• Rising Phoenix Intl.

New Changes to the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

A promising job market, an affordable cost of living, and an unparalleled multicultural scene – these are some of the many reasons why Canada remains a popular destination for international students seeking to embark on a life-changing journey in a foreign land. However, in recent years, one of Canada’s biggest draws has been the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). This is a license that allows international students who graduate from eligible learning institutions to obtain valuable work experience in the country. For students who successfully complete their education at one of these learning institutions, the PGWP is the key to opening the doors of the Canadian labour market.

On February 14, 2019, multiple policy changes for the PGWP came into effect. These changes were implemented by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and will pertain to all applications submitted on or after the date. The following represents a list of some of the modifications to the PGWP, as well as their implications for international students.


In the past, international students willing to apply for the PGWP endured a strict eligibility period of 90 days. As of February 14, 2019, this application deadline has been extended to 6 months (or 180 days), thereby increasing the amount of time that these students have to put their applications together, as well as reducing the stress of submitting these documents in a timely fashion.


As a result of these policy changes, a valid study permit is no longer required for applicants seeking a PGWP. Before, it was mandatory that successful graduates maintained their student status while applying for a PGWP. If graduates failed to extend their student status, their applications were deemed ineligible. Now, international graduates no longer need to worry about whether their study permit will expire before their PGWP eligibility – their applications will be considered regardless.


In previous years, international students who took a leave of absence from their education for financial, medical, or personal reasons were unable to qualify for a PGWP. In the newly implemented policy changes, IRCC grants exceptions to PGWP applicants who took a break from their studies, providing that this leave of absence did not exceed 150 days. In other words, international students applying for a PGWP will no longer be penalized for taking a step back from their education due to extenuating circumstances.

In short, these changes represent significant improvements to the PGWP, ultimately making the license more flexible, more accessible and, above all, more attainable. If you have more inquiries regarding how these policy changes impact international students, do not hesitate to contact Rising Phoenix International, and a representative will be eager to guide you through these exciting new improvements.




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