Canada is one of the leading economies in the world, which makes the country an ideal place to settle in once you have completed your graduation. But what are the eligibility requirements in Canada for post-graduation work permit, the interested students may ask. So here goes everything you must know if you want to work as a full-time employee in the country and explore the best work opportunities there.
After getting their final marks, the students have a total of 180 days to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Students are eligible to apply for PGWP only if their study permit or visa has been valid at some point during the 180 days period.
Canada is very particular about the eligibility criteria for post-graduation work permits for international students. To apply on time, it is important to have sufficient understanding of the eligibility requirements in Canada for a post-graduation work permit.
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Apply for a PGWP before the expiration of your study permit
International students need a valid permit to stay in Canada. If the study permit of the international students expires before the declaration of final marks, they have the below-given two options in which they can extend their stay.
1. Apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada for an extended period till the final marks are declared.
2. Leave Canada and then apply for a post-graduation work permit.
If the study permit of international students expires, they need to restore the study permit to apply for a post-graduation work permit. To restore the study permit, the students need to pay additional charges.
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Who can apply for a post-graduation work permit?
1. International students can apply for a post-graduation work permit only when their study permit or student visa is valid. A study visa is a temporary visa and has an expiration date
2. International students with a visitor card can apply for a PGWP.
3. Students who have applied for the expiration of their student visa or study permit before the end of their tenure. However, no decision has been made on this.
4. Students who have applied for the change of student visa status to visitor status within the visa tenure, but no decision has been made.
5. Students who have completed a specialization at any Designated Learning Institute (DLI). The tenure of the course should be at least 8 months and a degree or certificate should be awarded.
6. Students who have maintained a full-time status for every semester during the course. This will not include your final semester, as final year students get part-time job opportunities to earn a living. The students need to get approval from their respective DLI to work in their final semester.
7. Students who graduated from public post-secondary schools, like reputed colleges, technical universities, and schools.
8. Students who graduated from private secondary schools.
9. Students who graduated from private secondary or post-secondary schools that offer specialization and programs of 900+ hours.
10. Students who graduated from Canadian schools where they can be awarded degrees like associate, bachelor’s, or master’s. The program should award a degree, or a certificate as accepted by the province.
Processing time for Post-graduation Work Permit Canada
A post-graduation work permit or PGWP can take 80 to 180 days to process. One is free to work in Canada while waiting for their PGWP, provided they applied for it before the expiry date of their student permit. A student has 180 days to apply for their PGWP from the completion date of all the requirements of their program of study.
Who is not eligible for a post-graduation work permit?
1. International aspirations that have already received a post-graduation work permit are not eligible for a new one.
2. Students with English or French as a second language. English should be the first language for aspirants seeking a work permit in Canada.
3. General courses, personality, or self-improvement programs are not eligible under PGWP. Students with a recognized degree or certificate will be eligible.
4. Students who participated in programs under the government of Canada funded by Global Government Affairs Canada.
5. Aspirants with scholarships are not eligible for PGWP.
6. Students participating in the Canada-China scholar exchange program.
7. International students who have taken a distance learning course for the most part of their tenure.
8. Students at a non-Canadian university in Canada are not eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
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Requirements for Post-graduation Work Permit Canada
International students need to fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada-
- An applicant must have completed their studies in an academic, vocational or professional training program that lasted at least 8 months at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List.
- The applicant’s study program must lead to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- The applicant must have held a full-time student status in Canada during every academic session of the course of study completed and included as part of their post-graduation work permit application.
- The applicant should have received an official letter and a transcript from the eligible DLI confirming that they had met the requirements to complete their program of study. This official letter and transcript must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.
- The applicant must have graduated from:
- a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade or technical school, university.
- CEGEP (in Quebec)
- a private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools of the province
- a private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec offering a qualifying program of 900 hours or longer that results in the issuance of a ‘diplôme d’études professionnelles’ (DEP) or an ‘attestation de spécialisation professionnelle’ (ASP).
- a Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law – such as Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate – but only if the student was enrolled in an educational program or programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province.
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What happens if your passport expires before your PGWP?
The following two scenarios are possible if your passport expires before your PGWP should:
1. The government will offer a PGWP only for the period until the validation of the passport. The PGWP is valid for only the remaining tenure of passport validity.
2. The students need to extend their passports if they want a fully valid work permit. When the passport is renewed and extended, the PGWP will be fully valid.
