Canada Post Study Work Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Canada is a growing economic powerhouse that attracts millions of immigrants. Canadian citizenship is among the most desirable immigration options as the country provides one of the highest income levels and brilliant work opportunities. It also has an efficient government, a safe environment, and great culture. This article is a detailed guide to Canada’s post-study work visas, the various categories, and how to apply for one.

Canada holds a higher position in the list of countries welcoming immigrant workers. The foreigners are also offered a chance to apply for a permanent residency or PR visa. One can seek Canadian citizenship after maintaining the PR status for three years.

Immigrants searching for jobs in Canada may be issued a Canadian Work Permit for a particular duration. They should contact the immigration offices and apply for a suitable work visa to secure a job contract from a Canadian employer.

Employers must get a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) done by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It allows them to recruit skilled foreigners for positions that PR card holders cannot fill for Canadian citizens. Many private agencies provide end-to-end services to acquire a Canadian work permit, but you must find a reliable entity.

Canada Work Permit Visa: 

 

Canada offers fantastic opportunities to foreign workers, inviting approximately 300,000 people to apply for work permits every year. This permit allows you to:

  • Work in Canada without any restrictions and remain employed with the company mentioned in your application
  • Invite your spouse and family under the Dependent Visa category.¬†
  • Earn a living in Canadian dollars.
  • Travel freely across the nation.
  • Apply for a PR visa after a stipulated period and enjoy a wider range of benefits.¬†
  • Enjoy one of the best work cultures in the world.

Resources for Canadian Visa

Who can apply for the Canada Work Permit?

You have to produce evidence of employment to get a work permit. Generally, you must submit your employer’s job offer letter or an equivalent document. Your applications should be written in English. The work permit is perfect for international students in Canadian universities, temporary workers visiting for a short-term assignment or on-site project at a Canadian company, or business travel.

Here are some of the general eligibility guidelines:

  • Commit to leaving the country once your permit expires ‚Äď You should provide relevant documents as a guarantee such as an airplane ticket, etc.
  • Provide proof of funds ‚Äď You will have to show financial means for sustaining your stay in the country. Your financial status should be sufficient to cover costs like boarding, daily expenses, and healthcare for you and your family.¬†
  • Clean criminal record ‚Äď It is mandatory to have a clean background and to show that you pose no threat to the country.¬†
  • Positive Medical records ‚Äď You might be required to take medical tests and clear them to obtain a work permit.¬†
  • Guarantee to work legally ‚Äď Certain work areas are considered illegal. You must declare that you have no intention of engaging in activities considered illegal by the government.¬†
  • Declare all necessary documents ‚Äď The immigration officers may demand to see all of your official documents, and you are expected to cooperate.¬†

Important Resources 

Why Do Student Visas Get Rejected | How to Check Visa Status

Below is a list of documents required for securing a work permit in Canada:

  • Passport with a validity of at least six months from the date of arriving in Canada.¬†
  • Two recent passport-size photographs. It is advisable to have a formal photograph taken against a solid background.
  • All certificates relating to educational qualifications.
  • Proof of work experiences and other vocational training certificates if applicable.
  • Documents stating sufficient financial means to sustain your stay in the country.¬†
  • Medical reports acquired from registered medical establishments.¬†
  • Receipt of the payment of applicable charges.

You should assure immigration officers that you will abide by the laws and regulations of the country and that you plan to return to your country as soon as your permit expires. The permits have been rejected on many occasions when officials realized the applicants’ intentions were otherwise. The decision and judgment of the visa interviewer are absolute and ultimate, so try your best to convince them.

Categories of Work Permits: 

Let us understand the various types of work permits for foreigners. There are two broad divisions:

  • Open Work Permit¬†

An Open Work Permit allows you to work for any employer in the country and you don’t have to mention the job offer while applying. Since it is not specific to any job type or position, you don’t need to provide an LMIA or documents from an employer. 

This allows you to switch jobs in the country as long as you do not engage in illegal work. You can be deported or banned from re-entering Canada for engaging in illegal activities.

  • Employer Specific Work Permit

As the name suggests, this work permit is granted to those applying to work under a specific employer. This is generally the case if you have secured a job in Canada from your home country or while studying in a Canadian institution. Students need to convert student visa to work visas or apply for a new permit altogether. This type of work permit requires you to remain employed under the specified employer throughout your stay in the country.

