Post Graduate Work Permit PGWP

Canada’s PGWP Changes: What International Students Need to Know

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program has been a cornerstone in Canada’s immigration landscape, offering a unique pathway for international students to transition from education to valuable work experience in the country. Recently, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced pivotal changes to the PGWP, signalling a significant shift in policy and prospects for graduates. These updates, crucial for students pursuing or planning to pursue higher education in Canada, reflect the country’s evolving approach to immigration and its commitment to supporting international talent.

Post Graduate Work Permit PGWP

What is the Post-Graduation Work Permit

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) serves as a pivotal program within Canadian immigration policy, specifically designed to retain international talent. It allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions to obtain an open work permit. This permit grants the flexibility to work for any employer in Canada and is a critical step for many in their journey towards permanent residency.

Since its inception, the PGWP has evolved into more than just a work permit; it’s a bridge connecting academic achievement with real-world Canadian work experience. This transition is vital for international students, offering them the opportunity to apply their skills in the Canadian labor market and significantly boosting their chances of qualifying for permanent residency under various immigration programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class.

Historically, the program has undergone several modifications to adapt to changing immigration needs and the global education landscape. These changes have consistently reflected Canada’s recognition of the value international students bring to the economy and society. As a result, the PGWP has become a cornerstone of Canada’s strategy to attract and retain skilled individuals, making it an essential consideration for international students planning their education and career paths in Canada.

Post Graduate Work Permit PGWP

New Criteria for PGWP

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced significant revisions to the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. These changes, poised to have a profound impact on international students, attending private collages with licensing agreements from public colleges.

Historically, international students needed to graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI) to qualify for the PGWP. Under the new rules, the focus has shifted towards the nature of the curriculum and its licensing. A crucial change is that private colleges that offer programs licensed from public institutions will no longer make their students automatically eligible for the PGWP. This development marks a change from previous policies where the private or public status of the institution was less consequential, provided the program was accredited and affiliated with a Canadian public institution.

This alteration in policy targets the increasing trend where private colleges enter into curriculum licensing agreements with public colleges. Under these agreements, private colleges deliver programs that are developed and owned by public institutions, which had previously allowed graduates of such programs to be eligible for the PGWP. The IRCC’s new stance clearly delineates the distinction in eligibility between students graduating from public institutions and those from private colleges using public institution curricula.

The impact of this change is significant. It compels prospective international students to be more vigilant in selecting their Canadian educational institutions, ensuring that their chosen program not only aligns with their career goals but also meets the revised PGWP eligibility criteria and Permanent Residency goals. 

Post Graduate Work Permit PGWP

Longer Work Permit for Short Graduate Programs

Another revision in the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program involves the extension of work permit durations for graduates of certain short graduate-level programs. Specifically, graduates of master’s and other graduate programs that are less than two years in duration can now receive a PGWP valid for up to three years. This change marks a significant departure from the previous rule, which typically limited the work permit’s length to the actual duration of the study program.


This adjustment offers a substantial benefit to international students in these shorter graduate programs. Previously, the limited duration of their post-graduation work permits could be a deterrent, constraining their ability to gain substantial Canadian work experience, a key factor for those aspiring for permanent residency. The extended work permit duration now provides these graduates with a more extended period to secure employment in their field of study, integrate into the Canadian workforce, and establish themselves professionally.

This change is likely to enhance Canada’s appeal as a study destination for international students, especially those considering shorter, intensive graduate programs. By offering a more extended period for post-study work, Canada positions itself as a more attractive and viable option for students seeking not just education but also long-term career and residency opportunities.

International Student Canada

The recent adjustments to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program have had both positive and negative impacts on students. Regardless of your individual circumstances and objectives, Canada By Choice is here to support you through these changes. Our experienced team is dedicated to addressing your case and ensuring the best possible outcome for your study and immigration plans. Book a consultation today and start your Canadian dream.

Express Entry
The information in this blog is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Everyone’s immigration goals, objectives and situations are different. Please contact us to speak to a consultant for advice.

About Us

Canada By Choice is a Canadian Immigration Firm based in Windsor, Ontario. Founded in 2007, Canada By Choice Immigration is widely considered as one of the most respected immigration firms in our region. We have earned our reputation as a world class firm by providing dedication and personalized service to each and every unique case before us.


Verify our Membership number here. Membership number: R530015

Stay Connected

More Updates

Ottawa to Override Quebec’s Immigration Limit for Family Reunification

Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller plans to override Quebec’s immigration cap to expedite family reunification. Despite requests to Quebec to increase its family reunification limit, currently set at about 10,000 applicants yearly, the federal government will now issue permanent residence permits beyond this cap.

Manitoba Immigration

How to Immigrate to Manitoba

Manitoba, with its diverse geographic ranging from northern tundra to fertile southern farmlands, plays an important role in Canada’s geography and economy. Manitoba is a hub for industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and mining, contributing significantly to Canada’s economic stability. For those considering making Manitoba their new home, the province offers inviting immigration programs aimed at supporting its continued growth and multicultural identity.


Quebec Immigration Programs

Quebec, Canada’s largest province by area, is known for its vibrant culture, diverse geography ranging from forests to rivers, and a robust economy anchored in technology, aerospace, and natural resources. Its distinct society, with a majority French-speaking population, contributes to a unique demographic profile. Quebec possesses a unique degree of autonomy in its immigration policies, setting it apart from other Provinces.

321 Tecumseh Rd. E Windsor, Ontario, Canada N8X 2R5

(©) 2021 Canada By Choice . All rights reserved.