Post-graduation Work Permit
To work in Canada after graduation, you must apply for a work permit within 90 days after you finished your program. This work experience can help you qualify for permanent residence.
Who can apply for a post-graduation work permit?
- be 18 or older when you apply
- have continuously studied full-timein Canada in a study program at least eight months long
- have a document from your school (transcript, official letter, certificate, etc.) that confirms you completed and passed all your program requirements
- have graduated from a public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university
- apply for a work permit within 90 days of when it was confirmed that you completed your program and have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.
You aren’t eligible to apply for a PGWP if you:
- studied in a program that was less than eight months long
- studied for more than eight months but not continuously (for example, you took a semester off)
- took part in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
- took part in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC
- had funding from GAC
- took part in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
- took part in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
- took part in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
- completed a study program by distance learning either from abroad or from within Canada or
- already had a post-graduation work permit following any other program of study.
How long is a post-graduation work permit valid?
How long the post-graduation work permit is valid for depends on the length of your study program. If your program was:
- less than eight months
- you aren’t eligible for a PGWP
- more than eight months but less than two years
- your PGWP may be valid for up to the same length as your study program (for example, if you studied for nine months, a work permit may be issued for up to nine months)
- two years or more
- a PGWP may be issued for three years
- more than one program
- a PGWP may be valid for up to three years, for example, if you finished a diploma or degree from an eligible school in Canada, and within the next two years you get a one-year graduate degree or diploma from an eligible school in Canada.
For more information please visit Canada Immigration website http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-postgrad-who.asp
Permanent Residence Status
If you want to stay in Canada as a permanent resident after you graduate, there are a number of options. Each has its own requirements. The information below is taken from CIC website.
v Immigrate as a skilled worker through Express Entry
Canadian Experience Class Minimum Requirements
To qualify for the CEC through Express Entry, you must have:
- at least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last three years (before you apply). The work was:
- full-time OR
- an equal amount in part-time
- gained your work experience in Canada with the proper authorization
- meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability
- planned to live outside the province of Quebec
Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (such as on a co-op work term) doesn’t count under this program.
Note: The province of Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers.
Skilled work experience
To be eligible for the CEC, you need to have Canadian skilled work experience within three years of applying. According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:
- Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
- Professional jobs (NOC skill type A)
- Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)
Your experience must be at least
- 12 months of full-time work
- 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours), OR
- equal amount in part-time hours, such as:
- 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
- 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
You must show that you did the duties set out in the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the main duties listed.
You must take a language test approved by Canada Immigration that shows that you meet the requirements.
The person who is invited to apply and submits an application is the “principal applicant.” If you’re married or live with a common-law foreign national partner in Canada, and that person also meets the requirements, either or both of you can fill out an Express Entry profile.
A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a marriage-like relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
Please check CIC website for more details http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/apply-who.asp
v Provincial nominees
Most provinces and territories in Canada can nominate immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These immigrants must have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of that province or territory, and must want to live there.
Each province and territoryFootnote * has its own “streams” (immigration programs that target certain groups) and criteria for their PNP. For example, in a program stream, provinces and territories may target students, business people, skilled workers or semi-skilled workers.
For more information please visit CIC website