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How to Apply For Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada

Are you looking to work in Canada after graduating? If so, having a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will be non-negotiable. With a PGWP, graduates from eligible Canadian institutions get to work in Canada for the period stated on the PGWP.
Thankfully, Canada has a wide array of lucrative job opportunities in fields like Software engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Accounting. It gives Canadian graduates an upper hand in landing jobs after graduating.
While this may seem easy, sadly, not everyone gets it right. Since a PGWP is non-renewable, you have no choice but to play smart. Paying attention to things like eligibility requirements sets you up for success.
In this article, we show you how to successfully apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada, paying attention to the requirements, mistakes you should avoid and any new changes you ought to know.

Eligibility requirements for PGWP in Canada
Pay attention to the following eligibility requirements:

  • You must have graduated from an authorized Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. Also, go ahead and ensure that the DLI that you were in makes you eligible for PGWP since not all of them offer that luxury.
  • Since you can only get a PGWP after graduation, one must have already left the country. If still in Canada, they must be holding a valid short-term status. At no point should you be in Canada illegally.
  • You must have completed a study program in Canada for a period not less than eight months. At the end of the program or training, you get awarded either a Certificate, Diploma, or Degree. Your PGWP duration can only be up to the time of your study. For instance, if your Diploma course is two years, your PGWP duration can only be up to a maximum of two years.
  • You must have been studying on a full-time basis. Students who take a study leave or study part-time on their last academic session get exempted.
  • Have an official letter plus an academic transcript from the authorized DLI to show completion of the study.
  • Applicants must be holders or previous holders of legal study permits within 180 days of PGWP application. Also, you can only apply for a PGWP within the 180 days after you get awarded your final marks by your DLI.
  • You can only get awarded a PGWP once in your lifetime. Hence, you are only eligible to apply if you have never had a Canadian PGWP.

How to Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada
Now that you have figured out your eligibility status for a Canadian PGWP application, it is time for you to apply. Follow the following steps to be a successful PGWP applicant:

Step 1: Pay the PGWP Fees

Pay the fees for the Open Work Permit holder and Standard Work Permit. With an Open Work Permit, a foreign international can work for any employer anywhere in Canada. The PGWP fee is $255 CAN.

Step 2: Pay Restoration Fees for Expired Study Permit

For those international students whose study permits had already expired, before 90 days elapse since study permit expiration, make sure you pay both fees plus an additional $350 for renewal of student status. Follow this up by attaching the receipt copy to the online application of the PGWP. The total cost for restoration of student status plus PGWP will be $605 CAN.

Step 3: PGWP Processing Time

Wait for the processing time of 106 days (either online or paper) to elapse. Steer away from working in Canada during this time.

Step 4: Receive PGWP

Receive your Post-Graduate Work Permit and start working in Canada.
Note the following when applying for a Canadian PGWP:

  • You can get a Canadian PGWP after finishing your studies online while you are outside Canada. For those taking two programs concurrently, take note of the following things that may affect your PGWP:
    • Ensure that you pursue both programs in an authorized DLI.
    • Ensure that you complete those programs within two years.
    • Each program satisfies all the demands of PGWP eligibility prerequisites.
    • Realize that the time you spent studying before you applied for the study permit gets excluded from the duration of your PGWP.
  • For those international students with more than one program completed, you can get a PGWP that combines the duration of both programs. For example, if you concurrently took two programs from eligible Canadian DLIs, where one lasts ten months and the other one year, you can get a PGWP with a duration of 1 year and ten months.
  • Ensure that your passport is valid for the period of your PGWP. If your passport expires before your PGWP elapses, you risk getting awarded a PGWP that only covers up to the time on your passport. If you are lucky, you get to extend your passport time to get full PGWP validity.
  • If you need to lengthen or change the conditions on your PGWP, you must apply on paper. For extension, only apply for it if your passport lapsed before the expiration of the PGWP validity period.

Common Mistakes International Students Make When Applying for a Canadian PGWP

To evade having your Canadian PGWP application rejected, avoid these common mistakes:

International Students Studying at a Non-Eligible Institution
Remember that you cannot be eligible to apply for a Canadian PGWP if you study in a school outside those listed as eligible DLIs. Even if you go ahead and complete your study in these non-listed institutions, you still do not qualify for PGWP.

Avoid this by ensuring that the institution you want to study in is an eligible DLI.

Part-time study
The only exception is if one studies part-time during their last semester. If your academic transcripts show that you studied part-time for any period other than that, you risk having your PGWP application rejected.

90 Days Elapse Before Restoration of Student Status

You only have up to 90 days to apply for restoration of student status after your study permit expires. Once that grace period elapses, count yourself unlucky in regards to PGWP.

Illegal Work

As a student, you can work for up to 20 hours a week. If you either work for more than 20 hours per week or work before you start studying, then you end up being on Canada’s bad books. It can lead to IRCC rejecting your application.

You took a Gap Year

If you take a gap year and fail to give a valid reason in your application, your PGWP can get rejected.

Expiration of Study Permit Before or During PGWP Application

You should pay an online student restoration status fee of $200 during your PGWP application. You may need to pay an additional cost of $150 for a new study permit. It totals $350. Failure to pay this can lead to rejection of your PGWP by IRCC.

Failing to Attach your Academic Transcript from the Eligible DLI

If you apply for the PGWP but omit an attachment of your academic transcript, your application can end up rejected.

You are illegally in Canada

If your study permit has expired yet you are in Canada without a visitors’ record, you are illegally in the country.
Remember that you can leave Canada and apply for your PGWP online from anywhere in the world. It will not affect your coming back once you get awarded the PGWP. Other advantages of the PGWP online application include:

  • Zero courier charges
  • Higher chances of faster processing in your application.
  • It is easier for you to review and make changes to your application before submission. You can also submit other documents promptly if need be.
  • You get prompt updates about your application’s status. This gets directly sent to your online account.

Parting Shot

Working in Canada after graduating is easier than most perceive. By paying attention to eligibility requirements and mistakes one should avoid while applying for a PGWP, an International student can be successful in getting a Post-Graduate Work Permit in Canada.

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