Canada values international students very much. Aside from contributing over $21 billion to the economy every year, international students brings youth, diversity and vitality to the communities across the country in which they live and study. Then they graduate, and some, if not most, find lucrative employment and want to continue living in Canada.
This has always been possible through a number of Canadian immigration programs, most notably the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). However, 2020 saw a great number of students’ intentions to start working and gain experience in Canada adversely affected by the global pandemic, and thus a solution was proposed.
In January this year honorable Marco Mendicino, Canadian minister of immigration, unveiled the new Canadian public immigration policy for international students. Former students who hold or held a PGWP will be able to apply for an open work permit.
Working in Canada After You Graduate
Foreign graduates from Canadian universities and colleges with an expired or expiring PGWP have the unique opportunity to apply for a new open work permit. The work permits will be valid for 18 months, allowing former international students to remain in Canada, secure employment and the work experience necessary to become permanent residents.
The Canadian government continues to make significant efforts to encourage international students to settle permanently in Canada. Our workforce is aging out and with a population growth rate that has not been able to match the expansion of the economy, there are a lot of opportunities for educated and skilled foreigners to create a prosperous future here.
International graduates help create jobs and fill labour shortages allowing the Country’s businesses to thrive. Some even bring prior employment experience and skills as they make use of prestigious Canadian universities to take further steps in their higher education journey, such as Masters or PhD.
Applications for open work permits will be open until 27 July 2021 to foreign graduates.
The Post Graduate Work Permit
To be eligible for a study permit, you have to be accepted to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). These are universities and colleges authorized by the Canadian government to accept foreign students. Many, but not all of the DLI’s offer courses that upon graduation, make the international students eligible to apply for a PGWP.
The duration of the PGWP is directly correlated with the duration of your studies:
- If your program was for less than 8 months, you aren’t eligible for a PGWP.
- If your program was longer than 8 months, but less than 2 years your permit will be for the same length of time as you program. For example, if your program was 18 months, you will be granted an 18-month PGWP.
- If your program was longer than 2 years, you will be granted a 3-year PGWP.
- If you completed more than one program, the length of the programs may be combined to determine the length of your PGWP, if all the programs are eligible and longer than 8 months.
An open work permit is similar to a PGWP in that you can change employers so long as your work permit is valid, as long as it is in the same field or profession.
Why You Should Study In Canada
Permanent residency is not the only reason to study in Canada. Apart from a world class education, student life in Canada is unlike anywhere else in the world. You are free to pursue the person you always wanted to be. Because of the Country’s progressive culture, no one is held back from expressing their ideas or themselves.
It is more expensive for international students to study in Canada than for Canadian citizens, but compared to the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, it is much more affordable. In fact, it is up to 33% cheaper for an international student to live and study in Canada than the countries mentioned above.
But keep in mind with the salaries university and college graduates are paid in Canada, it is a worthy investment, and if you intend to create a life in Canada, your future generations will reap all the benefits of being Canadian citizens. There are also numerous scholarship opportunities, and you are also allowed to work part-time to help cover your costs.
What Steps Should I Take To Start The Process
The first and most important thing to do is ensure you are eligible to study in Canada, and ensure you are eligible to study the course you, at the university or college you intend to. Whether you simply want a world-class Canadian education and student experience, or you want to use your Canadian education as the foundation to creating a future here, is entirely up to you. Either way, you won’t regret studying in Canada.