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Canadian post-graduation work permit: What to know before applying in 2022

Apply for a Canadian work permit
Looking to apply for a Canadian work permit after your studies? Here's what you should know. Source: Scott Olson / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

You may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The PGWP allows you to temporarily stay in Canada to work, but to apply for a Canadian work permit, you will first need to meet certain criteria to work in Canada.

apply for a Canadian work permit

Canada has extended the period that international students can study online until Aug. 31, 2022. Source: Ethan Miller /Getty Images North America/ Getty Images via AFP

Does your online study count toward a PGWP?

Here’s some welcome news — as an international student, you can now complete up to 100% of your studies online from outside Canada, announced the Canadian government.

All of the time you spent studying online from outside Canada between spring 2020 and Aug. 31, 2022, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing two study programmes, said its website.

If you’re completing two study programmes, you can finish 100% of your studies online if:

  • The programmes were ongoing or started between March 2020 and summer 2022
  • Both study programmes are with an eligible DLI and are completed within two years
  • Each programme meets all PGWP eligibility requirements and is at least eight months long

The government noes the following time won’t count toward the length of a PGWP:

  • Time spent studying outside Canada after Aug. 31, 2022
  • Time spent studying before you applied for a study permit

Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for. Source: Karim Sahib / AFP

What if your passport expires before your PGWP?

You will want to ensure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for. If your passport expires earlier:

  • A PGWP that’s valid until your passport expires will be issued
  • You will be notified if you need to extend it to get the full validity

You can only extend a PGWP if they tell you to. If this happens, you have to apply on paper to extend your PGWP so that it’ll be valid for the full length it should be.

What if your study permit expires before you apply?

If you don’t change your status to visitor and your study permit expires, you will have up to 90 days after your study permit expires to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student.

To restore your status as a student, you must:

  • Apply online for your PGWP and pay the correct fee (CA$255)
  • Pay the fee to restore your status as a student (CA$350)
    • Due to system limitations, you must pay the fees to restore your status as a student online and attach a copy of the receipt to your PGWP online application. You will not need to make a separate application to restore your status as a student.

You cannot work until your study permit and work permit have been approved.

If you don’t apply within the 90 days, or if the 90 days have already passed, you have to leave Canada.

Learn about how to apply for a study permit in Canada.

You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or from another country. Source: Alexander Nemenov / AFP

How can I apply for a PGWP?

You can apply for a PGWP from inside Canada or from another country, as long as you’re eligible.

You have up to 180 days to apply for a PGWP after you get your:

  • Degree or diploma
  • Transcript
  • Official letter from your school

If your study permit expires before you get your marks, you will have two options:

What’s the processing time?

It will take approximately 105 days for both online and offline applications. Do note that processing times will vary, based on:

  • The type of application submitted
  • Volume of applications received
  • How easily they can verify information
  • How well and how quickly you respond to any requests or concerns
  • Whether the application is complete

Many more people want to immigrate to Canada than they can bring in each year under the country’s annual immigration plan. Applications received after the maximum has been met may have to wait longer to be processed.