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International Students Can Now Apply for Post-Graduate Work Permits from Outside Canada

The Canadian government recently modified the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) application process, making it easier for international students who have recently graduated to begin working in Canada. In addition to doubling the amount of time that international students have in order to submit the application, applications can now be submitted from outside of Canada.

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International graduates of a Canadian designated learning institution can now apply for a PGWP from overseas. This means students can return home at the end of their student visa and apply from outside of the country. Previously post-graduate work permit applications needed to be submitted exclusively from within Canada. If a PGWP application is submitted from outside of Canada, additional documentation may be requested depending on the visa office that will process the application.

International graduates who apply for a PGWP before the expiry of their study permit are able to begin legally working in Canada. These candidates do not need to hold a Canadian work permit while they await a decision on their application for a PGWP.

Moreover, applicants are still eligible to work full time without a work permit while they are waiting for a decision on their PGWP application even after leaving and re-entering Canada as long as the application was submitted before the expiry of their study permit.

Under the new program changes, international students will have a 180 day window to submit an application for a PGWP upon receiving written confirmation from their educational institution that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study. This application period extends the previous 90 day window that was previously in place for applicants.

Before the recent program changes, applicants for the PGWP needed to apply while their study permits were still valid in Canada. Now, graduates have gained some more time and can apply after their study permit has expired. However, if applicants plan to remain in the country after graduation, they will need to apply for visitor status.

 

Benefits of a Canadian PGWP

Canada’s Post Graduate Work Program is designed to provide an efficient path for international students in Canada to gain permanent residence status in the country. By bridging Canadian education into meaningful full-time work experience in the country, a candidate is in a great position for doing very well under the Canadian Express Entry immigration system. Having Canadian study and work experience ensures that an Express Entry applicant will gain extra points towards their comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score, making them more competitive amongst other applicants for gaining permanent resident status!

2018 saw more international students choosing Canadian universities, with over half of these students planning to eventually transition to permanent residents. As uncertainty grows in American immigration, and more restrictions pile up for accessing temporary visas, Canada has become a more promising option for students all over the world. Offering more affordable tuition rates, internationally-recognized schools, and national efforts to make immigration easier and more effective, Canadian schools are continuing to be chosen over other options.

As Canada embarks in welcoming over one million newcomers by 2021, changes such as those made to the PGWP can be expected to continue in coming months. These amendments signal Canada’s commitment to attracting and retaining international skilled workers, making right now an excellent time to begin the Canadian immigration process!

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