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Canada Updates Post-Graduation Work Permit Program to Meet Job Demands

by Mohammad Naseemaa
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Canada is revising its Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program to better match sectors facing labor shortages. Starting September 1, 2024, international students at private colleges won’t automatically qualify for PGWP benefits.

Indian students, comprising 40% of Canada international students, are notably affected, often choosing Canada for its pathways to permanent residency and citizenship.

The PGWP is crucial for international graduates seeking jobs and eventual permanent residency in Canada. Issuance of PGWPs surged 214% in 2023 compared to 2018.

Canada aims to closely tie PGWP eligibility with labor market needs, aligning it with study programs that address shortages.

Currently, PGWP holders make up 26% of Canada’s International Mobility Program, exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs).

The goal is to “align PGWP eligibility with labor market needs while reducing the overall number of PGWP holders,” according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

New measures announced on January 22, 2024, will limit PGWP eligibility, excluding students in curriculum licensing arrangements at private colleges starting September 1, 2024.

Master’s program graduates will soon qualify for a three-year PGWP, regardless of program duration, recognizing their potential in Canada’s job market.

Impact on International Students
These changes reflect Canada’s effort to reform the PGWP program, collaborating with Designated Learning Institutes (DLIs) and provincial governments to streamline study pathways.

Further guidance on PGWP revisions is expected by spring 2024, with implementation slated for January 2025.

The PGWP allows graduates from DLIs to gain Canadian work experience post-study, ranging from eight months to three years based on program length.

The permit aligns with the student’s passport expiry if sooner.

The PGWP is pivotal for students aspiring to Canadian Permanent Residency (PR), integrating into Canada’s workforce and society.

 

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