Study and Work in Canada with Post Graduation Work Visa

Canada has a staggering 642,000 international students, and this is in large part due to its top-ranked universities as well as immigration opportunities.  The ongoing pandemic has made students wary of overseas study, and in response, Canada has introduced major reforms.  Even if the semester begins with online classes, students will still be entitled to a postgraduate work visa.  

What is PGWP? 

PGWP refers to the Post Graduate Work Permit that allows students in Canada to work after their graduation. As soon as you graduate your course, you’re eligible to apply for a PGWP. It does not require you to have a job offer before your application, nor do you need to work in a related field to your graduation major. What you need to keep in mind though is that the duration of your work permit will equal the length of the programme you have completed and that you must comply with postgraduate work permit requirements. 

 The eligibility requirements for a PGWP in Canada 

  • You should have completed a programme of study, that has lasted for eight months at least.
  • The programme should have earned you a degree, a diploma or a certificate.
  • It should have been a full-time course. Exception 1 – Part-time study in your final academic session only. Exception 2 – You have an authorised gap between your course of study not exceeding 180 days.
  • You must hold a valid study permit or apply for a PGWP for Canada within180 days after you receive your letter certifying course completion. 
  • In case, your study permit lapses then you should have applied for visitors status or applied to restore your temporary residence status or applied from outside of Canada.

Once you apply and receive your PGWP, there are a few more processes to complete. Make sure that  you extend your BG Medical Services Plan, Extend your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and apply  for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

How to get a PR in Canada after one year of study?

Canadian provinces and territories allow students to get a permanent residency even after just a year of study. To do this, you must apply through the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP). British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario provide the PNP opportunity. 

1. British Columbia

Even if you have studied elsewhere in Canada, British Columbia still allows you to apply for PNP. This system is called the Express Entry International Graduate, and you must apply for it within 3 years of completing a degree, diploma, or a certificate course from a qualified institution in Canada.  Candidates must also have a full-time job offer from an employer located in BC. You should also have the minimum language requirements put forth by the federal Immigration Program.

2. Manitoba

The Manitoba Government provides you with the International Education Stream Program, which allows you to live and work with a PR permit. An applicant should have secured a full-time job offer from an employer in Manitoba and show a bank account with sufficient funds to cover self-expenditure for 6months. Also, get a minimum score of 7 to meet the language requirements set up by the Canadian Language Bench.

3. Newfoundland and Labrador

Even if you have completed a course outside of this province, you will be asked to work for a minimum of one year before submitting your PNP application. Their PNP programme for international students is called the Newfoundland and Labrador International GraduateYou should have completed at least half of your studies in Canada and graduated from a Canadian college that is recognised. Applicants should have a legal post-graduation work permit and show the interest in settling in this province. Also, meet the language requirements set up by the Canadian Language Bench. 

4. Ontario

Ontario permits you to live and work permanently through their Immigration Nominee Programme called Master’s Graduate Stream. For this, applicants should submit their application within two years of completion of a course and complete at least one year of a full-time study from a recognised university in Ontario. Applicants are not eligible if they are a recipient of a grant or scholarship which requires them to return to their country after the completion of the course.  You should meet the language requirements set up by the Canadian Language Bench. 

How to secure a Work Permit in Canada?

The application is a two-way process. 

Step 1: Apply for the Labour Market Impact Assessment ( LMIA) provided by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). A Canadian employer must seek to make domestic recruitment efforts before he recruits immigrants. He must necessarily ensure that no Canadian permanent residents or citizens are qualified for a position at hand. 

Step 2: Once the LMIA has been issued, you can apply for a Canadian work permit on this basis. 

  • The work permits are employer-specific unless you have an open work permit. 
  • If you want to change employers, you have to obtain a new work permit before you apply for another job in the country.

What is the duration of the Work Permit for Canada?

Individuals are permitted to work in Canada for four years only either at a stretch or gap between permits. Every Canadian work permit has an expiry date. If you want to work in Canada permanently, you must necessarily acquire a Permanent Resident Status (PR).

The Canadian Government has set limits on the Canadian Work Permits as also on the length of time for which non-Canadians can work in Canada.

A Canadian PGWP is only issued once to every applicant. So students are recommended to consult with IEC Abroad advisors to understand all that is required right at the time of application to Canadian Universities.