On February 5, 2016, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) released a program delivery update with respect to the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP). As a result of this program delivery update, eligible international graduates can now apply for a Canadian work permit under the PGWPP from within Canada, at a visa office located outside of Canada, or at a Canadian port-of-entry.
Foreign nationals that have graduated from a participating post-secondary institution (international graduates) may be eligible for an "open" Canadian work permit valid for a period of up to three years, depending upon the duration of their program of study. To qualify for a Canadian work permit under the PGWPP, the applicant must have:
International graduates must submit their application for a Canadian work permit under the PGWPP within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from the educational institution indicating that they have satisfied the requirements for completion of their program of study. The 90 day period commences from the day on which the applicant's final marks are issued or when formal written notification (e.g. a transcript or official letter) is received, whichever comes first.
Until now, international graduates were typically required to submit their application for a Canadian work permit under the PGWPP to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta. Further, the Canada Border Services Agency was often unwilling to process such applications at Canadian ports-of entry (e.g. international airports). Therefore, international graduates were required to be physically present in Canada at the time that they submitted their application which hindered their ability to return to their home country or travel internationally in between completing their program of study and entering the Canadian workforce.
However, as a result of this program delivery update, international graduates can now submit an application for a Canadian work permit under the PGWPP from within Canada, at a visa office located overseas, or if they do not require a Canadian temporary resident visa to enter Canada, at a Canadian port-of-entry.
For further details regarding the PGWPP or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.