In recent years, Canada has become a popular destination for international students seeking quality education and subsequent work experience in a developed country. After completing their studies, many international students want to stay in Canada to gain practical work experience. The Canadian government provides such opportunities through the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). This article serves as a comprehensive guide on how to apply for the PGWP application.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students who have completed a program of study at a designated learning institution in Canada to work in Canada after graduation. The permit is not job-specific (open work permit), which means you do not need a job offer or a Labor Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada. This allows graduates to work for any employer in Canada and change employers at any time.
Before applying, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the PGWP:
- You must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months at a designated learning institution in Canada.
- You must have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each semester of your study program (excluding your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took a leave from your studies).
- You must apply within 180 days of when your school issues the final marks for your program of study.
- You need a valid study permit or were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit.
Steps to Apply for the PGWP Application
Gather Your Documents: Before you begin the application process, gather the necessary documents. These include:
- Proof of graduation: A letter from your institution or a copy of your degree/diploma.
- Official transcripts or a copy of your transcript from your school’s website.
- A valid passport.
- A copy of your current immigration document (if applicable).
Create an Online Account: The PGWP application process is conducted online. You’ll need to create a Government of Canada login (GCKey) or sign in using a bank that partners with SecureKey Sign-In Partners.
Complete the Online Form: Log in to your account and select “Apply to come to Canada”. Follow the prompts and answer the questions accurately to fill out the application. Ensure you select “Obtained a degree, diploma or certificate from a Canadian educational institution” when asked about the main reason you want to extend your stay.
Pay the Fees: The application requires payment of a work permit fee (CAD 155) and an open work permit holder fee (CAD 100). Ensure you’ve made these payments.
Submit Your Application: Review your application thoroughly for any errors. Then, submit your application online.
Processing Time and Next Steps
After you’ve submitted your application, it will be processed, which may take several weeks or months. During this time, you may be asked to submit additional documents. Keep an eye on your account for updates or requests from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Once the IRCC processes your application, you’ll receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI), confirming the approval. If you’re in Canada, you may also receive your physical work permit. Keep in mind that the PGWP is a one-time opportunity – once it expires, you cannot renew it.
How do I start a PGWP application in Canada?
You can start a PGWP application by first ensuring that you meet the eligibility criteria. Then, gather your necessary documents such as proof of graduation, official transcripts, a valid passport, and a copy of your current immigration document, if applicable. After that, you will create an online account on the Government of Canada website. Complete the online form, pay the required fees, review your application, and submit it online.
How long does it take to apply for PGWP?
The actual application process – gathering documents, completing the form, and submitting it – can be done in a few hours or days, depending on how quickly you can gather your required documents. However, the processing time for your application by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) varies. It was approximately 96 days for online applications but may vary depending on the volume of applications received by IRCC. Always check the official IRCC website for the most current processing times.
How do I qualify for PGWP in Canada?
To qualify for a PGWP in Canada, you must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months at a designated learning institution in Canada. You must have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each semester of your study program (excluding your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took a leave from studies). You must apply within 180 days of when it was confirmed that you completed your program of study and while having a valid study permit or while being authorized to study in Canada without a study permit.
Can I apply for PGWP from outside Canada?
Yes, you can apply for a PGWP from outside Canada. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a PGWP either from within Canada or from abroad. However, please note that any time spent outside of Canada will not count towards the length of the PGWP. Be sure to check the official IRCC website for any changes in this policy.
The PGWP is an excellent way for international students to gain valuable work experience in Canada after graduation. Successfully securing a PGWP can open doors to long-term employment, Canadian residency, and eventually, citizenship.
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