The difference between an Open Work Permit and an Employer-Specific Work Permit:

An Employer-specific work permit indicates the employer you will work for; hence, the specified employer provides all other details. 

However, in the case of an Open Work Permit, certain other conditions and factors are mentioned, which may include:

  • Nature of work and the job roles
  • The specific places you can work at
  • The duration you can work for

You may apply for an Open Work Permit in case you hold the following visas:

  • Post-graduate Work Permit
  • World Youth Program Permit
  • Temporary Work Permit for Spouses
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Spousal Permit
  • Regular Open Work Permit
  • Bridging Open Work Permit

Also Read : Student Visa for Canada

What can you do if your passport expires before your PGWP ?

Ideally, the duration of your post-study work permit (PQWP) is based on the duration of your course at an accredited Canadian university. However, if your passport expires before your PGWP, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issue a new post-graduation work permit that matches the expiry date of your passport. 

The process of getting a new PGWP is as follows.

  • Fill in the application form to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada at least 30 days before your current work permit expires.¬†
  • Apply for your new passport before you apply for a new PGWP.¬†
  • You can apply for a work permit from Canada and outside Canada.¬†
  • In either case, you will need to pay the work permit fees of $150 and the open work permit holder fee $100.¬†

Keep in mind that your work permit is not a travel document. Therefore, if you are applying for a new PGWP, you must have a temporary resident visa if your passport is from a visa-required country or an electronic travel authorization if your passport is from a visa-exempt country. 

Eligibility Criteria for PGWP 

To be eligible for a PGWP in Canada, 

  • You must have completed at least eight months of study.¬†
  • You should apply for the permit after 180 days of completing the degree.
  • You must possess proof of your degree or diploma (educational transcripts )
  • You must have a valid student visa when you apply for the PGWP

Inside Canada graduates

If you have completed your graduation in Canada, you can apply for a PGWP if you meet the following criteria. 

  • Your study permit has been valid within the last 180 days
  • You have a valid visitor record
  • You have already submitted an application to extend your study permit before its validity ended, and you haven‚Äôt received any response on your application.¬†
  • You submitted an application for a status change, and no decision has been made on that.¬†
  • you completed a study program from a designated learning institution¬†
  • you were on a full-time student visa in Canada during each semester of your study program
  • you graduated from one of the following institutions:
  1.  A public post-secondary institution, such as a college, technical institution, university or Community College (in Quebec)
  2. A Quebec-based private post-secondary institution that follows the same rules as public institutions 
  3. A Quebec-based private or public secondary or post-secondary institution that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer
  4. A recognized Canadian institution is authorized to provide degrees under provincial law. 

Outside Canada graduates

Although you can pursue online studies from outside Canada without a study permit, to apply for a PGWP, you must have been approved for a study permit. 

You can apply for a PGWP if

  • you were enrolled in a program that was ongoing in till March in each session.¬†¬†
  • if your program has started or is about to start between spring of the current year and summer of the following year
  • you already have a study permit or you have been approved for a study permit¬†
  • you applied for a study permit before starting your study program
  • finished a study program at a designated learning institute

Special cases

If you belong to any of the below-mentioned groups, you may be eligible for a PGWP

  1. Accelerated programs

If you finish your study program in less time than the normal duration of your program, you may be eligible for a PGWP valid for the entire duration of your program. 

For eg- If you finish a 1-year program in 9 months, you may get a PGWP valid for 1 year.

  1. Distance learning

From outside of Canada 

During the COVID 19 era, students were allowed to complete 100% of their studies online from outside Canada till August 31, 2022 . 

This policy was applicable till August 31, 2022. You are still eligible for the policy for students finishing two study programs.

Eligibility criteria are:

  • your chosen program is eligible for a PGWP
  • you are not in Canada and were unable to pursue on-campus study due to the COVID-19 pandemic but were still attending online classes¬†
  • your program started in any semester from spring 2020 to summer 2022 or your program already began in March 2020¬†
  • you already have a study permit or have been approved for the same¬†

From inside Canada

  • If your courses were shifted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic but you continued online studies, the duration of your study still makes you eligible for a PGWP. However, it is advised that you attend on-campus classes when offered.

Taking leave from your studies 

You might not be eligible for a PGWP 

  • take leave from your studies without approval¬†
  • you violate the conditions of your study permit by taking this leave¬†

There may be some cases where you may take authorized leave of up to 150 days from your study program and still meet the conditions of your study permit. In such cases, you may be eligible for a PGWP if your leave gets authorized.  

