Last Updated on April 11, 2019
April 10, 2019 – Prospective study in Canada candidates planning to stay and work here after graduation are being warned they need to make sure both their chosen course and institution are eligible.
Candidates only meet the requirements for Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit if they graduate from a designated learning institution in a PGWP-eligible program.
The PGWP allows international students to stay and work in Canada for between eight months and three years after they graduate.
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The length of the work permit depends on the length of the program, provided the program is eligible.
Time spent working in Canada can then count towards an application for permanent residence.
A full list of designated learning institutions that offer PGWP-eligible programs is available on the federal government website.
It is important to note that not all designated learning institutions offer programs that meet the requirements for the PGWP.
The institution and course requirements have always been in place, but were brought to light by a recent investigation into the immigration consultancy industry by Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper.
The investigation found immigration consultants being paid significant fees were promising international students a pathway to permanent residence.
In certain cases, foreign students invested thousands of dollars in consultancy fees and tuition fees to come to Canada, expecting to qualify for the PGWP after graduation, only to find out they did not.
Post Graduation Work Permit: Who Can Apply?
- Be 18 or older.
- Have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a program at least eight months long.
- Have completed and passed all your program requirements.
- Apply within six months of completing the program.
- Graduate from one of the following:
- Public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec.
- Private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec).
- Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles(DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP).
- Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree) but only if you are enrolled in a study program leading to a degree as authorized by the province.
A three-step process has been established in Canada targeting international students. First, they hold Study Permits while in full time education, second, they can become eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit, and third, they can use all the experience gathered to qualify for permanent residence.
As of the end of 2018, there were 572,415 Study Permit holders in Canada, a 16 per cent rise on the 492,425 recorded in 2018.
The figures cover students from high schools, colleges and universities, in Canada benefitting from its world class education system.
Study Permit numbers have increased 180 per cent in the last decade, as successive governments have recognized the benefit to the Canadian economy of increasing international student levels.
International students are an important source of revenue for Canada’s schools, paying significantly higher tuition fees than their Canadian counterparts.
With Canadian education much cheaper than across the border in the U.S., Canada’s best universities are often seen as a pathway to a world class education without the dollar outlay required south of the border.
Students from India and China dominate the international student landscape, accounting for 315,610, or 55 per cent, of the total Study Permit holders in Canada.
The political climate in the U.S. is also pushing many would-be international students towards Canada as a study-abroad option.
Candidates who would previously only have considered America are turning their attention north because of the anti-immigration stance taken by Donald Trump’s government.
As the U.S. makes it more difficult to move there, and life more difficult for immigration already in the country, Canada is doing the opposite, particularly for international students.
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