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Post Study Work Visa in Canada - Work Permit, Duration, Eligibility, Process

Post Study Work Visa in Canada - Work Permit, Duration, Eligibility, Process

Edited By Prabhjyot Kaur | Updated on Jul 10, 2024 04:38 PM IST

A post study work visa Canada allows international students to stay back and work in Canada for up to 3 years. Candidates who have recently graduated from one of the Canadian universities that are Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) meet the eligibility for the postgraduate work permit in Canada. This offers a fastrack way to get a post study work visa in Canada unlike the separate work permit procedure involved. A job offer from a Canadian employer is not necessary to get a work permit after study in Canada. The post study work visa in Canada duration varies according to the type of course completed in Canada.

Latest Update - Recently, the Ministry of Immigration of Canada has made a few changes in post-graduation work permit eligibility. Starting from September 1, 2024, students who enrol for the study programmes which are a part of the curriculum licensing agreements, are not eligible for a post-study work visa in Canada.

Some of the latest updates on the post study work visa Canada to ensure a positive experience in the country for international students are as follows:

  • Cap and provincial attestation letter: From January 22, 2024, new post-secondary international students pursuing higher education in Canada at the college or undergraduate level must provide a provincial attestation letter (PAL) along with their study permit application from a province or territory.
  • Post-graduation work permit (PGWP) update for graduates of master’s degree programmes: Starting on February 15, 2024, candidates who are graduating from a master’s degree programme and meet all the PGWP eligibility criteria will be permitted a 3-year post-graduation work permit to boost Canada's potential labour market.
  • PGWP eligibility for public-private partnership college programmes: IRCC has made a change to restrict PGWPs for different public institutions that license their curriculum to be delivered by an affiliated private college to ensure the quality of education.
  • Changes to open work permit eligibility for spouses: The Canadian government has also been planning on updating the post graduate work permit canada requirements and eligibility for the spouses and common-law partners of international students. Once these changes are in effect, The spouses and common-law partners of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programmes, will no longer be eligible for an open after study work permit Canada.

The candidate seeking a postgraduate work permit in Canada must apply either online or to the nearest Canada immigration office within 180 days of completing their course. Details about post graduate work permit Canada requirements after study in Canada, the application process, and other relevant information related to after-study work permit in Canada are covered in this article.

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Process of Post Study Work Visa in Canada

Easy work permit rules are one of the top reasons to study in Canada. International students who have completed a course that leads to a diploma, degree, or certificate in Canada are eligible to apply for a PSW visa Canada. The length of the program can not be less than 8 months for post study work visa in Canada.

Canada Post Study Work Visa Duration

Post graduate work visa Canada duration varies depending on the length of an eligible PSW course in Canada. 
  • For a course that is more than 8 months and less than two years, Canada post study work visa duration equals the length of the program.

  • For courses that are 2 years or more, the Canada post study work visa duration is 3 years.

  • Doing two courses of a minimum 8 months duration makes one eligible for Canada post study work visa duration that is a combination of the length of the two programs.

  • Completing a course that is less than 8 months does not lead to a Canada post study work permit.

Post Graduate Work Permit Canada Requirements

Eligibility criteria for Canada post study work permit have slight variations for students inside and outside of Canada. However, the common eligibility criteria of the Canada work permit for post graduates are as follows:

  • Must have a valid study permit in Canada at the time of application for post-study work permit in Canada.

  • Must have a passport with an initial validity of six months from the date of applying for a PSW visa in Canada.

  • Must have completed a minimum 8-month course of study in Canada from DLIs to get a post study work visa in Canada.

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Eligibility for Graduates In Canada

  • Study permit that is valid in the last 180 days.

  • Apply for visitor records in case of expiry of study permit to stay longer.

  • Applied for study permit extension and awaiting response in case of expired study permit in Canada (applicable for students who are awaiting their graduation results) are eligible for post study work visa in Canada.

  • Applied for change of status to a visitor from the student but received no response may apply for post graduate work permit in Canada even with an expired study permit.

Eligibility for Graduates Outside Canada

International students who have completed a course in Canada in an online mode or distance learning mode fall under this category. Although a study permit is not required during a stay outside Canada, approval of a study permit is mandatory for post-graduate work permit Canada. Such candidates can apply to PGWP in Canada under the following conditions. The post graduate work permit eligibility in Canada requires the following:

  • Enrolled in a course of study in Canada that was in progress in March 2020 or started between spring 2020 and summer 2022.

  • Applied for a study permit at the start of the course, or during the course and it was approved.

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Post Study Work Visa in Canada: Special Cases

Some special cases make eligibility for a work permit Canada after study possible.

Accelerated Programs: Students who have completed a program in less time than the designated length of time are eligible to apply for post study work visa in Canada. PGWP tenure to work in Canada equals the entire duration of the program in such cases.

Leave from Studies: Studying at DLIs in Canada allows authorised leaves for up to 150 days without violating study permit rules. Students on authorised leaves are eligible for post study work visas in Canada.

