Canada is one of the most popular destinations for international students who want to pursue higher education and gain valuable work experience. Canada offers a high-quality education system, a multicultural society, a safe and welcoming environment, and a range of opportunities for career development and immigration. If you are looking to study in Canada, you may be eligible for a post-study work permit (PGWP) after you graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI).
A PGWP is a temporary work permit that allows you to work in Canada for up to three years, depending on the length of your study program. A PGWP can help you gain Canadian work experience, which may improve your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada.
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What is the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program?
The PGWPP allows international graduates from eligible Canadian universities to obtain an open work permit after graduation. This work permit enables them to gain valuable Canadian work experience across fields and is a pathway to permanent residence in Canada.Some key features of the PGWPP:
- Duration: The work permit is valid for the length of your study program, up to a maximum of 3 years. For example, if you complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree, you’ll get a 3-year work permit.
- Open work rights: You can work in any job, field, province in Canada. There’s no restriction on the type of work.
- Gives points for immigration: Canadian work experience gives you additional points if you later apply for permanent residence through Express Entry.
So in short, the PGWPP gives you an opportunity to live, work and potentially immigrate to Canada after completing your education.
Who is Eligible for the PGWPP?
To be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, you must:
- Have graduated from an eligible Canadian university. This includes public universities, colleges offering university-level programs, and certain private institutions.
- Have completed a program that was at least 8 months long. This can be a bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, or eligible diploma or certificate program.
- Have lived in Canada and held a valid study permit while studying full-time. Some online programs are also eligible.
- Apply for the work permit within 180 days after receiving written confirmation of completing your program.
- Continue to meet all other requirements of a temporary resident, including having a valid passport, means of financial support, etc.
How Do I Apply for a PGWPP?
Applying for a PGWPP is straightforward, but requires you to take care of a few things:
1. Get your letter of completion: Before anything else, you need an official letter from your school confirming that you have met all program requirements and graduated.
2. Apply online: Create an account on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s website. Fill out the online PGWPP application form and upload scanned copies of all required documents.
3. Biometrics and medical exam: Depending on your country of citizenship, you may need to complete a biometrics appointment (fingerprints and photo) and undergo a general medical exam.
4. Wait for approval: IRCC aims to process PGWPP applications within 2 months. You cannot start working until you receive the official work permit.
5. Start working: Once approved, you can begin working for any employer in Canada. Make sure to keep copies of your work permit while employed.The PGWPP application costs C$255. Some students may be eligible for a fee exemption.
Finding a Job in Canada After Graduation
Gaining relevant Canadian work experience is invaluable when building your career in Canada. Here are some tips:
- Start your job search early: Begin looking for jobs a few months before graduation. Attend job fairs organized by your university’s career center.
- Leverage your university’s network: Alumni often hire students from their alma mater. Utilize campus resources and your professors’ professional connections.
- Update your resume: Tailor your resume to Canadian standards and include relevant academic projects. Get it critiqued by career counsellors.
- Practice interviews: Book mock video interviews to polish your communication skills. Understand Canadian workplace culture.
- Broaden your search: Look beyond your field of study. Transferable skills gained through campus jobs, clubs, volunteering etc. are useful too.
- Consider smaller towns and cities: If struggling to find opportunities in big metro areas, expand your search to smaller cities. Gain that crucial Canadian experience!
- Be open-minded: Take up internships and entry-level roles even if they don’t perfectly match your long-term goals. Getting a foot in the door is what matters.
The PGWPP is a chance to explore careers in Canada. Make the most of it by actively searching for jobs rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise passively.
Gaining Canadian work experience through the PGWPP puts you in a great position if you wish to immigrate permanently.Here are two popular ways international graduates transition from the PGWPP to permanent resident status:
1. Apply Through Express Entry
Express Entry manages the profiles of skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada.Every year, the highest-ranked candidates in the pool are invited to apply for permanent residence. Factors like work experience, education, language ability and age determine your ranking.Having a PGWPP helps you earn additional points for:
- Canadian Work Experience: You can claim points for skilled work experience gained through PGWPP
- Job Offer: If you get a long-term job offer from a Canadian employer
- Adapting to Canada: Your time in Canada helps you adapt and qualify for more points
Many international students have successfully immigrated through Express Entry this way.
2. Apply Through Provincial Nominee Programs
Canadian provinces and territories can nominate immigrants to meet local labor market needs through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).Each province has its own eligibility criteria based on skills, work experience, age etc.
Most PNP streams award high points for a valid job offer or work experience in that province.So if you studied and worked in provinces like Ontario, BC, Alberta etc. through PGWPP, you likely meet most PNP requirements already.The nomination significantly improves your chances of getting permanent residence. Many students have settled in Canada permanently this way.
Additional Tips for PGWPP Success
Here are some extra pointers to help maximize your chances of PGWPP and future immigration success:
- Pick programs carefully: Opt for programs that improve employability in Canada. Do thorough research on careers outcomes.
- Study in smaller cities: Graduating from schools in Atlantic Canada or prairie provinces can make it easier to apply for PNPs.
- Learn French: Being bilingual in English and French significantly boosts immigration prospects. Enroll in French language courses.
- Get a tax number: Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as you start working. This allows you to pay taxes, build credit history, and access benefits.
- Understand your options: Hire an immigration consultant to determine the best permanent residence pathway for you based on your profile, connections, study & work history.
The key is using the PGWPP strategically as a stepping stone to eventually settle down in Canada permanently.
Apply to Study in Canada Now!
Canada offers international students world-class education, high life quality, affordable tuition fees and excellent post-study/immigration prospects.
If you meet eligibility criteria, apply to study in Canada as soon as possible to take advantage of this opportunity!For guidance on choosing a university, completing your application, obtaining a study permit and preparing for life in Canada as an international student, visit:Study in Canada as an International Student.
we hope this comprehensive guide covered everything you wants to know about the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program in Canada. Let us know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.