The Post-Graduate Work Program – The Key to Living in Canada 

Graduation is supposed to be a time of celebration – and yes, definitely take the time to celebrate the end of your education and how hard you worked. However, the last few months of school, and the first few months of post-graduate life can be stressful. The cause of that stress? A job search. 

But what can make the first few months of post graduate life even more stressful is if you’re an international student. You now need to worry about finding a job and, at the same time, make sure you can stay in the country you studied in. 

If you’re an international student studying in Canada, you may be eligible for the Canadian Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) program. The PGWP is a golden opportunity for international students to stay and work in Canada after completing their studies, allowing you to gain valuable work experience in Canada.  

What are the Benefits of a PGWP? 

The PGWP is an open work permit, meaning you can work for any employer in Canada, in any field, and in any location. This flexibility is a great advantage for international students who want to gain experience in their field of study and explore job opportunities across Canada.  

One of the biggest benefits of the PGWP program is that it allows international graduates to gain Canadian work experience, which can be a valuable asset in finding permanent residence in Canada. The Canadian government has programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which is designed to help foreign workers who have gained Canadian work experience to apply for permanent residence. 

How long is a PGWP Valid? 

The length of your Post-Graduate Work Program will depend on the length of your study program. If your study program was less than eight months but more than six months, you will not be eligible for a PGWP. If your study program was between eight months and two years, you can get a PGWP that is valid for the same length as your study program. If your study program was more than two years, you can get a PGWP that is valid for three years. An application for a PGWP must be submitted within 180 days of receiving your final grades or within 90 days of receiving a written confirmation of graduation.  

A PGWP is only granted once in one’s lifetime and is typically not extendable, however, the Canadian government recently announced that international graduates with expiring or recently expired PGWPs now have opportunity to qualify for an extended work permit, allowing them to stay in Canada for up to an additional 18 months. As of April 6, 2023, these measures will allow PGWP holders who wish to stay longer to opt in to facilitative process to extend their work permit and will allow Canada to retain high-skilled talent. 

PGWP Eligibility  

To be eligible for the PGWP program, you must have completed a full-time program at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The program must have been at least eight months long, and you must have graduated from a public post-secondary institution, private post-secondary institution, or a private institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees.  

If you are considering applying for a PGWP, set yourself up for success and upload your CV to MyCareer so that you may promote your professional profile to hiring Canadian employers. MyCareer will help you find work in your field by filtering through location, industry, and job types. You will also have access to a range of tools and resources that will help you prepare for interviews, write effective resumes, and stand out from the competition. We’ll make your post-graduate life stress-free. 



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