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Are you an international post-graduate student who has recently graduated from a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI)? If you would prefer to gain some work experience in Canada first, you have the opportunity to do so. 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.
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. Having an open work permit means an individual is permitted to work for any employer in Canada. 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.
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:
• Is at least 18 years of age at the time of application,
• Has graduated from a full time program in Canada that was at least eight months,
• Have graduated from post-secondary or private institution in Canada. If you have graduated from private institution you have to ensure the institution operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions,
• Apply for the PGWP within 90 days of receiving your final transcript or official letter that states you have successfully completed your program from the public or private institution you attended,
• Have a valid study permit when applying for the work permit,
• Be able to provide a letter from your institution that outlines the duration study and program code.
If any of the following conditions applies to you, unfortunately, you cannot apply for a PGWP.
• If your program is less than eight months in length,
• If you participated in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC,
• If you’re received funding from the Canadian International Development Agency,
• If you participated in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile,
• If you participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program,
• If you participated in a distance learning program either from abroad or from within Canada,
• If you have been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit for different program of study.
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).
Post-graduate work permits are a very valuable opportunity for foreign nationals who are recent post-graduates from a Canadian university. However, it can be confusing and overwhelming to prepare for the application. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Akrami & Associates 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. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates 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!