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180 days to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

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February 15, 2019

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By Haramrit Kaur

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You now have six months to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit after you graduate in Canada, notwithstanding the validity of your study permit

Yesterday afternoon, few minutes after the latest updates were announced, one of our clients happened to share his disappointment over 90 days deadline to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). An international student, who had to bear the burden of obtaining relevant documents to apply for the work permit, was overjoyed and overwhelmed when our Senior Immigration Practitioner informed him of the latest changes that were released few minutes ago.


“You now have six months to apply for PGWP permit”, informed Pradyuman Jhala, senior practitioner at SPS Canada Immigration in Toronto. “He almost cried when I told him that you are safe now.”, said Pradyuman. The international students must go through a sort of tough situations until they get settled by obtaining a work permit after they finish studying, working and finally obtain a permanent residency in Canada.


On February 14, 2019, the Government of Canada notified important changes in its Operational instructions and guidelines regarding the Post-Graduate Work Permit. The Government changed the application period deadline from 90 days to 180 days from the date of receiving the notice of graduation.


These changes will be effective for all the applications made on or after February 14, 2019. The applications made before this date will continue to be considered according to the old rules.


The students will no longer be required to have a valid study permit. The study permit must be valid “at some point” before the deadline period for PGWP, says IRCC.


The PGWP allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. The PGWP is exempted from the Labour Market Impact Assessments. These permits are called Open Work Permits and will allow a student to either work full-time or part-time, or work as a self-employed person.


A brief summary of “what you need to know about PGWP” is given below:


1.     Post-graduation work permit validity


A post-graduation work permit may be issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years. The length of a post-graduation work permit will be determined based on the duration of the studies and the applicant’s passport validity date.


Applicants who are impacted by a strike affecting a DLI in Canada are studying continually full-time during the strike period. 


2.     Post-graduation work permit application


The application for a post-graduation work permit can be made two-ways: 


  • Applications made within Canada
  • Applications made outside Canada


All the applicants must apply for a work permit within 180 days of receiving a written confirmation (such as an official letter or transcript) from the designated educational institution indicating that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study.


The applicant may apply for a post-graduation work permit from within Canada if their study permit is still valid. If the applicant’s study permit is no longer valid, and they wish to remain in Canada, they must apply for visitor status before their study permit expires. For further advice on securing a status when your study permit has expired, please consult us.


Applicants can work full-time on their implied status, while waiting for a final decision on their application.


3.     Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements, programs and institutions


The opportunity to obtain PGWP permit is once in a lifetime, meaning that you can get this work permit only once in your life. You either need to have a valid status in Canada or have left Canada, for your application to be considered. The student must have graduated from an eligible DLI institution and meet other course-specific requirements such as the type of the course, duration of the course.


The applicants enrolled and applying based on the following courses are not eligible for PGWPP:


  • an English as a second language or French as a second language course or program of study
  • general interest or self-improvement courses
  • a course or program of study at a private career college


4.      Travelling before a decision is yet to be made on a post-graduation work permit application


Post-graduation work permit applicants who leave and seek to re-enter Canada before a decision is made on their application must be in possession of either a valid:


  • TRV, when they are from a country whose nationals require a visa
  • eTA, when they are from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt, and they are travelling to Canada by air


We understand your transition from the study permit to a work permit could be challenging and painstaking, therefore, we offer our expert services to you. We can assist you with your PGWP permit, and permanent residency applications.


In order to understand the application process better, please visit our website; You can reach us by an email at support@spscanada.com or call 905.362.9393. 


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