All about Post Study Work Permit in Canada
Latest update: New measures taken by the Canadian government regarding post-graduation work permit eligibility due to COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, many international students who want to pursue their higher studies in Canada may not be able to come to Canada to start their programs. Also, there are travel restrictions in many countries due to the pandemic because of which students cannot come to Canada to start their programs. Considering this, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada have introduced certain changes to the eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students who want to start their Canadian study program online from their home country.
Getting a Post-Graduation Work Permit while studying in Canada (PGWP Canada) depends a lot on your course and its duration. A work permit under the PGWP is usually issued for the length of the study program. The maximum length of the PGWP in Canada is of three years. It means if your post-graduate course’s duration is two years, you get a three-year PGWP visa. A post-graduation work permit cannot be valid for longer than the student’s study program. The course duration must be a minimum of eight months to get post graduate work permit in Canada.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows international students who completed their higher education in Canada from designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit and remain and work in Canada. The post-graduation work permit in Canada allows students to stay there and gain work experience after completing their graduation. However, students must be graduated from a recognized Canadian institution. This gives students the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience. Gaining skilled Canadian work experience through PGWP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through Canadian experience class within Express Entry.
Graduating from a DLI does not mean that you are automatically eligible to get a PGWP. After getting your final marks, a candidate has 180 days to apply for a PGWP. Also, make sure your study permit does not expire before you get your final marks.
The PGWP allows international students graduating from a participating post-secondary college/university to gain Canadian work experience. In the long run, Canadian work experience gained through PGWP helps international graduates qualify for PR (permanent residence) in Canada through Express Entry.
Eligibility criteria for PGWP
Here are some points to note while applying for a work permit after study in Canada:
- You must have studied full time in Canada and your course duration should be at least eight months.
- You must apply for a work permit within 180 days of completing your course. You must have written proof from the college/university indicating the same. For example, a transcript or an official letter.
- You must have a valid student visa when you apply for the PGWP.
Duration of Post graduate work permit (PGWP) Canada
If the official length of your program of study is:
- Less than eight months: you are not eligible for the PGWP program
- Less than two years but more than eight months: you will get a work permit for a period equal to your course duration
- Two years or more: you will be granted a work permit three years
Changes introduced by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
- International students can study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, and no time will be deducted from their post-graduation work permit, however, they need to complete 50% of their program of study in Canada.
- International students who have enrolled in a program with a length 8 to 12 months starting from May to September 2020 can complete their entire program online from abroad and they are still eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
- Students enrolled in a program starting between May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and graduate from more than one program can combine the length of their programs while applying for a post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their studies must have been completed in Canada.
In order to be eligible for these newly announced measures, students must have submitted their study permit application before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or January 2021 semester.