Canada has become an attractive destination for many students looking to pursue their education abroad. In 2019 alone, over 640,000 students selected Canada as their preferred destination for their exchange program. The country’s educational institutions are ranked among the best in the world, making Canada a highly desirable location for students seeking high-quality education.
Moreover, a survey conducted by the Canadian Agency for International Education revealed that 60% of students who come to Canada for educational purposes have expressed an interest in staying in the country after their studies are completed. This is where the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program becomes significant.
The PGWP program is designed to enable international students to obtain valuable work experience in Canada after their graduation. By doing so, they can gain practical skills in their field of study while also contributing to Canada’s economy. The program is open to international students who have graduated from a designated Canadian institution and who have met certain requirements. It is an excellent opportunity for those seeking to extend their stay in Canada after their studies are complete.
In conclusion, Canada’s education system and the PGWP program have made it an attractive destination for international students seeking quality education and work opportunities. The PGWP program provides a significant advantage for those who intend to remain in Canada after their studies are finished. With these opportunities, it’s no wonder that Canada is becoming a popular destination for students around the world.
What is PGWP?
The Post Graduation Work Permit, or PGWP, is a work permit available for international students who complete their study program in Canada. This permit is an excellent opportunity for students to continue their Canadian experience while working full-time in their field. The duration of this permit varies from 8 months to 3 years, depending on the length of the student’s program.
To be eligible for the PGWP, the international student must have completed a degree program at a public or private institution that is on the government’s list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). The program must have a minimum duration of 8 months and must be full-time. However, some rules and requirements must be met to ensure PGWP eligibility.
If an international student has already obtained a PGWP, they will not be able to apply for another one. Also, students who completed most of their program through a distance learning platform or enrolled in a language course are not eligible.
In 2019, Canada welcomed more than 640,000 students for exchange programs. The country’s high-quality education and institutions, ranked among the best globally, make it a preferred destination for international students. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Agency for International Education, 60% of students who undergo a study program in Canada intend to stay in the country after graduation.
The PGWP is an excellent opportunity for international students who wish to stay in Canada after completing their studies. However, they must ensure they meet the eligibility criteria to apply for the permit. With the PGWP, students can continue their Canadian experience while working full-time in their area of expertise.
When to apply to PGWP?
When considering a post-graduation work permit in Canada, it is important to be aware of the application deadline. As an international student, you must ensure that your current permit is valid before applying. The application for the Post Graduation Work Permit must be submitted within 180 days of receiving the letter of completion or transcript. It is important to note that you can request the PGWP once you receive your certificate of completion from your educational institution.
Work in Canada after completing a program of studies
International students who wish to work in Canada after completing their study program must ensure that their current permit is valid. During their studies, students can work for up to 20 hours per week. However, upon graduation, their work authorization is automatically suspended. To work full time, students can apply for the Post Graduation Work Permit and be in implied status while waiting for their application to be processed.
The validity of the Post Graduation Work Permit is determined by the length of the student’s program. If the program lasts between 8 months and 1 year, the PGWP will be valid for the same duration as the program. For programs that are 2 years or longer, the permit can be valid for up to 3 years. Keep in mind that the decision regarding the application and duration of the PGWP is up to the discretion of the immigration officer assigned to the case.
The PGWP and Spouse (spouse or wife)
If you are an international student studying in Canada, you may be able to bring your spouse or common-law partner with you. The good news is that they may also be able to work while you study. To do so, they will need to apply for an Open Work Permit (OWP).
The application for an OWP should be submitted during the period of the partner’s study. Once the international student graduates, they may be able to apply for an extension of their work permit, but only if the student has a job offer that fits into NOC categories 0, A, or B at the time of application. It is important to note that the job offer does not have to involve an LMIA or sponsorship by a company.
Instead, the applicant will need to provide proof of contract and present three pay stubs to support the application. If the spouse or partner does not have a job offer, they may choose to continue their stay in Canada as a student by enrolling in an educational institution. Alternatively, they can stay in Canada as a visitor until the partner obtains a job offer in Canada, and then apply for a new work permit.
It is important to note that while the process of obtaining an OWP may seem straightforward, there are some rules and regulations that must be followed. For example, the spouse or partner must have been married or in a common-law relationship for at least one year to be eligible for an OWP. Additionally, they must meet certain eligibility requirements and provide the necessary documentation to support their application.
It is also worth mentioning that the final decision on the application and duration of the work permit is ultimately up to the immigration officer assessing the case. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all documentation is in order and that the application is submitted in a timely manner.
Processing time and the value of a PGWP
The Canadian government website states that the processing time for the Post Graduation Work Permit is 83 days, as of June 2020. It’s important to keep in mind that this timeframe may differ from one case to another. The cost to apply for the PGWP is CAD $255.00, as of now. It’s worth noting that fees and processing times are subject to change, and it’s important to refer to the official Canadian government website for up-to-date information. The PGWP is an excellent option for international students who wish to stay and work in Canada after graduation, and it’s essential to plan ahead and apply on time to ensure a smooth transition into the Canadian workforce.
How many times can I apply to PGWP?
In order to have the opportunity to work full time or even immigrate to Canada, it is important to understand that a person can only apply for the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) once in their lifetime. Therefore, it is recommended that students complete a program of at least two years in order to gain more experience in the Canadian job market with a work permit.
By doing so, students can increase their chances of finding suitable employment within the National Occupational Classification (NOC) categories 0, A or B, which will enable them to extend their work permit or apply for permanent residency. It is worth noting that the length of the PGWP is determined by the length of the study program and can be up to a maximum of three years.
Taking into consideration the fact that the application for PGWP can take up to 83 days to process, it is crucial for students to plan ahead and make sure that they meet all the eligibility requirements before applying. This includes having a valid study permit, completing a program of at least eight months in duration, and being physically present in Canada.
What to do after my Post Graduation Work Permit expires?
Studying in a Canadian college can be expensive, and the PGWP period presents an opportunity to recoup some of that investment. However, if you plan on immigrating to Canada after your work period with the PGWP, it’s best to start planning early.
For international students who wish to live in Canada as temporary residents with a work permit, the path forward is to obtain a work permit linked to a sponsorship through a process called LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment). This process must be completed by the employer and involves proving that no Canadian candidate meets the requirements of the job vacancy. Since it is a complex and detailed process, we recommend seeking the support of a regulated immigration consultant.
If, on the other hand, you’re determined to immigrate to Canada permanently, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program offers a way to apply for Canadian permanent residency (PR). To be eligible for this immigration program, you must have at least one year of work experience in Canada within the last three years at NOCs 0, A, or B, and you must have the required proficiency level, which varies depending on the NOC, proven through one of the official tests such as IELTS General or CELPIP for English, and TEF or TCF for French.
It’s important to note that planning early and seeking guidance from an immigration consultant can significantly increase your chances of success. While both the LMIA process and the CEC program have their own complexities, with careful planning and the right support, you can achieve your goal of living and working in Canada.