Canada’s Post Graduate Work Permit Program (“PGWP Program“) enables international students who have graduated from a Canadian institution to temporarily work in Canada for up to three years.

As a student, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency once you have gained qualified Canadian work experience.

On February 14, 2019, new instructions for the PGWP Program were published by  Canada’s Immigration Department.

PGWP Program – what’s changed?

Prior to February 14, 2019, an international student had to apply for the PGWPs when:

  1. you still held a valid Study Permit;
  2. and within 90 days from the date the educational institution issued your final marks.

Applying for the PGWP is a big decision and the old guidelines did not give students much time to think about it.

The instructions give international students more time and options. In particular:

  • there is no longer a requirement to hold a valid Study Permit when applying for the PGWP
  • the time frame to apply has been extended from 90 days to 6 months;
  • and the application can be submitted from within Canada, or outside Canada if the student is no longer living there.

In practice that means that, after completing your studies in Canada, you could return to your home country before you decide whether or not to apply for the PGWP.

Talk to an expert

The info we have provided above aims to inform you about the recent changes. It is not intended to be legal or migration advice.

If you intend to hire the services of a professional to represent your interests before the Canadian immigration authorities, only Attorneys who are members in good standing of a Canadian Law Society or Consultants who are licensed by the Immigration Consultants of the Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) are permitted to act as your representative under Canadian law.

For more info on how to find someone to help you, check out this information from the Canadian Government.

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