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Post Study Work Visa in Canada for Indian Students

Canada is a growing economic powerhouse that attracts millions of immigrants. Canadian citizenship is among the most desirable immigration options as the country provides one of the highest income levels and brilliant work opportunities. It also has an efficient government, a safe environment, and great culture.

This blog is a detailed guide to Canada's post-study work visas, its various categories, and how to apply for one.

Why Canada For Higher Studies?

  • Canada holds a higher position on the list of countries welcoming immigrant workers. The foreigners are also offered a chance to apply for a permanent residency or PR visa. One can seek Canadian citizenship after maintaining the PR status for three years.
  • Immigrants searching for jobs in Canada may be issued a Canadian Work Permit for a particular duration. They should contact the immigration offices and apply for a suitable work visa to secure a job contract from a Canadian employer.
  • Employers must get a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) done by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It allows them to recruit skilled foreigners for positions that PR card holders cannot fill for Canadian citizens. Many private agencies provide end-to-end services to acquire a Canadian work permit, but you must find a reliable entity.
  • One of the biggest reasons that make Canada a favourite study-abroad destination for international students is the promising post-study work rights that the country offers. A Canadian work experience can do wonders for your CV, opening doors for you to work anywhere across the world. In this article, you will learn more about the Canadian work permit to take up a job in Canada after post-graduation.

What Is A Canadian Work Permit?

A Canadian work permit is a document that allows you to stay and work full-time in Canada for up to four years after you have completed your post-graduation (PG) degree as an international student.

How Does it Work?

Once you've completed your PG studies and have received your final academic scores, you get up to 180 days to apply for the post-graduation work permit or PGWP. Completing the requirements for your PG course does not automatically guarantee you a PGWP. You have to fulfill certain eligibility criteria and apply for the same.

Eligibility Criteria for PGWP

Your chances of getting the PGWP in Canada depend on a variety of factors, including course length and the institution you are from. Here are the details of the factors that govern your eligibility:

  • You must be from a PGWP-eligible Designated Learning Institution or DLI
  • You must have pursued a full-time course in Canada with a duration of eight months or more
  • You must have a valid student visa when applying for the PGWP
  • You should have proof – transcript or official letter – that you have applied for the PGWP within 180 days of completing the course

The validity for a PGWP may be anywhere between eight months and three years. If you still have any queries regarding the Canadian work permit, connect with AECC international education specialists and who will be happy to guide you through the admission process. 

PGWV Quick Facts

  1. A post-graduation work permit can be valid for any length of time between eight months and three years.
  2. A PGWP will not be issued for a duration longer than the applicant's duration of study in Canada.
  3. Generally, the PGWP will be approximately the same duration as the applicant's period of study, up to a maximum of three years.
  4. As long as more than 50% of your program of study is conducted via in-person classes, you are eligible for a PGWP equal to the duration of your program of study.
  5. If you have studied part-time or did accelerated studies, the length of your PGWP will be the length of your program of study if taken full-time.

Who Can Apply for Post Study Work Visa Canada?

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), a foreign national must be at least 18 years old and have studied full-time in Canada in a program of at least 8 months. The study program must have been completed at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in one of the following types of programs listed below. As well, to apply for a work permit, a foreign national must apply within 180 days of the completion of their study program.

If an applicant is applying from within Canada, they must have valid status at the time of application. If their study permit has expired or will expire, they may apply for status as a visitor before applying for the PGWP. However, applicants who apply for a PGWP before the expiration of their study permit are eligible to begin working full-time immediately while their application is processed. Applicants may apply for a PGWP from overseas.

Post Study Work Visa Canada Duration

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) may be valid anywhere between eight months and up to three years. The length of your permit will depend on the length of the study program you completed in Canada. The permit won't be longer than the length of your study program.

What are the Categories of Work Permits in Canada?

 There are 2 types of work permits.

