What is a post graduate work permit?
The Post Graduate Work Permit Application (PGWP) is an immigration program through which an international student, who has recently graduated from an eligible Canadian program of study, can gain valuable Canadian 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.
PGWP eligibility requirements:
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; have completed an academic session, vocational, or professional training program 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 PGWP 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.
For students who have a Spousal Open Work Permit holder as a spouse or partner. Your application must contain documentation that you have a job that involves skilled work’ for your spouse to be allowed to extend their open work permit together with your PGWP application (jobs in categories 0, A, or B in the National Occupational Classification).
How long is PGWP 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. It’s worth noting that students are only eligible for one PGWP in their lifetime. Determine when is the best time to apply for the PGWP if you plan on completing more than one program in Canada.
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 with a PGWP that lasts until your passport expires, and they’ll let you know if you need to renew it to obtain 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 PGWP.
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 PGWP. 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 PGWP, 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.
When to apply for a post-graduate work permit?
A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) can be applied for from inside or outside Canada following graduation. You can apply for a PGWP for up to 180 days after you complete your study.
How to apply for a post-graduate work permit after studying?
In order to submit an application first, you need to get your documents ready. If you want to verify that you’ve completed your studies, you’ll need one of the following:
- a degree or diploma
- an official letter from your school
- an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from your school’s website
Please note that the Canadian government may still request some other documents once they receive your application. Alternatively, if your study permit expires or becomes ineffective and you are still in Canada and have implied status (visitor or student), have valid visitor status, or have applied/will apply to reinstate your status as a student, you may reapply within 180 days of the last day of your course. For more information, visit: Work in Canada after you graduate: after you apply on the IRCC website.
Extra documents may be asked if a PGWP application is filed from outside of Canada, based on the visa office that will handle the application.
Post graduate work permit checklist
As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you can use this checklist to prepare your documentation.
You will need to include the following documentation:
- Application To Change Conditions, Extend My Stay Or Remain In Canada As A Worker (IMM5710)
- Use Of Representative
- Authority to Release Personal Information To A Designed Individual (IMM 5475) And Others.
PGWP processing time
The processing time for a PGWP might range from 80 to 180 days. You can work in Canada while waiting for your PGWP, as long as you applied before your student permit expired.
From the day you completed the program, all of the criteria of your course of study, you have 180 days to apply for your PGWP.
If you leave Canada after completing your education, you can now apply for a PGWP from another country. Before, applications for PGWPs had to be submitted solely from within Canada. Extra paperwork may be asked if a PGWP application is filed from outside of Canada, based on the visa application center that will handle the application.
Can I work while waiting for PGWP?
While you wait for a result on your post-graduation work permit application, you are permitted to work full-time. Please keep in mind that you must have an active study permit, have finished your program of study, be qualified to work off-campus without a permit, and have finished your course of study at the time you completed your application.
While waiting for your PGWP, you are free to work in Canada provided you applied before the expiry date of your student permit.
What to do if a post-graduate work permit gets refused?
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 before starting their program and be granted
In the end, a PGWP is an excellent opportunity to get more education and explore Canada. Such work experience is helpful when PGWP holders go on to apply for Canadian immigration. 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.
Exemptions may be available for students who started or will start a program between spring 2020 and summer 2022, or who were already enrolled in a program in March 2020. Additionally, those who took a break from their studies during their final academic session may be eligible for an exception.