Are you an international post-graduate student who has recently graduated from a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI)? If you are a foreign national who attended a Canadian college or university (DLI), you are likely considering what your next steps are. Perhaps you don’t want to return to your country of origin quite yet, because you would prefer to gain some work experience in Canada first. If this is the case for you, there is good news. The Canadian government recognizes many international students would love to continue to experience the Canadian workforce; after all, they just finished studying at a Canadian institution for quite some time. Therefore, they have given the post-graduate work permit program (PGWP), which specifically allows international post-graduate students who have finished studies in Canada, to apply for an open work permit. This blog aims to tell you all you need to know about applying for a PWGP, and what it means to have an open work permit in Canada.
Having an open work permit means an individual is permitted to work for any employer in Canada, who is not listed as an “ineligible employer.” On a PGWP the maximum length of time you will be permitted to work in Canada is 3 years, depending on your program of study. To be clear, the length of time your PGWP will be valid is dependent on how long your study program is. For example, if your program of study was 1 year long, you will only be granted a PGWP for 1 year. Furthermore, if your program of study was 4 years, you will be granted a 3 year PGWP, as this is the maximum length of time a PGWP can possibly be granted.
The post graduate work permit program is a very useful, very unique opportunity for students who have recently graduated from a Canadian institution. Obviously, this gives foreign nationals the opportunity to gain work experience in the Canadian economy. More than this though, individuals who choose to go this route may have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence through the express entry program. Unfortunately though, many students are unaware of some of the requirements they must meet to be eligible for a PGWP, and ultimately miss the chance to apply.
The requirements an individual must meet to be eligible for a PGWP are as follows:
If any of the following conditions applies to you, unfortunately, you cannot apply for a PGWP.
To apply for a PGWP, there is a variety of this you will need to do to submit a complete application. Though, unlike a closed work permit, you will not need to have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer, as you will be permitted to work anywhere in Canada if the application is approved. Essentially, your application for a PGWP is to establish that you are in fact qualified to work in Canada. Therefore, you will be providing information about your nationality, proficiency in English or French, age, level of education, previous work experience, income and financial supports and several other points of concern, to determine you should be permitted to enter the Canadian working economy.
You have the options of applying for a PGWP online or by mail, if online is not preferred. Regardless of the chosen method, please remember you must apply within 90 days of receiving your written confirmation of program completion from your learning institution. Also, please be aware you will have to pay both the Open Work Permit Holder fee ($100CAD) and standard Work Permit fee ($155CAD).
As I’m sure it is clear, post-graduate work permits are a very valuable opportunity for foreign nationals who are recent post-graduates from a Canadian university. Though, this is an opportunity which is very easy to miss. For these reasons, it is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying for a post-graduate work permit. Moreover, it is extremely important to understand all that is required of your application, to avoid submitting an application which will get refused. Please note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain a post-graduate work permit after completing their studies in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!