Taking leave from your studies 

You might not be eligible for a PGWP 

  • take leave from your studies without approval¬†
  • you violate the conditions of your study permit by taking this leave¬†

There may be some cases where you may take authorized leave of up to 150 days from your study program and still meet the conditions of your study permit. In such cases, you may be eligible for a PGWP if your leave gets authorized.  

What is considered an authorized leave? 

There might be a few cases where you can take a leave of 150 days and still be considered a regular student in your program. In such circumstances, you must prove to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada that your leave is authorized. 

The criteria based on which your leave is authorized are 

  • your institution has authorized your leave from your study program due to medical condition, family emergency, death or sickness of a family member
  • your institution has been permanently shut down due to a strike
  • you changed your institution¬†
  • your institution has postponed the start date of your program

In such a case, you must commence your studies in the next semester, even if the classes start before the period of 150 days. Moreover, you need to provide an updated letter of acceptance from your institution. 

Working during an authorized leave 

You cannot work during an authorized leave from your study program even if you have a study permit to work in Canada. 

  1. Transfers between schools
  • Among DLIs¬†

If you transferred from a DLI to another DLI, you might be eligible for a PGWP provided that you complete the study of eight months. 

  • From a non-DLI to a DLI¬†

If you transferred from a non-DLI to a DLI, only your time studying at a DLI would make you eligible for a PGWP. The minimum period of your study should be eight months. 

  1. Canadian study programs with an overseas component

If your study program has an overseas component, you are eligible to get a PGWP provided that you earn credits for that component from a Canadian institution. The validity of PGWP will be the same as the length of your study program. 

  1. Flight school graduates

To be eligible for a PGWP, flight school graduates must have 

  • Finished a flight training program from a DLI or have a licence¬†
  • Can expect a trainer‚Äôs rating a job offer as a flight instructor from a DLI flight training center
  1. Graduates of specific Quebec schools

The graduates of certain Quebec schools pursuing occupational training must meet the following conditions 

  • you must have graduated from a public secondary school, private secondary school, and private post-secondary school
  • your degrees, diploma and certificates must be issued by the Qu√©bec Government.¬†

Institutions 

From public or private secondary institution

  • DEP- diploma in vocational studies
  • ASP- attestation of vocational specialization

From private post-secondary institution

  • DEC- diploma in college studies
  • AEC- attestation of college studies

Duration of your program 

You must have completed a full-time program in DEC or AEC. It should be for at least 8 months.  

Supporting documents

To apply for a PGWP, you will need 

  • An official letter from the institution confirming the duration of your program and the program code. Apart from this, you can either provide¬†
  • A valid document that confirms that you finished your program
  • A transcript from a Quebec institution board or a well-known private institution

Apply for a study permit

1. Online 

Applying for a study permit must be done online if you are applying from Canada or outside Canada. The documents you will require while applying for a study permit are 

  • A letter of acceptance from the DLI you‚Äôll be studying at
  • Proof of acceptance

You must have received a letter of acceptance from your institution that can use as proof. Along with your study permit application, you need to include the original or a soft copy of your acceptance letter  

  • Identity proof

You must have a valid passport and two- passport size photographs. Your date of birth must be written on the back of each photograph. 

  • Proof of financial support¬†

Before moving to Canada, you have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your family member accompanying you. 

You can prove your finances by showing relevant proof 

  • proof of a Canadian bank account under your name if you have transferred funds to Canada
  • proof that you have taken an education loan from a bank
  • proof that you have paid your tuition and accommodation fees
  • a letter from the person or the institution providing you funds¬†
  • in case you are awarded a scholarship from a Canadian university, you need to provide valid documentation proving the same¬†

Letter of explanation

A letter of explanation provides an understanding to the visa officer about you and your future goals. 

In this letter, you will have to justify:

  • your reason for choosing Canada as your study destination and
  • your understanding of the responsibilities as an international student¬†

This letter should be included in your study permit application, even if you don’t need a study permit for your program. 

Quebec Acceptance Certificate

If you wish to study in Quebec for more than six months, you require a Quebec Acceptance Certificate furnished by the Government of Quebec. 

