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Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

As an international student studying in Canada, completing your studies does not have to mean you have reached the end of your time in Canada. In fact, studying in Canada is considered to be one of the fast-track options for gaining permanent residence in Canada.

Many students use their studies as a stepping stone for temporary work and permanent residency in Canada. Let's take a closer look at one of the most popular ways to do so, via Canada's Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP), see who's eligible to apply for it, and how it works. 

What is the Post-Graduation Work Program?

happy multicultural graduates throwing caps in air | Post-Graduation Work Program

The Post-Graduation Work Program or PGWP is designed to help foreign students who have completed a qualification, whether it be a certificate, diploma, or degree, and graduated from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) stay on anD work in Canada. International PGWP students in Canada will receive an open work permit which allows them to work for any employer anywhere in Canada.

If successful, studentS will be able o work for as many hours as they like and depending on the length of their study program, the work permit will be valid for anywhere between eight months to three years. This will not only be a great opportunity for you to gain valuable Canadian work experience but may open up doors to get permanent residency in Canada.

Many international students who complete post-secondary or tertiary education in Canada normally apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit to be able to stay and find jobs in Canada. 

The Canadian Government has recently made changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) to make it more flexible and responsive to the needs of international students. 

COVID-19 Special Measures

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)  introduced a new Canadian work visa program to help student who were affected by the pandemic restrictions. On Januray 8, 2021, a temporary immigration program was launched to allow international graduates, whose work permit had expired, to apply for a new work permit which will be valid for 18 months. This would allows these students to stay in Canada and gain the necessary work experience required to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Requirements to Qualify for This Special PGWPP:

  • Possessing a PGWPP that expired on/after January 30, 2020 or that will expire four months or less after the application date;
  • Was in Canada at the time the policy took effect on January 27, 2021 and stayed in Canada since;
  • Have valid temporary status or in process of restoring status;
  • Have applied for PGWPP between January 27 and July 27, 2021; and
  • Have a valid passport that is valid for at least 18 months.

Stay in Canada After You Graduate

If you decide to stay in Canada after you graduate, there are a number of programs that you can apply for.

A post-graduation work permit will allow you to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which in turn gives you access to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa. This program can be issued for the length of your study program, for up to three years duration.

For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the criteria. If you graduate from an eight-month certificate program, you would be eligible for a Canadian work permit that is valid for no more than eight months. 

The Canadian Experience Class visa gives graduates the opportunity to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. This is open to candidates who are familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. Knowledge of English or French, as well as qualifying work experience, is a must.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents. Temporary foreign workers are also ideal candidates for Canadian immigration and permanent residency.

Canadian Experience Class applications are processed through the new Express Entry selection for immigration to Canada. Candidates who are eligible must express an interest in immigrating to Canada, create an online Express Entry profile and receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence before they make an application.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Some provinces, offer immigration options for graduates who have completed their qualification in that particular province and would like to stay on and work in Canada or start their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Provinces that offer these opportunities include:

  • British Columbia; 
  • Manitoba; 
  • New Brunswick; 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador; 
  • Nova Scotia; 
  • Ontario; 
  • Prince Edward Island; and 
  • Saskatchewan


Are You Ready For Success?

Are you ready to start the application process? Let us help you take the first step toward making your dream of living and working in Canada a reality. Why waste time? Get ahead of the pack today and start the application process early with our team of experts by your side.

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