Applying for a PGWP while Maintaining your Status
Posted on 21/02/2020
As we’ve explained, a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a wonderful way to use your Canadian post-secondary studies as a bridge to find work in Canada once you graduate. But you have to keep a few key things in mind.
- You have to wait until you finish your program from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) before you can apply. The date you receive your final marks from your DLI is the key date here.
- You then have 180 days (6 months) from the date you receive your final marks to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).
- You must have a valid study permit for at least some part of those 180 days between when you receive your final grades and when you apply for a work permit. In other words, your study permit should not have expired before you receive your final grades.
- If your study permit expires sometime after you receive your final marks and before the 180 days are completed, you have 2 options:
Option 1: Leave Canada and apply for your PGWP from abroad.
Option 2: Apply for a Visitor Record in order to maintain your legal status and stay in Canada as you apply for a PGWP.
Applying for a Visitor Record
You should apply (generally online which is quicker and cheaper) at least 30 days before your current status (study permit) expires. That is, you should apply at least 30 days before the expiry date on your study permit.
To apply online, you should follow these steps:
- Make sure you have a scanner or digital camera to make electronic copies of your required documents
- Make sure you have a valid Credit or Debit Card to pay the fees
- Read the instruction guide before you apply (go here)
- Use the online tool before uploading your documents and answer the first two questions as follows:
- Answer Visit for What would you like to do in Canada?
- Answer Canada for What is your country/territory of residence?
- Go here to create an IRCC online account where you will apply online and pay your fees as well as monitor the progress of your application.
- Go here for information on how to submit a paper application.
Restoration of Status
This is another option you have to restore your status as a student in Canada. You must apply for restoration of status within 90 days (3 months) of losing it and the reasons you lost your status should be one of the following:
- You stayed in Canada longer than the period authorized for your stay. In other words, you stayed in Canada beyond the expiry date in your study permit because you’re waiting for your final grades in order to apply for PGWP.
- You changed the type of studies, the school or educational institution, the location of your studies, or the times of your studies without applying to IRCC to change these conditions on your study permit.
To get a new study permit by means of restoration of status, you must:
- Submit your application within 90 days of losing your status
- Provide all the details of the circumstances that led you to have stayed in Canada beyond your expiry date
- Continue to meet all the requirements of your stay as an international student
- Meet all the conditions listed on your study permit
- Pay a CAD$ 200 processing fee and a CAD $ 150 study permit fee for what is your new study permit (should your restoration of status application be successful); you may also have to pay a CAD$ 85 biometrics fee
Aside from standard documentation for any temporary resident, you will have to provide the following as a student wishing to apply for restoration of status:
- Proof of acceptance and registration at a DLI (designated learning institution)
- Proof of financial support during your studies in Canada
Eligibility Requirements for Post Graduate Work Permit
- Have completed a study program at a DLI (designated learning institution) of at least 8 months length
- Have as a result obtained a degree, diploma, or certificate
- Maintained your status as a full-time student; however, your final semester can have been part time and/or have included an approved leave from your studies (go here for more information)
- Have graduated from:
- A public post-secondary school
- A private post-secondary school
- A private post-secondary school offering degrees in provincial law but only if your studies lead to a law degree
You are NOT eligible for a PGWP if you:
- Have already received a PGWP previously
- Have studied English or French as a second language for your program
- Have taken general interest or self-improvement courses
- Have participated in a Government of Canada awards program sponsored by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
- Have received funding from GAC,
- Except if you have received a Study in Canada Scholarship award in which case you are still able to apply for a PGWP
- Have received the Equal Opportunity Scholarship Canada-Chile
- Have participated in the Canada-China Scholar’s Exchanges program
- Have participated in the Organization of American States Fellowship program
- Have completed more than 50% of your studies by distance learning
- Have completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution, even if it is located in Canada