International students can profit from a great opportunity offered by the Canadian government after finishing their studies in Canada. Graduates from eligible Canadian institutions can apply to obtain an open work permit called Post Graduation Work Permit(PGWP). Keep reading to know more about the PGWP, its requirements, and advantages.
CAN I APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY IF I HOLD A POST GRADUATION WORK PERMIT?
The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows recent graduates to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can grant decisive points for immigration in the future. Skilled workers (under NOC A, O or B) that gained experience through the PGWP may qualify to apply for Permanent Residency.
THE TYPE OF INSTITUTIONS THAT QUALIFIES YOU FOR A PGWP
In order to apply for the PGWP, international students must prove that they studied in a program or programs at one of the following eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs):
• a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, a trade or technical school, a university or a CEGEP (in Quebec)
• a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec
• a private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)
• a Canadian, private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees, such as an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, but only if the student is enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree, as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution
Graduates from Quebec vocational institutions with a DVS or AVS must fulfill additional criteria in order to be eligible.
DO I NEED TO APPLY FROM WITHIN CANADA FOR MY PGWP?
The candidate may apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit from within Canada or from overseas. Graduates can apply within Canada if their study permit is still valid. If the applicant’s study permit is no longer valid, and they wish to remain in Canada, they must apply for visitor status before their study permit expires.
Former international students who change their status to visitor status before their study permit expires, while waiting for their notice of graduation from their institution, may also apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit from within Canada.
Graduates who didn’t apply for a PGWP before their study permit became invalid or expired must either leave Canada or apply to change their status in Canada. As mentioned before, it is also possible to apply for PGWP from overseas.
FOR HOW LONG CAN A POST GRADUATION WORK PERMIT BE VALID?
A Post Graduation Work Permit is normally issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.
The PGWP validity period is never longer than the passport validity date of the applicant. If the applicant’s passport expires before the validity period of the Post Graduation Work Permit, it is possible to apply for a work permit extension upon the renewal of their passport. That is only circumstance accepted by the Canadian government for extending a PGWP. Applicants can receive only one Post Graduation Work Permit in their lifetime.
DO I NEED AN LMIA IF I HOLD A PGWP?
Another advantage of the PGWP is being exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA). In other words, PGWP is considered an open permit and allow graduates to work full-time, part-time and as self-employed.
Also read: Immigration opportunities for Post-Graduation Work Permit holders
CAN I WORK UNTIL I WAIT FOR A DECISION ON MY PGWP?
Applicants may work full-time in Canada while waiting for a decision on their PGWP application as long as they applied before the study permit expiration. In addition, they must have completed their program of study, met the requirements for working off campus and did not exceed the allowable hours of work for students.