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Work After Graduation

Are you an international student graduating this year? If so, congratulations! The adventure begins. But does this mean you must leave Canada?

Not necessarily. Your education in Canada has made it unequivocally clear that you are entitled to take your place in the world on equal footing, in every field, at the top of every field. International students who have completed post-graduate studies in Canada may be eligible for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). This will allow you to remain in Canada and obtain Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience gained through the PGWPP will help you qualify for permanent residence in Canada.

This work permit is granted based on the length of your program, up to a maximum of three years. For example, if you graduated from a four-year program, you can be eligible for a three-year work permit. However, if you graduated from a one-year program, your work permit will be valid for no more than a year.

What makes you eligible? You must:

  • have studied full time in Canada in a program that lasted at least eight months;
  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of the application;
  • apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from your institution that you have met the requirement for completing your academic program; and
  • have a valid study work permit within when you apply for the work permit.

Note that there are exceptions to this program. You are not eligible for the PGWP if you:

  • participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD);
  • participate in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFATD;
  • receive funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA);
  • participate in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile;
  • participate in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program;
  • participate in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program;
  • participate in a distance learning program either from abroad or from within Canada; or
  • have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit following any other program of study.

To determine your eligibility for a work permit under the PGWPP, or for more information, contact Azzi Law today!

A cautionary note
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.


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