  • Custodian declaration (if you are a minor)

If a student is a minor and requires a custodian in Canada, the Custodianship Declaration has to be provided. The declaration consists of two pages that must be signed by the notary and included with your study permit application.

The first page of the declaration has to be signed by the custodian and the second page has to be signed by the minor’s parents in his home country. 

  1. At the airport

Ideally, you should apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. However, according to the updated rules of the IRCC, you may be eligible to apply for a study permit at the airport if you are:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Greenland natives¬†
  • Natives of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

If you come under any of the categories mentioned above, you must have all the relevant documents needed to apply for a study permit when you show up at the border.  

Extending your stay in Canada 

If your study permit is about to expire, you can opt for one of the following options to stay longer in Canada.

  • Apply for the extension of your study permit¬†
  • Apply for a PGWP if you have completed your study program
  • Apply to change your status as a visitor.

What can you do if your study permit has expired?

If you fail to apply for an extension of your study permit before it expires, then you can no longer study as a Canadian student until you apply to restore your status. 

How to restore your status as a Canadian student?

If you wish to continue studying in Canada, you must

  • apply for a new study permit¬†
  • apply to restore your temporary residence status in Canada
  • pay your fees

Visitor applying for a study permit in Canada 

If you are a visitor in Canada and want to apply for a study permit, you are eligible for the same as long as you follow the steps to apply outside of Canada.

Working as a student 

As per the IRCC updates, to work in Canada as a student you must be 

  • a full-time student¬†
  • enrolled in a DLI
  • meet all on-campus and off-campus work eligibility requirements.

Post-study work visas for students in Canada:

Once you are in the final semester of your study program you will have to decide if you want to work in Canada and continue to live here after graduating. You have to convert your student visa to a work visa if you want to work in Canada after your studies. 

A postgraduate work permit or PGWP allows you to remain and work in the country after completing a degree, diploma, or certificate course from a Canadian university for a minimum of eight months. The duration can be extended up to three years. You are allowed to work in any field or with any employer.

Graduates use this time to understand the scope of employment, prepare for interviews, and gain general insight into the work culture. 

A PGWP is the first step in advancing towards a more permanent status of residing in the country such as a PR visa or Canadian citizenship. Without a PGWP you will be forced to return to your country once your student visa expires and it gets a bit more complicated than applying for a work visa. 

How to obtain a Letter of Completion for a PGWP? 

Before applying for a PGWP, you must get a letter of completion from your university stating that you have completed your program of study. The process of requesting a letter of completion varies from university to university. While some universities demand you submit the request to receive the letter via email, other universities provide the letter of completion themselves once your program is completed.  

Working while applying for PGWP

You are allowed to work full-time while submitting your application for a PGWP if 

  • you have a valid study permit while applying¬†
  • you have completed your study program
  • eligible to work off-campus without a permit
  • you did not work off-campus for more than 20 hours a week during your studies

What happens 180 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available?

Letter of completion is proof that you have completed your study program. Your study permit no longer stays valid after 180 days of getting a letter of completion. Therefore, for getting a post-graduate work permit, you must apply within 180 days of your letter of completion first becoming available. 

Your study permit must have been valid within this time period. If you fail to apply for the PGWP within 180 days, you must 

  • Change your status to a visitor and apply from Canada via the visa office that caters to your country of citizenship.¬†¬†
  • Leave Canada and apply for a PGWP from outside Canada.

How can dependents get a PGWP in Canada? 

The only way dependents can get a PGWP in Canada is after they arrive in the country. If you are a resident in Canada above the age of 18, you can sponsor your family members, parents, spouse and children.

Which visa is required for dependents?

The Canada Dependent Visa allows you to bring your dependents to Canada. Once they arrive in the country and receive the relevant permits, they can work and study full-time. You can sponsor the following dependents under the Canada Dependent Visa 

  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Dependent children below the age of 21
  • Dependent parents or grandparents
  • Your blood relations and family relatives

How can candidates with work experience apply for a PR in Canada ?

The option by which experienced professionals can apply for a PR in Canada is given below 

  • Express Entry Program

Through the Express Entry Program candidates are evaluated based on a point scale. It consists of three categories 

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

The minimum requirements for this program are skilled work experience, language proficiency and education. If you meet these requirements, your application is evaluated on certain selection factors like 

1. education

2. age

3. English or French language skills 

4. work experience

5. whether you have a valid job offer or not

6. adaptability  

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The eligibility criteria for this program include 

1. meeting the language levels for each ability- listening, speaking, reading and writing.

