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PGWP Eligibility Requirements

Posted on 13/01/2022

Note: on February 7, 2022, IRCC delivered a program update that “Students who were enrolled in a post-graduation work permit (PGWP)-eligible program from March 2020 until the summer 2022 semester can complete 100% of their program of study outside of Canada and still retain their eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).”

With Express Entry minimum requirements going through the roof in most draws during 2021, the need to have both Canadian work and study experience has become greater than ever before, especially if you want to obtain an ITA and become a permanent resident of Canada.

With this in mind, if you have or are soon about to complete your post-secondary studies at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, you really need to look into Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP). It’s a way of combining your Canadian academic experience with Canadian work experience and can be a vital step to getting your PR status.

Who’s eligible for a PGWP?

You must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You have valid temporary status in Canada (in other words, your study permit is still valid) OR you have left Canada after completing your studies but held a valid study permit during the duration of your studies,
    • If you are a family member of a diplomat or other foreign service employee, or a family member of a member of a member of a foreign military, then you may be exempt from needing a study permit.
  • You have graduated (completed all program requirements) from an eligible DLI,
  • Your academic, vocational, or professional training program at the DLI was at least 8 months in duration and led to a degree, diploma, or certificate,
  • You maintained full-time status during each semester of your studies with the following exceptions allowed:
    • You took a period of leave authorized by your DLI and supported by documentation from the DLI authorizing your leave of studies. Remember that leave of studies should not exceed 150 days (5 months).
      • PLEASE NOTE: If you don’t resume your studies within 150 days, you will have to change your status (for example to a visitor visa or temporary work permit) and you will no longer be an international student.
    • You maintained part-time status in your final semester/session.
  • You have a transcript and an official letter from your DLI confirming you’ve graduated which you must include in your PGWP application package.

What would disqualify me from applying for a PGWP?

You are ineligible if any of the following are true:

  • You previously were issued a PGWP (you can only be issued ONE PGWP in your lifetime)
  • You received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) unless you were a Study in Canada Scholarship recipient, in which case you are allowed to apply for a PGWP
  • You were given an Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
  • You were part of the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program
  • You took part in the OAS Fellowships Program
  • The majority of your program was done by distance learning
  • Your program of study was at a non-Canadian institution (which would not qualify as an eligible DLI).

What supporting documents do I need to provide in my application?

The 2 crucial supporting documents for a PGWP application are:

  • An official letter from your DLI confirming you have completed your program of study
  • An official transcript from your DLI – you can instead provide a copy of your transcript from your DLI’s official website.

Posted in Tips and tagged International students in Canada, PGWP

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