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post-graduation work permit

What are your options if your Post-Graduation Work Permit is expiring?

There may be a situation where some international students cannot extend their permission to live and work in Canada once they have completed their studies there. This may make them feel they need clarification about their future options in Canada.

Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) let international graduates work anywhere in Canada for three years after graduation. Sadly, this work permit can only be extended under certain circumstances. However, PGWP holders have some options for staying in Canada permanently or temporarily.

There are five ways for PGWP holders to stay in Canada after their permits expire:

1. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

If you’re an international graduate looking to stay in a specific Canadian province, programs are available to help you. These programs are called Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

The Canadian government has a program for people who want to move here. The program is called Express Entry. Plus, there are ‘enhanced’ PNPs that work with Express Entry. The good news is if you get picked by one of these programs, you get extra points. If you’re eligible to move to Canada, this score will determine whether you can. Even during the pandemic, Canada still holds these special draws for people picked by enhanced PNPs.

That means PGWP holders can take advantage of Express Entry’s expedited processing. After applying for the PGWP, holders can get permanent residency in six months.

Students with a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) who graduated from a Canadian university still have options for permanent residency applications. You can apply for permanent residency even if you don’t have work experience in a field eligible for the Express Entry program. A lot of provinces have a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). In these programs, candidates can apply with varying levels of experience based on the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

2. Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

Graduates from post-secondary institutions in the Atlantic region can apply for permanent residency through the Atlantic Immigration Program. This program lets PGWP holders stay in Canada until their permits expire.

Candidates must have completed a program that qualifies for consideration for at least two years. Qualifying graduates also need a job offer in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. A job offer can be in TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3.

There are no minimum work experience requirements for international graduates in this program. People who hold PGWPs can apply before starting a new job, even when they haven’t started yet. If you don’t have enough work experience to apply through other programs before your permit expires, this might be helpful.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program must be completed by December 31, 2021. The permanent Atlantic Immigration Program will begin on March 6, 2022.

3. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

If you’ve graduated from a college or university in one of eleven rural areas in Canada, you might be able to apply for a program called the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. This program helps people settle permanently in those communities and contribute to their local economies.

Participants in the pilot program must have a master’s degree or have completed a post-secondary program that lasted at least two years. Also, they must live in the community for at least a year before applying. You must meet additional eligibility requirements if you apply for a rural community program.

4. Work permit

Most employers find obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is time-consuming and expensive.

However, other options are available for applying for a work permit without an LMIA. A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is optional if an employer wishes to hire temporary foreign workers under the International Mobility Program (IMP). For a work permit to be exempt from the LMIA, Canada must demonstrate broader economic, cultural, and other competitive advantages and reciprocal benefits for Canadians and permanent residents.

There is also the option of applying for a bridging open work permit if your PGWP expires before you become eligible for permanent residency. Once you receive this permit, you can work until your permanent residency application is approved.

5. Become a post-secondary student.

If you are considering studying in Canada, you may be allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week while studying. Also, if you are waiting to hear back about your application to stay in Canada permanently, you can stay a bit longer until you receive a response.

A person who no longer holds a valid work permit or whose status has expired cannot continue to work in Canada. The Canadian government requires that you have a valid status to remain here.