The Canadian government has taken special measures to help with certain procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thereby, international students who have a valid study permit, or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, are free from the travel restrictions, but 14 days quarantine is still to be followed. In addition to the fact that the Canadian education system is considered one of the best, and many colleges and universities in the country are among the world leaders – it also allows you to live and work in Canada after you complete your studies.
What is a post-graduation work permit?
This is a kind of open work permit for international students, a vital part of immigration to Canada. A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) gives you permission to stay in Canada and work full-time, part-time or be self-employed for a minimum of 8 months and up to three years after you complete a program at a designated learning institution (DLI). Nevertheless, you must be careful as not every school has eligible programs for a PGWP.
PGWP is one of the most convenient immigration opportunities for those students, who want to immigrate to Canada. The program was launched in 2005 to enable international graduates to obtain open work permits for up to three years. According to the data of IRCC, 99,160 international graduates exercised this opportunity in 2019, that is much more than in 2018 when only 75,065 PGWPs were issued.
How to apply for a PGWP?
First of all, make sure you’re eligible for a PGWP before you apply:
you have 180 days after your school emits your final marks to apply for a PGWP.
your study permit must be valid during these 180 days. If it will expire before you get your marks, you must apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer, or leave Canada and apply for your PGWP. In case, if your permit is close to being expired, you must apply to restore your status as a student to apply for your PGWP and pay additional fees for this service (open work permit fee and standard work permit fee).
you completed at least an 8 months-long study program at a designated learning institution, that led to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
you maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program.
It is worth noting that because of the pandemic of the COVID-19, online courses are eligible for a PGWP. Also, a PGWP is eligible for those international students, who have got their study permit for a program last May or June, but who can`t now come to Canada due to quarantine. Such students are allowed to complete up to 50% of their study online if they can’t move to Canada.
Secondary, you need to have the specific supporting documents, such as a letter from the Registrar’s Office, confirming completion of the program of study and a transcript (an official transcript issued by applicant`s Designated Learning Institution (DLI), or a transcript copy from DLI’s website)
You can apply for a PGWP in a Canadian visa office if you are outside of the country, but still have 180 days after the official end of your studies.
The Federal Government of Canada cares about every resident. That is why international students can reunite with their spouses for the entire period of their study. Spouses of the students can apply for an open work permit with a duration of a study period. Also, they can stay in Canada, changing their status to a visitor
How long is a post-graduation work permit valid?
The duration of a PGWP depends on the duration of a study program you graduated. The duration of the PGWP cannot be longer than the length of your study program. For example, if you completed a 1-year program, you could require a work permit for up to 1 year. Nevertheless, if your study program was 2 years and more – you can get a PGWP for 3 years. But if it is less than 8 months, you can not apply for PGWP. You can also combine the length of two or more programs that you completed in Canada, if they are PGWP-eligible and at least 8 months in length
Who can`t apply for a PGWP?
Not every international student can apply for a PGWP. They are ineligible if:
Have previously received a PGWP or funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC),
Participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC or in the Canada–China Scholars’ Exchange Program and in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program.
They are in an exchange program funded by their own Government
Got the Equal Opportunity Scholarship,
Graduated from a non-Canadian institution.
If you still have some questions considering PGWP, please, do not hesitate to contact us!