2. having minimum 2 years of experience in a trade before within the 5 years before you apply

3. meet the job requirements for that skilled trade

4. have a valid full-time job offer and qualification certificate in that skilled trade furnished by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The minimum requirements for this program are:

1. meeting the language requirements required for your job in each ability- listening, speaking, reading and writing.

2. have minimum 1-year skilled work experience in Canada.

3. you have gained your work experience by working in Canada on the temporary resident status and were authorization to work

Ways to get a more permanent work visa after studying in Canada

There are various programs and systems implemented by the Canadian government that you should consider while planning to apply for a visa. 

You must clearly understand the following terms before going through the government programs: 

Canada Language Benchmark (CBL) ‚Äď You have to prove your language proficiency in either English or French to live and work in Canada. CBL is the country‚Äôs standard to recognize and assess your skills in these official languages.

National Occupation Code (NOC) ‚Äď The NOC lists all the Canadian Labor Market occupations describing the jobs according to the skill type and required skill level. You will find these main groups of jobs on the list:

  • Skill Type Zero ‚Äď management jobs
  • Skill Level A ‚Äď jobs requiring a degree from a university.¬†
  • Skill Type B ‚Äď technical jobs usually requiring a diploma or apprentice training.¬†
  • Skill Type C ‚Äď Jobs for high-school graduates or people with job-specific training.¬†
  • Skill Type D ‚Äď Jobs for laborers who will be trained on joining.

You can refer to the following programs offered by the Canadian government for immigrant workers seeking visas:

Name Of Program Language Skills Work Experience Duration Of Work Experience Job Offer Education
Atlantic Immigration Pilot CLB 4 Not Required Not Required Required Two Year Graduate Program from An Institute In Atlantic Canada
Canadian Experience Class CLB In Case of NOC 0 Or A.

CLB 5 In Case of NOC B

Experience In NOC 0, A Or B From Canada 12 Months Not Required Not Required
Federal Skilled Trades Program CLB 5 (Listening/Speaking) 

CLB 4 (Reading/Writing)

Experience In NOC B 2 Years in The Last 5 Years Required  Not Required
Federal Skilled Workers Program CLB 7 Experience In NOC 0, A, B 1 Year Continuous Not Required Secondary Education Required
Provincial Nominee Program Strong English/French Skills Varying by Provinces May Include Experience in One of The NOC Levels Province Specific Province Specific Province Specific
Rural Northern Immigration Pilot CLB 6 ‚Äď NOC A

CLB 5 ‚Äď NOC B

CLB 4 ‚Äď NOC C OR D

Required Not Required Required Variable.

To conclude, you can achieve an immense amount of personal and professional growth while living in Canada. Obtaining a Canadian visa post studies is comparatively easy owing to all the channels and aid that the immigration department of the country offers. You will find all information related to studying in Canada on upGrad Abroad.

FAQs

Q1. Can I extend my post-graduate work permit in Canada?

No, you can not extend your PGWP in Canada. The validity of your PGWP depends on the length of your program. If your program is for one year, you’ll get a PGWP of one year. The maximum validity of PGWP is three years.

Q2. Who is eligible for PGWP extension?

The students who complete their study program in less duration than the actual duration of the program may be eligible for a PGWP that is valid for the full duration of the program.

Q3. How many years is a post-study visa in Canada?

The length of a post-study visa ranges between eight months to three years. Therefore, the maximum duration of a post-study visa in Canada is of three years.

Q4. How to check if the program is eligible for PGWP?

Before applying for PGWP, you can check whether your program is eligible by emailing or calling the university to confirm their program and university are eligible.

Q5. What is a post-study work visa in Canada?

A post-study work visa allows you to stay and work in Canada full-time after completing a degree, diploma, or certification of minimum of eight months.

Q6. Can one get a work permit in Canada after studying?

Yes, one can get a work permit in Canada after completing their studies by applying for a post-graduation work permit within 180 days of receiving their letter of completion.

Q7. Does Canada offer students a post-graduate work permit visa?

Yes, Canada offers post-graduate work permit visas, known as post-graduation work permits to students after completing their studies.

Q8. Can one renew their post-graduate work permit in Canada?

No, one can not renew their post-graduate work permit in Canada. It is a one-time deal and lasts as long as your study program.

 

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