Explained: Canada’s New Post Graduation Work Permit Requirements

Explained: Canada’s New Post Graduation Work Permit Requirements
Canada immigration free assessment

Many international students will soon to be unable to get the coveted Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP), but others will get longer periods of time to work in Canada, under changes announced recently.

Following the recent announcement of caps on the number of international students, there are significant changes to the eligibility requirements of the PGWP.

“Starting Sept. 1, international students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post­graduation work permit upon graduation,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“Under curriculum licensing agreements, students physically attend a private college that has been licensed to deliver the curriculum of an associated public college.

“These programs have seen significant growth in attracting international students in recent years, though they have less oversight than public colleges and they act as a loophole with regards to post-graduation work permit eligibility.”

Read More Canada Immigration News

Alberta Targets Healthcare And Agriculture Workers With 108 Express Entry Invitations
Ontario Issues 1,654 Canada Immigration Invitations In New PNP Draw
International Students In Canada: Top 10 Most Important Source Countries

That will effectively limit the number of international students who will qualify for the PGWP.

But graduates of master’s and other short graduate-level programs are getting a break under the new criteria. They will soon be eligible to apply for a three-year work permit.

“Under current criteria, the length of a post­graduation work permit is based solely on the length of an individual’s study program, hindering master’s graduates by limiting the amount of time they have to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residence.”

Spouses of international students in undergraduate and college programs, though, will soon no longer be eligible for open work permits.

“In the weeks ahead, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs,” states the IRCC.

The Canadian government is under fire from opposition critics who are blaming the housing crisis in Canada on the country’s record-high levels of immigration.

“International students are vital to Canada and enrich our communities. As such, we have an obligation to ensure that they have access to the resources they need for an enriching academic experience. In Canada, today, this isn’t always the case,” said Immigration Minister Marc Miller on Jan. 22.

Watch Video

“Today, we are announcing additional measures to protect a system that has become so lucrative that it has opened a path for its abuse.

“Enough is enough. Through the decisive measures announced today, we are striking the right balance for Canada and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system while setting students up for the success they hope for.”

Senior economists at the big banks say immigration has been poorly managed, putting pressure on the federal government to make changes.

Among them is a proposed series of two-year limits on the number of international students allowed to study in each province.”

“The cap is expected to result in approximately 364,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35 per cent from 2023,” the immigration minister has reportedly said. “In the spirit of fairness, we are also allocating the cap space by province, based on population.”

Study Permits Allows International Students To Work On Campus While In Canada

Under the proposed cap on study permits, the provinces and territories will each have a limit on their ability to welcome new international students. The Globe and Mail reports those proposed limits will allow some provinces to increase their international student population while dramatically cutting it in other provinces, including Ontario.

Miller first floated the idea of a cap on international students in December to address worries that record immigration is contributing to the country’s housing crisis.

International students are able to work on campus without a work permit while completing their studies if:

  • they have a valid study permit;
  • are full-time students at a post-secondary public school (college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec), or at a private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools and is at least 50 per cent funded by government grants, or at a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law, and;
  • have a Social Insurance Number.

International students are also usually able to work off-campus without a work permit  while completing their studies – when the current liftin of the 20-hour rule is not in effect – if:

  • they have a valid study permit;
  • are full-time students in a designated learning institution (a post-secondary program, or in Quebec at a vocational program at the secondary level as well);
  • their study program is academic, vocational or professional, it lasts at least six months and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate;
  • they are only working up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, and full time during scheduled breaks (for example, winter and summer holidays or spring break).

Certain study programs include work requirements such as co-op or internships. In such cases, a work permit is required in order for the foreign student to be able to complete the work.

International students are able to travel and work in Canada for up to one year through the International Experience Canada if:

  • they are between the ages of 18 and 35 and;
  • their country of origin has an agreement with Canada.
Canada immigration free assessment
Previous articleCanada To Improve Healthcare Credential Recognition With $86m Spending
Next articleBritish Columbia Issues At Least 216 Invitations In New PNP Draw
Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.