Transfer of Schools in Canada: In case of transfer between two DLIs in Canada, the total length of the study at two DLIs must be a minimum of 8 months. In case of transfer from non-DLI to DLI, time spent at DLI will only be counted for post-study work permit Canada.

Study Exchange Programs: International students who go outside of Canada on study exchange programs are eligible for PGWP in Canada, as long as they successfully complete the session. However, only the time spent in Canada will be counted for post study work visa in Canada.

Graduates of Flight School: In addition to graduating from a DLI, flight school graduates must have a Canadian commercial pilot’s licence or awaiting to get an instructor’s rating along with a job offer as a flight instructor from a DLI flight training centre, to be eligible for post-study work permit in Canada.

Application Process to Obtain Post Study Work Visa Canada

International students who want to apply for a post study work permit in Canada must do so within 180 days of completing their course before their study permit expires or whichever is earlier. Application for the post study work visa in Canada after masters can be submitted offline or online depending on where one is applying from. Most PSW Canada applications must be submitted online. However, applicants must keep the following documents ready in either case.

  1. One of the following proofs of completing an eligible degree in Canada.

    • A degree or diploma certificate.

    • An official letter from school in Canada that serves as proof of completing an eligible course from Canada.

    • Official academic transcripts from university/college/school in Canada.

  2. International Passport with validity for the entire duration of PSW Canada.

  3. Proof of valid Canadian study permit.

*More documents may be asked if required during the application process for post study work visa in Canada.

Prospective candidates applying for a work visa after study in Canada will have job restrictions if their job brings them into close contact with the Canadian public. In such cases, a medical exam may be necessary to get these restrictions removed from post study work visas in Canada.

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Advantages of Sending Online Application for Canada PSW Visa

  • Instant application delivery without courier or postal fees.

  • Quick application process for post study work visa in Canada.

  • More room to make sure that the application has been completed before submission.

  • The document upload process is easy and quick in case additional documents are asked during the process of post study work permt in Canada.

  • Updates regarding the status of the application process are directly kept in the online account.

After Applying for Post Graduate Work Visa in Canada

International students who have applied for post study work permit in Canada and are awaiting the decision are allowed to work full-time in Canada till the time of decision is reached. However, they must have a valid study permit. Such people must also have had off-campus work permits during their studies in Canada and not have worked more than permitted work hours in part time jobs.

  • Post study work visa in Canada applicants may travel in and out of Canada without losing their right to work full-time during the processing time of PSW visa. However, re-entry to Canada requires basic documents to be shown to the border services officer in Canada.

  • Post study work permit in Canada holders need a visitor visa or eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to go outside of Canada. The same document must be shown to the border services officer on re-entry to Canada.

  • Spouses or common-law partners of post study work visa in Canada holders are eligible for open work permit in Canada.

Additional Read:

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What is the processing time of post study work visa in Canada?

Processing time of post study work visa in Canada is 141 days for online application and 34 days for paper-based application.

2. Can I work while I wait to receive PSW visa Canada?

Yes. Those who fulfil full work time requirements may take up full-time employment in Canada with their study permit, while they wait for PSW visa decision from Canada immigration.

3. When should I apply for PSW visa Canada?

Eligible students must apply for PSW visa in Canada within 180 days of completing their course in Canada before their study permit expires.

4. Who is eligible for PSW in Canada?

All candidates eligible to apply for post study work visa in Canada must either graduate from a college or university that is a DLI (Designated Learning Institute) or receive the notification that they are eligible to receive a graduate degree from their respective university. International students who have completed an eligible PSW course in Canada of a minimum 8 months duration are eligible to apply for PSW visa in Canada.

5. What is curriculum licensing agreement?

In Canada, curriculum licensing agreements are a feature of the education landscape. According to these agreements, a public university licenses its curriculum and intellectual properties like articles, reports, programs, etc. to a private university. Here, the private universities gain access to these best quality curricula and offer them to the students. This feature offers an affordable path for many international students to seek Canadian education.

6. What is the validity of post study work visa in Canada?

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is valid for a duration between eight months and can be allowed up to three years. The length of an individual's work permit will depend on the length of the study programme they have completed in Canada.

7. Can I get PR after 1 year study Canada?

Yes, candidates can get Canada PR after 1 year study, and it can secure a post study work permit after finishing the studies. This helps candidates in two ways, first they can gain work experience to improve their CV. Second, the students can secure more CRS score for Canada express entry profile.

8. Who is eligible for post graduate work permit in Canada?

To be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), candidates must meet the following requirements: 

  • Their course of study must be 8 months or 900 hours or longer. 
  • The chosen programme must lead to the diploma of vocational studies (DVS) in English.
9. What is the new work permit policy in Canada 2024?

The Canadian government has implemented changes to the post-graduation work permit programme (PGWP) starting from February 15, 2024. Students who have completed a master's degree program will qualify for a three-year PGWP even if it was less than two years in duration. However, they have to meet all other criteria.

10. How many times can I apply for a PGWP?

Students can apply for a PGWP only once. If you have intentions of pursuing another program that builds upon your initial program, or if you are planning to enroll in a more extensive degree program in Canada, it would be wise to strategically submit your PGWP application.

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