Staying In Canada To Work After Finishing Your Student Work Permit Program

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Post Graduation Work Permits

On February 14, 2019, the Government of Canada announced the changes to the Post Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) program. The most salient changes include two aspects. Firstly, there is now an extension of time to apply. Secondly, immigration laws removed the need to have a valid study permit when applying. For people applying for Post Graduation Work Permits, it is important to complete the application right the first time so that you may remain in Canada. The immigration lawyers at Kahane Law Office can assist with applying for Post Graduation Work Permits regardless of where the graduates school was located in Canada. We are happy to help.

What Is Time Limit To Apply For A PGWP?

Immigration Canada offers a study permit program allowing foreigners to attend Canadian educational institutions. An international graduate is a foreign student studying in Canada under a study permit. International graduates have 180 days to apply for a PGWP once their school issues final marks or transcripts. Prior to the changes, international graduates had 90 days to apply for a PGWP. This doubles the amount of time

international graduates have to apply. Consequently, it is certainly good news for those planning to stay and work in Canada. Students often have a lot going on around the time that they graduate, so this extension makes life easier.

Do I Require A Valid Study Permit?

Another change to the Post Graduation Work Permits program was the removal of the requirement to have a valid study permit when applying for a PGWP.  Now, a study permit must only have been valid at some point during the 180 days that international graduates now have to submit PGWP application. Again, timing of the application for any Post Graduation Work Permits is key. If you need a study permit, Kahane Law can help.

By effectively removing the valid study permit requirement, international graduates will now have adequate time to obtain the documents needed to apply without the stress of dealing with an expired study permit. Allowing international graduates to apply beyond the expiration date of their study permit will make a world of a difference for those who want to stay and gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Must I Maintain Temporary Resident Status?

International graduates may now apply beyond the expiration date on their study permit. That said, it is important to note and keep in mind that if your study permit is no longer valid. This means they cannot study in Canada. When someone wishes to remain in Canada, they must apply for visitor status before the expiration of study permit. Immigration Canada maintains this requirement for all temporary resident paermits.

In other words, international graduates who do not apply for a post-graduation work permit, and whose study permit becomes invalid or expires before submitting a PGWP application, must either leave Canada or submit an application to change their status in Canada.  Alternatively, international graduates may also apply from overseas or apply for a restoration of temporary resident status.

What Is A Post Graduation Work Permit?

A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is an open work permit. This type of work permit allows international graduates of eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to stay and work in Canada for a period of up to three years after their studies are completed. Please note that designated learning institutions constitute more than just universities. Many types of educational institutions receive designation under Canadian immigration laws.

Requirements To Obtain A PGWP

There are several eligibility criteria to get this type of work permit in Canada. In order to be eligible to obtain a PGWP, international graduates must meet all the following criteria:

  • Hold a valid temporary resident status in Canada or have left Canada.
  • Have completed an academic, vocational or professional training that is at least eight months of duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • The international graduates must have completed the program of studies from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI).
  • Have maintained full-time student status in Canada. Exceptions can be made only for the following:
    • leave from studies
    • final academic session
  • You must have received transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming completion of program of study.

Advantages Of A Post Graduation Work Permit

One advantage of a post graduation work permit stands above the rest. It is the fact that you are not required to

have a Canadian job offer at the time of application.This means that an permit holder has time to look for and find a job while retaining status to remain in Canada under immigration laws. As an open work permit, with a PGWP, you can work in any occupation anywhere in Canada, and change employers at any time. In addition, with an open work permit, you can work part time or even be self-employed.

Further, Canadian work experience in occupations rated skill level A or B or skill type 0 under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) can help international graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class. The Canadian Experience Class is one of the three Federal High Skilled programs managed by Canada’s Express Entry system. This class expedites applications for Canadian permanent residence for eligible skilled foreign workers.

Getting Post Graduation Work Permits

At Kahane Law Office we assist you applying and securing a PGWP.  We also offer consultations, if you want to try to apply for a permit yourself. Further, in the event that your study permit is set to expires or had expired, and you still need time to gather documents or simple want to travel before applying for a PGWP, we can assist you maintaining temporary resident status. This is crucial, if you want to remain in Canada.

If you have any questions about this program, or about any other immigration program, please contact one of our immigration lawyers today.  We are here to assist you and help you to make your immigration experience a smooth and cool process. You may reach us by Emailing us here This often reaches us faster. Alternatively, call us at 1-877-225-8817 for no charge calling. Or call our Calgary, Alberta location directly at (403) 225-8810 or our Edmonton, Alberta location at (780) 571-8463. Once again, email is often the fasted way for us to respond to you but we are happy to connect in any way that works for you.