Master’s Students can now access a three-year work permit, offering an extended window of opportunity for them to pursue employment opportunities following their studies

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Effective immediately, international students enrolled in master’s programs lasting less than two years can now apply for a three-year post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This significant policy change by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) acknowledges the potential of master’s students to contribute meaningfully to Canada’s workforce. Previously, the duration of PGWPs was directly tied to the length of the study program. However, this update reflects a shift in recognizing the valuable skills and contributions master’s students bring to the labor market. It’s important to note that for students enrolled in programs other than master’s level, the length of issued PGWPs will still align with the duration of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.

Students enrolled in programs at PGWP-eligible designated learning institutions (DLIs), which are the exclusive institutions in Canada authorized to enroll international students, and are of a duration of at least two years, now qualify for an extended three-year PGWP.

Additionally, in the coming weeks, IRCC will revise regulations pertaining to spousal work permits for international students studying at the undergraduate level. Consequently, only spouses of students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs will be eligible for a spousal work permit. It’s important to note that this adjustment will not affect spousal open work permits for the spouses or partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

What are the PGWP eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

Successfully completed studies in an academic, vocational, or professional training program lasting at least eight months at a designated learning institution (DLI) recognized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Completed a program that resulted in the attainment of a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Maintained full-time student status throughout every academic session of the program or programs of study completed in Canada, as indicated on the PGWP application. Certain exceptions may be considered.

Obtained a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that all requirements to complete the program of study have been met. Both documents must be included in the PGWP application for consideration.

Eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) extends to graduates from various types of educational institutions, including:

Public post-secondary institutions such as colleges, universities, trade or technical schools.

CEGEP (in Quebec).

Private post-secondary schools in Quebec that adhere to the same regulations as public institutions.

Private secondary or post-secondary schools in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or more, resulting in diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP).

Canadian private schools authorized by provincial law to confer degrees (e.g., Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate), provided the student was enrolled in a degree program approved by the province.

Note:Starting September 2024, students enrolled in programs operating under a curriculum licensing framework, where a private college has been licensed to deliver the curriculum of an associated public college, will no longer qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).To learn more book your consultation with experts today!


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