Quebec has announced the discontinuation of the PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit) benefit for international students in unsubsidized private colleges. A statement issued jointly with the federal government on June 7 said the measure will affect those students getting enrolled after September 2023. Public and subsidized private university students will remain unaffected by this announcement and will continue to be eligible for PGWP. This work ticket grants college graduates the right to work in Canada for up to 3 years.
According to a report by Quebec’s Ministry of Higher Education in 2021, these unsubsidized institutes were engaging in malpractices and exploiting students’ life and career opportunities. These colleges used the PGWP as their unique selling point for admission and charged much higher tuition fees to international students.
Canada already has restrictions in other provinces on international graduates from private colleges applying for PGWP. After this announcement, Quebec will be aligning with the rest of the country.
In a joint statement, Jean Boulet, Labor minister of Quebec, and Sean Fraser, Immigration Minister of Canada, said that these amendments are made to rebuttal the integrity issues to sustain a thorough investigation of specific unsubsidized private colleges.
Boulet told the press, “Unsubsidized private schools used this post-graduation work permit to recruit [and] attract people who benefited from our school system, then went elsewhere in Canada.”
He also added, “International students are tremendous assets socially, culturally and economically for Quebec society as a whole.”
He said that there were issues that needed to be resolved to secure the integrity of the international student program. This step is one to harmonize the education system in Canada.
Sean Fraser, in a press release, stated, “Making the change that Quebec requested to post-graduation work permit eligibility will improve the integrity of the program, bring Quebec’s private institutions further in line with those of other provinces and protect our well‑deserved reputation as a destination of choice for international students.”