Eligibility requirements in Canada for post-graduation work permit: A complete guide

Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements in Canada _Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements in Canada

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.

Read More: What is Visitor Visa in Canada?

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.

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.

Read More: Degree or Diploma in Canada – Which is best fit for you

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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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.

Read More: Reasons for Canada Student Visa Rejection

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.

Read More: How to Get Canada PR from India?

Supporting documents

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.

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