If you have graduated or completed a study program from one of the Designated Learning Institutes in Canada, a Post Graduation Work Permit allows you to stay in Canada with a temporary foreign worker status or as a temporary resident. The Government of Canada issues the Post Graduation Work Permit that stays valid for the same time period as your study program. 

According to the Federal authorities of the program, the permit will not be issued to you if your study program was for less than 8 months of time. If it was for anywhere between 8 months and 2 years, you can apply for this permit. If you have completed more than one program that is PGWP eligible, your permit can be valid for the time period that is a sum of all the length of all programs. 

Who can apply for PGWP

The application for this permit must be submitted within 180 days of the day you receive your final marks. You must have the below-mentioned qualifications in order to submit an application for a Post Graduation Work Permit. 

  • Your study permit must not be expired when you apply.
  • You must have a valid visitor record.
  • You must have submitted an application for an extension of your study visa before its expiry and are still waiting for a decision to be made. 
  • You must have submitted your application for changing your status to a visitor before your student visa expired and are waiting for a decision.
  • You must have completed a study course from a designated learning institution.
  • Your study program must have been for more than 8 months.
  • You must have received a degree or a diploma or a certificate on completion of your study program.
  • You must have remained a full-time Canadian student for the entire length of your program.
  • For the last semester of your study, you could have been a part-time student or on an approved leave. 
  • You must have completed your study from a public post-secondary graduate school or a Canadian private school that has the authorization to award a degree, diploma, or certificate at the end of the program. 
  • If you completed your study from Quebec, it must have been from CEGEP or a private institute offering post-secondary education or a private institute offering secondary or post-secondary courses that are 900 hours or longer. 

Who cannot apply for a PGWP

You cannot apply for a PGWP if any of the following is true for you

  • You have already received a PGWP before
  • You studied in a program that has a second language as French or English.
  • Your course was a general interest program or a self-improvement course. 
  • You were a participant in the government of Canada Awards Program that receives funds from the Global Affairs Canada.
  • If you received funds from Global Affairs Canada in the past. 
  • If you received the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile or participated in the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program.
  • If you participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program.
  • If you completed the major part of your course via distance learning.
  • If you studied in a non-Canadian institute located in Canada.
  • If your passport expires before the PGWP issued to you should have. 

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Special cases.

If any of the following programs apply to you, you can be eligible for a PGWP.

  • Accelerated programs.

If while studying in Canada you completed the course in a time period less than the normal length of the program, you can apply for a PGWP that will remain valid for the entire length of your program.

  • Distance Learning.

If less than 50% of your course was completed via distance learning, you can apply for the PGWP. The validity period of the Visa will last for the length of your study program including in-class and distance learning periods. But if the distance learning was done outside Canada, it will not be included. Also, if the distance learning method was used to complete more than 50% of your program, you cannot apply for the Post Graduation Work Permit.

  • Leave from Studies.

You will not be able to apply for a PGWP if you took an unauthorized leave from your course program and if you do not satisfy the eligibility criteria of your study visa. However, if you took an authorized leave of less than 150 days, and qualify for your study permit, you can apply for PGWP. 

  • Transfer between Institutes

If your transfer was between two DLI’s and the combined period of your study was more than 8 months, you can apply for a PGWP. However, if you transfer from a non-DLI to DLI, only the period of your study in Canada in the DLI will be counted. It must be more than 8 months. 

  • Study Program with Overseas Component

If your Canadian study program has an Overseas Component but you received the credit for the course from a Canadian educational institution, you are eligible to apply for PGWP. However, its validity will be for the period of time you spent studying while living in Canada.

  • Flight School Graduates

If you are a graduate of a Flight School, you must meet all the eligibility criteria mentioned above. In addition, your flight training must have been received from a DLI and you should possess a Canadian commercial pilot’s license. You could also be waiting for getting a rating as an instructor or have an offer to work in a Canadian authorized flight training centre to work as a flight instructor. 

Supporting documents you will need

Listed below are the required documents you will need while you submit your application for a PGWP. 

  • You must have an official letter from the school that will be used to confirm your study program time period and your program code
  • You must have a degree or diploma to prove that you have officially completed the course.
  • If you studied in a Quebec University, you must have a transcript from the school board or the private school. 

How to apply for a PGWP

You are not authorized to work in Canada until both your study permit and your Canadian work visa have been approved. You will be required to leave Canada if you haven’t applied for a PGWP within 90 days.

The authorities urge you to fill out the online permit-application form for several reasons.

  • You save on mailing and courier fees.
  • Your application processing time will be reduced.
  • You will be certain of your application if it is completed before even submitting it.
  • For any requirement of additional documents, it can be quickly fulfilled online. 
  • You can keep a check on the updated status of your application process more easily. 

However, if for some reason, you need to get an extension or change the existing conditions of your PGWP, you will have to submit a paper application. This is also true if, before the end of the validity of your PGWP, your passport expires.

The Canadian government cautions against letting your study permit expire while waiting for your marks. If in case, this happens, you need to apply for a Visitor Visa to extend your stay in Canada, or you will be required to leave the place and apply for PGWP from outside Canada. If your permit expires while you live in Canada, you will have to apply for renewal of your status as a student to apply for PGWP. For this, another processing fee and the application fee will have to be paid.

The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan have streams or pathways in their Provincial Nominee Program to allow postgraduates or international students from their provinces to apply for permanent residency in Canada and even gain Canadian citizenship. 

Don’t wait any longer. Ask your Immigration consultant if you are eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit and a Canadian visa by the Canadian Immigration Law and visit Canada today!!