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Special cases to attain a post-graduation work permit:
1. Accelerated programs
Non-Canadian students can apply for a post-graduation work permit when they complete a program in less time than the normal program duration. They will get the PGWP for the entire program duration. For example, if a student completes a program of 1 year in 8 months, he may get the PGWP for 1 year.
2. Distance learning
If students take up distance learning for 50% of the course, they can earn a post-graduation work permit. The PGWP will include both distance learning and full-time course duration. So, if students study one year at distance learning and one year at full time, they will get a PGWP of 2 years in total.
3. Transfers between educational institutions
If you have been transferred between schools, the following two situations need to be taken care of:
a) If students have been transferred between designated learning institutes and taken at least 8 months of a full-time course, they can apply for a post-graduation work permit.
b) When students transfer from a non-designated learning institute to a designated learning institute, only the tenure of the DLI course or specialization will be counted. The students will receive PGWP based on their tenure at DLI and not non-DLI.
4. Overseas components
When students studying at Canadian universities have an overseas component, they will receive PGWP only when they earn credit from Canadian universities.
5. Flight school
A flight school candidate should complete a flight training course at a DLI training center and have a Canadian pilot’s license.
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International students can receive a post-graduation work permit with the help of a few documents. They are:
1. A formal letter from the educational institution stating the tenure of the course or program, program code, and type.
2. A degree certificate that proves the successful completion of a program.
3. An official transcript from a private institution.
Meeting the eligibility criteria for a post-graduation work permit in Canada may seem a little difficult but it can be simplified if you stay updated with the process from the start of your course. There are various conditions, criteria, and exceptional cases that every international student must know. For assistance regarding the eligibility criteria, students can also get in touch with a counselor from upGrad Abroad.
Important Resources to Read About Canada:
What is a post-graduation work permit in Canada?
The Post-graduation Work Permit is an open work permit that allows international students who have completed their graduation to work for any Canadian employer without requiring a job offer. As part of the country’s effort to attract international students and retain them, Canada offers the PGWP to international graduates. The validity of the PGWP is up to three years. A person’s actual length of PGWP is based on the length of their educational program in Canada. A PGWP’s foremost benefit is that it enables international graduates to gain professional work experience in Canada, making it easier for them to apply for Canadian immigration in the future. Canada has over 100 different immigration programs that prefer international candidates who have studied and/or worked in Canada. To be eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent residence program, a PGWP holder must gain one year of professional work experience in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, or B.
How to apply for a post-graduation work permit in Canada?
After your institute has published your final marks, you have 180 days to apply for a PGWP in Canada. You should get all your documents ready before you apply, such as your degree or diploma, an official letter from your institute, an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from your institute’s website, etc. In most cases, the application for PGWP can be done online, but depending on your location at the time, you might be required to apply on paper.
Can I extend my PGWP in Canada?
The Post-graduation Work Permit is a one-time opportunity for international graduates, and one cannot apply for an extension. Usually, a PGWP lasts as long as the holder’s study program. For instance, if someone did a one-year credential, they get a PGWP for one year. The maximum validity of a PGWP is three years.
How long does it take to get a PGWP?
Once you have applied for a PGWP in Canada, it will get processed anywhere between 80 to 180 days. During this waiting period, you will be allowed to work in Canada, but only if you had applied for the PGWP before your student permit expired.
Does PGWP get rejected?
Yes, a PGWP application can get rejected due to many reasons such as unauthorized work, absence of an educational transcript, study gap, expiration of study permit, studying at non-eligible PGWP schools, etc.
Can I bring my family to Canada on a work permit?
If you are a post-graduation work permit holder, your spouse and/or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for an open work permit under the C41 exemption for spouses and common-law partners of skilled workers.
How can PGWP help to immigrate to Canada?
A post-graduation work permit is a wonderful way to gain working experience in Canada. It adds extra credits to your CV and earns you additional points while applying for permanent residence. If your goal is to settle in Canada, then a PGWP can take you closer to actualizing your dream and getting a good job. Certain immigration programs have options for candidates with Canadian work experience, such as – Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, Provincial Nominee Programs, Quebec Immigration Options.
How much is the validity of PGWP?
The validity duration of a post-graduation work can be for any length of time between eight months and three years. It must be noted that a PGWP will not be issued for a period longer than the course duration of the applicant and it can be up to three years maximum. Provided that more than 50% of the program of study is conducted via in-person classes, the applicant is eligible for a PGWP equal to the duration of the same. If an applicant has studied part-time or did accelerated studies, the length of their PGWP will be the length of their program if taken full-time.