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Staying In Canada After Graduation: Your Options As An International Student

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Several international students concluding their post-secondary educational courses desire to remain in Canada after their studies are over to reside, get employed, and finally become permanent residents.

Once you’ve completed your studies, you’ll find a range of flexible options to consider for your future in Canada. One of the most popular and empowering choices is to apply for a Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP).

A Post Graduation Work Permit is an open work permit, which means that holders can work for almost any employer in Canada. The permit is valid for a period of eight months to three years, depending on the duration of the course. However, not all courses are eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit. Only undergraduate or college courses that are longer than eight months are eligible. It’s also important to note that you must have completed your course of study and received a transcript from your designated learning institution to be eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit.

Courses lasting 24 months or more will lead to a Postgraduate Work Permit valid for up to three years for qualified candidates. To obtain a Postgraduate Work Permit, students must apply within 180 days of receiving their final transcript from their designated learning institutions. They also need to include a formal letter confirming that they have met all the requirements to complete their course of study. It’s important to note that Postgraduate Work Permits are only issued once, so it’s crucial to time the application correctly.

If a designated learning institution does not forward a transcript before a study permit ceases, previous international students can apply for a visitor record. This implies they can remain in Canada but will be allowed to get employed once their Post-Graduation Work Permit request is endorsed.

Visitor Records

A visitor record is different from a visitor visa. Visitor records are for people who are already in Canada and desire to prolong their visit. This occurs most often for international citizens in Canada as visitors, but any person with an expiring work or study permit may also make an application.

Furthermore, a visitor record authorizes holders to stay in Canada. However, they are not allowed to be employed in the nation. The authenticity duration of visitor record is at the preference of the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) official who runs the application or a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) official who checks the request at a Port of Entry should the candidate select to the flagpole which is to exit the country shortly and quickly comes back. Candidates are required to make an application at least 30 days before their study permit ceases.

Application For A Varied Work Permit

Canada offers several work permit routes for international students who want to gain work experience to support their permanent residence application. One option is the International Mobility Program (IMP), which provides open work permits to individuals who meet certain criteria. Another option is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which allows employers to hire foreign workers for specific jobs. In this case, the employer would need to sponsor the international student for a work permit.

Application For A New Study Permit

Most foreign graduates who conclude an undergraduate or college course may seek a second program or diploma in a varied subject or a graduate course in their study area.

If this is the situation, candidates must apply for a new study permit. Prospective candidates must understand that there have been modifications to how international students are authorized for a study permit. For instance, as of January 2024, master’s living conditions elevated from $10,000 to $20,635 for a single student, and people who desire to conclude a second undergraduate program or college course are required to get a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL).

Hence, master’s and other graduate-level international students are excluded from getting a Provincial Attestation Letter and may be qualified for a three-year Post Graduation Work Permit after the conclusion of studies even if their educational course is shorter than two years. Remember that those seeking this route must wait to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit until they conclude their second educational course, as Post Graduation Work Permits are only awarded once.