International Students – Work after you graduate!

International Students – Work after you graduate!

I have been approached by five kababayans this week inquiring about the Post Graduation Work Permit or PGWP. An International Student or a study permit holder may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if he/she graduated from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), the school is PGWP eligible and if he/she wants to stay in Canada temporarily to work. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website provides a list of all the schools who are designated learning institution (DLI) and the same list will also show if the school is PGWP eligible. If your school of choice is DLI but NOT PGWP eligible, you will not be eligible for the PGWP. Remember, that you can’t work after graduation if you have NO Post Graduation Work Permit or PGWP.

Please note that graduating or completing your program from a Designated Learning Institution or DLI doesn’t automatically make you eligible for a PGWP. Before obtaining the Letter of Acceptance from a DLI, you must check if that DLI is also PGWP eligible to be able to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit or PGWP. I strongly suggest that you do your due diligence before applying for the Letter of Acceptance (LOA).

Upon receipt of your final marks, you have 180 days to apply for a PGWP.

What happens if your study permit expires before you get your marks: you have two options- first you can apply for a Visitor record to stay in Canada longer while waiting for your marks or leave Canada and apply for your PGWP. If you decide to stay in Canada and your study permit has expired, you must immediately apply to restore your status as a student to apply for the PGWP. When you apply for the restoration of your status, you must pay additional fees to IRCC.

The validity of the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will depend on the length of your study program. If your program is less than eight months, unfortunately, you are not eligible for a PGWP. If the program is two years or more IRCC MAY give you a PGWP that’s valid for up to 3 years.

PGWP has a pre-determined duration based on the years of post-secondary study in Canada (and this cannot exceed three years), immigration officers will issue a PGWP for a shorter duration if the applicant’s passport expire earlier. A friendly reminder to kababayans to ensure that their passport is valid for the entire length of time they should be eligible for. If your passport expires sooner, IRCC will only issue you a PGWP which has the same validity as your current passport and IRCC will advise you if you need to extend your PGWP to get the full validity of the PGWP.

Please don’t forget that a PGWP application must be accompanied by the $155.00 work permit processing fee and the $ 100.00 open work permit holder fee. As per current guidelines, your application for PGWP must be submitted online.

If you have questions regarding the above article you may contact Marjorie at
Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

A word of caution: You should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not a legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing of ICCRC. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of RCIC’s.

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