Canada Amends Post-graduation Work Permit Program Regulations

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Canada has just amended the regulations of the post-graduation work permit program (PGWP) for international students including for students from Nigeria. The revised program now allows international students to work for any employer for an extended period after completing their studies in Canada. The PGWP is an open work permit granted to international students upon graduation, enabling them to work anywhere in the country and for any employer based on their preferences. Study in Canada

Effective February 15, 2024, the Canadian government has introduced changes to the PGWP. Students who have completed a master’s degree program within two years are now eligible for a three-year PGWP, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria. However, starting September 1, 2024, students enrolled in curriculum licensing agreement programs will no longer qualify for the PGWP. The extraordinary measures introduced for distance learning and PGWP will remain in effect.

The eligibility for international students hinges on graduating from a designated learning institution (DLI) and expressing a temporary willingness to work in Canada. DLIs are educational institutions approved by Canada’s provincial or territorial government to host international students. Graduates are required to verify their eligibility by consulting the DLI list.

Completion of a DLI program does not guarantee eligibility for a PGWP. To ascertain which schools offer qualifying programs, refer to the DLI list. Those who have completed programs lasting at least two years at PGWP-eligible DLIs are entitled to a 3-year PGWP. This also applies to graduates of master’s degree programs lasting less than 2 years.

As for the processing time of a PGWP, applicants can work in Canada while awaiting approval, provided they submit their application before their student permit expires. It is crucial to apply for the PGWP within a 180-day window from the completion date of the study program.

You have a single opportunity to apply for a PGWP. Suppose you intend to pursue another program directly linked to your initial one or are contemplating a more extended degree program in Canada. In that case, it is advisable to strategically time your PGWP application. Applying after completing the longest period of study enables you to secure a PGWP with extended validity, up to a maximum of three years.

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