If you are an international student aspiring to kickstart your career in Canada, then you already know that the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is your golden ticket to gaining valuable work experience after completing your studies. The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) offers a unique pathway to blend academic excellence with professional growth. It is important to mention that it acts as a crucial bridge, allowing graduates to transition seamlessly from their academic pursuits to gaining valuable Canadian work experience. As the end of the year approaches, many Canadian international students are waiting for the unveiling of a groundbreaking update to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) for 2024, hoping this legislation will allow them to continue working, as there are currently few options for permanent residence.
International graduates have the possibility of extending their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) for a maximum of 18 months. This is known as a PGWP extension. To help solve the labour crisis in the nation and retain highly trained personnel, the Canadian government announced this extension in March 2023. As of right now, students whose work permits expire before December 2023 can extend them for a maximum of 18 months under the most recent PGWP extension policy. Students who received an extension in 2022 are also included in this.
Many students believe they are being treated unfairly because they are not eligible for the same extension as others whose PGWPs expire in January 2024 or later. For Canadian permanent residence, these students typically rely on the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) through the Express Entry system. But starting in September 2021, the government has stopped allowing as many students to take this road, and the procedure is now more narrowly targeted at particular groups.
The Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, stated on October 27, 2023, that the PGWP program is being reviewed. But even though the end of the year is one step away from us, there is still no news from the Government of Canada if there will be a PGWP extension for 2024.
PGWP Extension Eligibility
You have to fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible for a PGWP extension in 2024:
- A PGWP that is currently in effect and expires within 18 months of the application date is required.
- You must be working full-time in Canada in a skilled profession in order to qualify.
- You needed to have finished a full-time course of study at one of Canada’s designated learning institutions (DLIs).
- You must have finished your degree program within the last five years in order to be eligible.
- You are a healthcare worker working full-time in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- You are a graduate of a STEM program (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
- You are a French-speaking graduate who is working in a French-speaking community in Canada.
A PGWP application may only be submitted once in a lifetime. You will not be able to apply for another PGWP for further study programs in Canada if you choose to go back to school after applying.
Consider applying for a different kind of Canadian work permit, such as an open work permit or an employer-specific work permit, if your post-graduation work permit is about to expire. You can keep your status to work in Canada if you apply before your PGWP expires and complete the requirements of these permits.
The current processing time for PGWP extensions is 6-8 months.
To find out more about your possibilities for staying in Canada once your PGWP work permit expires, get in touch with us.