After graduation, international students have a chance to stay in Canada to live and work. Foreign nationals who want to gain valuable work experience in their professional field after completion of studies may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). In addition, a post-graduation work permit may help graduates to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
A work permit under the PGWPP may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years. It cannot be valid for longer than the student’s program of study, and the program must be at least eight months in length.
In order to be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, applicants must meet the following requirement:
In addition, applicants must:
Once the eligibility requirements are met, an applicant may apply for the post-graduation work permit by following three main steps:
The package includes the application guide and all the forms needed to complete. You must read the guide and instructions carefully before you complete the application form. If information or documents are missing, your application may be delayed.
You must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation that you have met the requirements of your academic program.
You will be required to pay the “Open Work Permit Holder” fee and the standard Work Permit fee. Both fees are payable in Canadian funds only. You must pay your fees online when prompted as you apply. If you are not prompted to pay one of the fees, you must pay in person.
Please keep in mind that starting February 1, 2016, the payment receipt form (IMM 5401) used to pay at a bank will no longer be available. An original payment receipt form (IMM 5401) will be accepted until March 31, 2016.
The application guide and instructions contain the mailing address where you must send your application package.
For many international graduates, the Canadian Experience Class offers the fastest and most simple path to achieving Permanent Residency. Upon completion of a program or course of study at a Canadian educational institution, international graduates are able to remain in the country on post-graduate work permits. If, during this time, a graduate obtains at least one year of work in a skilled, professional or technical field, they may then become eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class.
As of January 2015, completing an Express Entry profile is the first step for interested candidates who want to be considered for CEC. Eligible candidates may no longer apply directly to the program. Instead, they need to make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada and enter the Express Entry pool, where, subject to their ranking under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), they may receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence and make an application.
The eligibility requirements remain the same under Canada’s new Express Entry immigration selection system, as it did before the CEC program updates: