On April 8, 2020, IRCC made provided updated guidance regarding PGWP and how to apply for them. The instructions clarify that an applicant must have a valid status in Canada to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from within Canada. If an applicant’s study permit expires or is no longer valid, the applicant has two ONLY choices: (1) leave Canada and apply for a PGWP from overseas or (2) apply for restoration of status as a student.

IRCC also made a determination that International Student having to take on-line classes due to COVID-19, will still be approved for a PGWPs if they hold or have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June 2020, and those classes are being offered online due to COVId-19. The student may start their program online from outside and complete up to 50% of it from outside Canada. This is great news for those studying in Canada because it is out of their control that they must take classes online rather than in-person. This is like nothing we have ever gone through and the focus is to keep everyone safe and everyone home.

PGWPs are “open” work permits (coded as C43) and are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments. They are issued based on length of study and can range from 8-months to 3 years. It is in your best interest to choose a program where you can receive a minimum of 1 year PGWP; however 2-3 years will make provide more options at the end.

With a PGWP, graduates can choose to:

  • work full time
  • work part time
  • be self-employed

Accordingly, there are many benefits to obtain one, especially since the experience you obtain, if greater than 1 year, may be used on your Permanent Residence application as “Canadian work experience”. This also facilitates the Canadian Permanent Residence process and makes it easier to apply for Express Entry and other Provincial Nominee or Pilot Programs.

For those applicants who are out of status, they may apply for a restoration within 90 days of the expiry. They cannot be out of status for more than 90 days. Their status will be re-stored to authorized visa status prior to the restoration.