Have you ever thought of staying in Canada after you finish your university studies here? If you did, it’s no surprise. After all, Canada has been ranked for six consecutive years as the top country that provides a good quality of life for its citizens. This means that living in Canada is affordable, family-friendly, politically stable, and has a good job market, income equality, and a well-developed public health and education system.
The good news is that through the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWP), your immigration to Canada just became more attainable. With a post-graduate work permit, those who want to live in Canada after finishing their post-secondary education can get the work experience they need to be eligible for permanent residence in the country.
What Is The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWP)?
The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program allows international students who finished their studies in a qualified Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to acquire the necessary Canadian work experience through an open work permit.
International graduates with skilled Canadian work experience in national occupational codes Skill Types 0 (managerial occupations), A (professional occupations) or B (technical and trade occupations) obtained via the PGWP are eligible for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class, which is part of Express Entry. Labour Market Impact Assessments are not required for post-graduation employment permits.
Eligible graduates can work full-time, part-time, or they can be self-employed if they have a post-graduation work permit, just like all existing open work permits.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For The PGWP?
To get a post-graduation work permit, you must currently hold a valid temporary status or have left Canada. It’s also required that you graduate from an eligible designated learning institution.
You must also provide proof that shows that you:
⦁ have finished an academic, vocational, or professional training program of at least 8 months duration at a designated learning institution in Canada that culminates to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
⦁ have been registered as full-time students in Canada for each academic session of the program/s of study you have finished and submitted as part of their post-graduation work visa application, with exceptions that can only be made for the final academic session and leave from studies.
⦁ have obtained a transcript and an official letter from the eligible designated learning institution indicating that you have completed your program of study and have satisfied the prerequisites. Both the official transcript and letters should be included in your application for a post-graduation work permit.
Within 180 days of applying for a post-graduation work permit, you must also hold a valid study permit, held a study permit, or was authorized to study in Canada under special circumstances outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that do not require you to get a study permit.
How Long Will My Post-Graduate Work Permit Last?
The validity of a post-graduation work permit depends on the length of the study program you’ve chosen — at least 8 months and up to 3 years. Scheduled breaks, like summer and winter breaks, will be counted towards the accumulated time that decides the length of your post-graduation work permit.
A post-graduation work permit’s validity also might not go further than your passport validity date. If it does, you must apply for a work permit extension as soon as your passport is renewed to get the full legitimacy of your post-graduation work permit.
What If I Accelerated My Studies Or Underwent Online/Distance Learning?
If you accelerate your studies and finish your program quicker than its usual length, then your post-graduation work permit should reflect the total length of the program.
To illustrate, suppose you enrolled in a program that usually runs for a year. However, you have fulfilled all the requirements and obligations for the program in 10 months. In this case, your post-graduate work permit should be valid for one year – the total and complete duration of your program.
If you underwent distance or online learning, certain criteria need to be met for you to qualify for a post-graduate work permit.
⦁ If you completed the entire program through distance learning, be it within or outside of Canada, then you are not qualified for a post-graduate work permit.
⦁ If more than 50% of the program’s total courses are completed through distance or online learning, then you are not eligible to get a post-graduate work permit.
⦁ If less than 50% of the program’s total courses are accomplished through online or distance learning, you may be qualified for a post-graduate work permit. However, the designated learning institution must verify the legitimacy based on the program’s length, including the credits acquired through in-class and distance or online learning courses.
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