Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and open work permit for the spouse of PGWP holder

Post-Graduation Work Permit and Open work permit for spouse of PGWP holder

Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Students who have graduated from an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit.

This work permit allows students who have completed their studies in Canada and who meet certain eligibility requirements to obtain relevant work experience in Canada.

The PGWP is an open work permit. This means that foreign national graduates who possess this type of permit can stay in Canada and work for any employer.  

What are the requirements for a Post-Graduation Work Permit Program?

To be eligible for a PGWP applicants must either have valid temporary status in Canada or have left Canada before the expiry of their status.

Applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • The Applicant completed an academic, vocational, or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration or longer.
  • The program must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate from an eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institution.
  • They must have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each semester or academic session of the program. An Exemption may be sought in certain circumstances.
  • They have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible learning institution confirming that they have met completed their program of study.

Applicant must also within 180 days of the date they apply for a PGWP meet one of the following criteria:

  • They hold a valid study permit.
  • They held a study permit.
  • They were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Regulations.

Eligible candidates can submit their post-graduation work permit applications online.

Can a person work while they wait for a decision on their Post-graduation Work Permit?

Students who have completed their studies and who have applied for a PGWP may work while they are waiting for a decision on their application, provided they meet all the following requirements:

  • they had or have a valid study permit at the time of applying.
  • they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI in a post-secondary academic, vocational, or professional training program
  • they were authorized to work off-campus without a work permit
  • they did not exceed the allowable hours of work

Can I use my work experience gained under my Post-graduate Work Permit for Permanent Residence?

Provided the work experience is relevant work experience, yes.

Skilled Canadian work experience under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B that is gained through the PGWP can be used by graduates to qualify for permanent residence.

For more information see this article about the Canadian Experience Class.

Open work permit for the spouse of PGWP holder – What are the requirements?

The spouse or common-law partner of a PGWP holder can obtain apply for a work permit if certain requirements are met. The spouse of the PGWP holder must be employed in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B. The PGWP holder must also be approved to work in Canada six months or longer. Please note that the government of Canada has recently announced the expansion of the eligibility requirements for more information see this article. Therefore, please refer to the policy prior to applying.

This is demonstrated by providing the following documents:

·       A letter of employment from the spouse’s current employer. The letter should confirm that the spouse works in a NOC 0, A or B occupation. Alternatively, a copy of your spouse’s employment offer or contract can be submitted.

·       Evidence of the spouse’s status

·       a copy of your spouse’s recent pay slips

For more information on the PGWP Program or for an open work permit of a spouse of a PGWP holder, you may want to book a paid consultation with our lawyer.

Please note that this is general information and should not be construed as legal advice.

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