Employer-specific work permit

An employer-specific work permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as

  • the name of the specific employer you can work for
  • How long you can work
  • The location where you can work (if applicable)

Before you apply for an employer-specific work permit, your employer must give you

  • a copy of your employment contract
  • 1 of the following:
    • a copy of a labor market impact assessment (LMIA)
    • an offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers)
      • To get this number, your employer must use the Employer Portal.

If your employer doesn't need to use the Employer Portal

If your employer does not need to use the Employer Portal to submit an offer of employment, they must give you a copy of the employment contract.

Open work permit

An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada, except for one that

  • is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions, or
  • regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages

You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.

Post Study Work Visa Canada Requirements

To obtain a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must currently hold valid temporary status or have left Canada. They must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI).

They must also submit clear evidence that they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have completed an academic, vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • They have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application. Exceptions can be made only for the following:
    • leave from studies
    • final academic session
  • They have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their program of study.
    Note: The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.

Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also 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 Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Eligible Levels Of Study

The following levels of study and programs are eligible for PGWPs:

  • Public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec; or
  • Private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (only applies to certain institutions in Quebec); or
  • Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d'études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP); or
  • Canadian private schools that can legally award degrees under provincial law only for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree as authorised by the province.

What Can I do if my Passport Expires before your PGWP?

Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for. If your passport expires earlier,

  • we'll only issue you a valid PGWP until your passport expires
  • we'll tell you if you need to extend it to get the full validity.

You can only extend a PGWP if we 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.

Difference between an Open Work Permit and an Employer-Specific Work Permit

Open Work Permit

Employer-Specific Work Permits  

An open work permit lets foreign workers work in any position, for any employer, or anywhere in Canada.

An employer-specific work permit is a permit that allows you to work for a specific employer.

Working During an Authorized Leave

There are a few cases where you may be able to take a leave of up to a maximum of 150 days from your program of studies and still be considered to be actively pursuing your studies.

You don't need to tell us if you're taking an authorized leave. However, if we ask for it, you must provide proof that your leave is

  • Authorised by your DLI and
  • No longer than 150 days

It counts as authorised leave if

  • Your school has authorised leave from your study program for
    • medical reasons or pregnancy
    • family emergency
    • death or serious illness of a family member
    • any other type of leave your school authorises
  • your school has closed permanently or because of a strike
  • you've changed schools
  • you or your school deferred your program start date
    • In this case, you must start your studies the next semester, even if it starts sooner than 150 days, and get an updated letter of acceptance.

You can't work on or off campus during an authorised leave from your study program, even if your study permit says you're allowed to work in Canada.

How to prove that you meet your conditions?

We might ask you to prove you're meeting your conditions:

  • As part of a random check
  • If we have reason to believe you're not meeting them

We might ask you for

  • Official documents from your school confirming:
    • your enrolment status
    • the reason for and start date of any leave you've taken
    • the date you withdrew from a school or study program
    • the date you were suspended or dismissed from a school or study program
    • the date you stopped studying at the school
  • official transcripts
  • references from people who know you
  • proof from a medical professional confirming the medical need for a leave from your study program
  • document confirming your school has closed and no longer offers your study program
  • any other document an officer finds relevant.

If your classes were suspended or moved online because of COVID-19

To prove you didn't violate your study permit conditions, you can get a letter from your DLI stating that you

  • stayed enrolled in your DLI, and
  • participated in your studies online, if your DLI offered them.

Work permit Conditions in Canada after study

There are specific requirements you need to meet depending on where you are when you apply for your work permit.

But regardless of where you apply or which type of work permit you apply for, you must

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;
  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;
  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate
  • not be a danger to Canada's security
  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed
  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status "ineligible" on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

We hope you got all the information regarding the Post-Graduation work visa for Indian students. You can contact AECC if you wish to know more about anything regarding studying abroad.

AECC has been assisting students studying abroad for several years. We have expert counsellors and professionals to guide students with everything starting from researching the best universities and courses to visa guidance. Feel free to contact us for free assistance!


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