PGWP: An International Student’s Ticket to Canadian Residency

Canada has always prioritized immigration as a key factor to promote economic growth, and all its effort is seen on different immigration programs. Immigrants are essential to secure Canada’s future. Due to this core reason, the immigration process is rigorous – each applicant is meticulously checked and proper processes are put in place. 

Canada wants a lot of immigrants, but not necessarily just about anyone. This is why a set of immigration hopefuls in the form of international students come to light. Canada places high priority in keeping international students because what better way to find professional immigrants than to keep qualified individuals who have graduated under Canada’s education system.

Studying in Canada is almost a foolproof way in getting a Canadian Permanent Residency. International students have a secure way of successfully migrating to Canada under the Express Entry Program through the Post Graduation Work Permit Program.

Post Graduate Work Permit

Pos Graduate Work Permit is an open work permit granted to eligible international students who have finished their program of study from a qualified designated learning institution. Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allows students to gain valuable Canadian work experience that will help them qualify to apply for immigration through the Express Entry System, under the Canadian Experience Class. 

Just like any other open work permit, an individual granted with a post graduate work permit can: 

  1. work full time hours or more, there is no limit for working hours
  2. they can work with any employer as their work permit is not tied up or sponsored by any employer;
  3. moreover, students can even be self-employed.

Eligibility for PGWP

For an applicant to be eligible for a PGWP he/she must meet the following criteria: 

1. They have completed an academic, vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate. Please note that not all DLI’s are eligible for PGWP so check if a DLI is eligible before enrolling.

2. They have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application.

3. They have completed an academic, vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.

Important Notes About PGWP: 

  1. The validity of your post graduate work permit will depend on the length of your program and will not exceed it. If you study for 8 months to less than 2 years you can get a PGWP that’s valid for less than two years; and if you study for more than 2 years, you can be granted a PGWP with a maximum of 3 years. 
  2. You can only apply for a PGWP once. However, in an event that your passport expires before your PGWP, you can apply for an extension. 

3.  You must apply within the 180 days  of getting a written confirmation of your program completion such as an official transcript of records or a letter of completion from their DLI. 

4. Application for PGWP can take from 80 – 180 days.1

You can actually start working full time while waiting for the decision of your pgwp to if you meet these eligibilities:

  1. You have a valid study permit at the time of application of your PGWP. 
  2. You have completed your studies. 
  3. You were permitted to work off-campus without a work permit 
  4. You did not exceed the allowable work hours during academic sessions.  

International students are actually in the fast track for Canadian residency. Canada has made sure that whatever you invest in your studies in Canada is matched with an equal opportunity to stay and thrive in this beautiful country.
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