work permit before their current work permits expire, which is either within 90 days after they complete their eligible program or apply, whichever comes first. This is because the post-graduate work permit is issued only once to applicants who are not currently required by law to have a temporary resident visa (TRV) in order to enter Canada.
Applicants will also need an application fee of $155 CAD per person for this kind of open work permit. They must demonstrate that they have enough money for their stay in Canada, which is $1000 CAD per month of the expected employment period, or show that they are currently receiving an allowance from a sponsor to cover this cost.
Applicants also need to meet all other conditions and requirements under R186(f) if it applies. This means that they must, among others: present a valid study permit or other document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada allowing them to pursue studies in the country; have studied full-time for at least eight months before applying for this kind of open work permit; be enrolled as a student at an eligible institution during their application period.
How Long PGWP Canada Is Valid?
The duration of a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) may range from eight months to three years. The length of your permit will be determined by the duration of your study course in Canada. The permit will not be longer than the duration of your studies.
Please keep in mind that if your passport expires before your PGWP, you must follow the steps below:
- Check if your passport is valid for the whole period for which you are supposed to be eligible.
According to cic.ca, if your passport is about to expire, then:
- They’ll only provide you a PGWP that lasts until your passport expires, and they’ll let you know if you need to renew it to obtain the full validity.
- A PGWP can only be extended if we instruct you to. If this occurs, you must request for an extension of your PGWP on paper in order for it to be valid for the entire period of time it should be.
Transfers Between Schools
When a student is transferred between qualified Canadian DLIs, the total duration of study must be at least 8 months in able to qualify for a post-graduation work permit.
When a student switches from an ineligible school to an eligible DLI and then graduates, only the time spent at the eligible DLI counts toward obtaining a post-graduation work permit. At least 8 months must be spent at the qualifying institute.
Programs that include an overseas component:
When a student graduates from a study program in Canada that includes an abroad component and earns a Canadian educational certification from an authorized DLI, they are qualified for the PGWPP. The duration of the post-graduation work permit, on the other hand, is determined by how long they studied in Canada. Officers may check with the DLI to see whether the research was conducted in Canada.
If you fall into one of the following categories, you may be eligible for a PGWP:
Accelerated programs: If you finish your study program in less time than the standard length, you may be qualified for a PGWP that is valid for the whole duration of your course.
Distance learning: You may complete your education entirely online if you live outside of Canada. Between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, any time spent studying online from outside Canada counts toward the duration of a PGWP. This is true even if you are doing two study programs at the same time.
Taking leave during the period of your studies: According to cic.ca, if you take an unauthorized leave from your program of study and they discover that you did not fulfill the requirements of your study permit by doing so, you may not be qualified for a PGWP.
There are a few circumstances in which you may be allowed to take a 150-day approved leave from your study course while still meeting the requirements of your study permit. Even if your leave has been approved, you may be eligible for a PGWP.
Transfers between institutions: If you transferred between DLIs, the total duration of your studies must be at least 8 months to be qualifying. “Only the time spent studying at the DLI will be considered if you transferred from a non-DLI to a DLI. To be qualified for a PGWP, you must spend at least 8 months at the DLI”, the website states.
Canadian study programs with an overseas component: You may be qualified for a PGWP if your course of study includes an abroad component and you get credit for it from a Canadian institution. The PGWP is only valid for the period of time you spent studying in Canada.
Flight school graduates: A flight school graduate who wishes to be considered for a PGWP must satisfy all of the qualifying criteria mentioned above, as well as one of the following:
- have successfully completed a flight training course at a DLI training center and obtained a Canadian commercial pilot’s license or,
- have obtained or are in the process of obtaining an instructor’s rating and a job offer as a flight instructor from a DLI flight training center.
Graduates of certain Quebec schools: Graduates of vocational and occupational training courses in Quebec must fulfill the requirements stated below in order to be eligible:
- You must have obtained your diploma from a recognized institution.
- Degrees, diplomas, and certificates granted by the Government of Quebec are required to be eligible.
- If you finished a DEC or an AEC, the program you attended and completed must have been full-time and for a minimum of eight months in length.
Also, when applying for a PGWP, you must include the required documentation: an official letter from the school confirming the length of the study course (in hours or months) and the program code, and either a certificate or official document confirming that you finished your program or an official transcript from a Quebec school board or recognized private school that verifies that you completed your program.
Can PGWP Be Refused?
Yes. You can find the most common reasons for refusal below:
- Final transcripts certifying the “Degree is Conferred” are missing.
- You went over your 90-day restoration period (Canadapt Consulting can help)
- When you applied, your Study Permit was expired and out of status, and you didn’t include the $200 restoration money or enough reasons to IRCC to justify why they should accept and restore your status.
- Failure to disclose the facts properly to IRCC revealing the cause for the gap/interruption in studies owing to failing a course, a teacher strike, transferring schools or programs, mitigating personal reasons, or financial reasons.
- You attended a school that was not qualified for the PGWP.
- Work that has not been approved (you worked more than 20 hours a week during school, worked before school started, or worked while not enrolled in school)
- At one point, you were a part-time student (except the last semester, this which is allowed)
If your PGWP was denied, it is advised that you get professional assistance to reapply so that you can make a compelling case for getting your PGWP authorized. This is particularly essential if you have a problem with your profile, such as a break in your studies or if you’ve lost your status.
Not only must your status be reinstated and an adequate reason was given to IRCC to resolve their concerns after getting a denial, but the PGWP re-application must be filed within 180 days of the Study Permit expiring. If you are outside of the 180-day term, you must apply for a Study Permit as well as a PGWP (and, if necessary, Restoration); in the Study Permit application, you must explain why you need a Study Permit to be eligible for the PGWP, as per IRCC regulations.
COVID-19 Changes To PGWP Eligibility
Because of COVID-19’s unprecedented effect on foreign students and the post-secondary industry, interim policy adjustments have been made to the eligibility criteria for post-graduation work permits (PGWP) for the following categories of students:
- students in the PGWPP program
- programs that will be eligible in March 2020
- students who enrolled in or will enroll in PGWP-eligible programs between the spring of 2020 and the autumn of 2021.
To be eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program policy modifications, these students must either:
- hold study permission – have been accepted for a study permit
- apply for a study permit prior to starting their program and be granted
Below you can find the answers to the most common questions about PGWP
- How do I get a 3-year PGWP?
Completing a two-year or longer study course enables a graduate for up to three years of work permit. If the study is shorter than two years but longer than eight months, the student will be given a work permit for the length of the program.
- Can I work in Quebec with PGWP?
It is possible to get an open work permit after completing your post-graduate studies. This implies that you are free to work in any job anywhere in Canada and may switch employers at any moment you want.
- How many hours I can work on PGWP?
For those who are still employed or entitled to work throughout their last term, they may continue working up to 20 hours per week off-campus and/or full time on campus until their Letter of Completion is made available.
In the end, a post-graduate work permit is an excellent opportunity to get more education and explore Canada. Although we have covered all important points for this program, you can still ask us any of your questions or would like help understanding how Canadapt Consulting can assist with your application process, please contact us today!