There are a variety of routes that allow you to stay in Canada once your Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) expires. The Post Graduate Work Permit is a one-off visa with no extension pathways. Typically, the PGWP runs long as your study program. A Post Graduate Work Permit is valid for a maximum of three years.
PGWP is an open work permit that allows you to get a job anywhere in Canada. If you plan to apply for Canadian immigration, you will benefit from getting a job in what is known as a “skilled” occupation.
Possessing work experience in a skilled occupation may allow you to qualify for Canada’s most popular immigration route, the Express Entry. Keep in mind, there are no easy routes to Canadian immigration.
A Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows you to continue working in Canada once your PGWP expires, prior to you receiving approval for permanent residence.
Many people believe the Express Entry is an immigration program. In reality, it is the application management system for three Canadian immigration programs and select Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The three Express Entry programs include the:
If you want to immigrate to Canada using Express Entry, you must be eligible for one of the three programs. Once you are amongst the candidates, you will receive a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Once you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from Canada’s immigration department, you can make your official application. To receive an ITA, you must possess the minimum amount of CRS points required for an Express Entry draw. Draws are held around every two weeks. The top scoring candidates are invited to apply for Canadian immigration.
There are other pathways for staying in Canada after your post graduate work permit ends. The provinces of Canada offer individuals the chance to live and work in Canada as long as they reside in a specific region.
The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are operated by a majority of Canada’s provinces and territories. Only Nunavut and Quebec do not operate PNPs.
Enhanced PNPs sift through the Express Entry applications and invite candidates to apply for a provincial nomination. A provincial nomination provides candidates with an automatic 600 points toward their overall score. The additional points allow the individual to move to the top of the Express Entry candidates pool. It prepares them to receive an ITA in a later draw.
Quebec offers candidates its own immigration process. You will need a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) to apply for Quebec immigration. Although Quebec is independent in terms of immigration to the provinces, only the Canadian federal government has the authority to issue permanent residency status.
You may be eligible for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) f you speak French or studied and worked in Quebec. Many PEQ is a popular route for PGWP holders. In addition, French speakers and inividuals with skilled work experience, may be able to immigrate to Quebec through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program enhances the process for Atlantic Canada employers to hire foreign employees. Individuals hired to work in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia may qualify. There are three routes under in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program:
If your post-graduate work permit has expired, there are a few other pathways that could lead to staying in Canada. A Canadian citizen or resident with a spouse or common-law partner can obtain an open work permit.
In addition, you may be able to extend your work permit through a few other pathways. These pathways include the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The International Mobility Program has a few pathways available for individuals as well. Other programs including the CUSMA Professionals work permit and the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
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