International students who come to study in Canada may be eligible for a Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP), which is a Work Permit that allows students to work full time, in almost any job in Canada. This is a great opportunity for such students to attain valuable Canadian Work Experience and further their careers. Students do not need a job offer for this kind of work permit, as this is an Open Work Permit.
International work experience, in a multicultural work environment that Canada has to offer, is highly valued by employers for students who wish to return home, and assume employment in their home country.
On the other hand, if the students intend to attain permanent residency in the future, this work experience goes a long way in helping students meet eligibility criteria for Canadian Permanent Residency or increase their chances of becoming a Canadian PR.
That being said, students must be very careful while studying in Canada, in order to ensure that they maintain their eligibility for a PGWP.
The eligibility criteria are simple, but it is important that international students are aware of the criteria before they start their Canadian education, in order to avoid pitfalls.
After completing your study program, you have 180 days to apply for a PGWP.
You May be Eligible to Apply for A PGWP if
• You earned a degree, diploma, or certificate after completing a minimum of eight-month duration study program at an eligible learning institution.
• You have earned the qualification from an eligible Designated learning institute (DLI). DLI’s are Colleges, trade/technical institutions, universities, and CEGEPs in Quebec that have been granted authority to host overseas students. The list of eligible institutions can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/prepare/designated-learning-institutions-list.html. Most public institutions are eligible under the PGWP program, whereas most private institutions are not. Private institutions granting degrees (Associate, Bachelors, or Masters) are usually eligible if you pursue one of these programs.
• During each semester of your study program, you have maintained full-time status as a student in Canada. Only the final semester may be an exception (due to less than the full-time course load left for program completion). Many students who were not aware of this criterion and took a lower course load in any of the terms (sometimes due to course availability issues), become ineligible for a PGWP. It is therefore important for students to be aware of what “full-time course load” means for their institution and their program- as this definition may vary.
• You must have also been in compliance with Study Permit conditions throughout your duration of study in Canada.
How To Get a Post-Graduate Work Permit?
To apply for a PGWP, you must have the following documents:
• Letter of Completion: A letter from your institute stating that you have successfully completed your studies and meet the requirements of program completion
• Your complete transcript from your academic program.
There are certain exemptions to the above criteria, generally and some introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allow students to still be eligible for a PGWP, even If they do not meet specific criteria from among the above.
If you’re worried about your PGWP eligibility or if you would like to discuss whether you meet any of those exemptions, talk to us NOW.