International student work in Canada: FAQs for 2021
Here is the list of FAQs about international student work in Canada. You will learn
- How an international student work in Canada.
- When an international student can work part-time and full time.
Table of Content
How many hours an international student can work during studies in Canada?
You can work only part-time as a full-time student. During your scheduled breaks you can work full-time.
Full-time is probably even two jobs of more than thirty hours. Let’s say you do one job of 40 hours and the other job 30 hours. Yes, you can do that.
When an international student in Canada can work and cannot work?
You cannot work if you have completed these studies. And you have not applied for a post-graduate work permit. Between these two periods, you cannot work.
You cannot work if you are a part-time student. Let’s say you dropped off a particular subject and you became a part-time student. In that case, you cannot work even part-time.
Here is this table to show you that when can you actually work full-time. And conditions when you can work part-time. And the conditions when you cannot work.
|You can work full time when||You can part time when||You cannot work when|
|You have a scheduled break from college||You are a full-time student in a regular semester||You are a part-time student in a regular semester|
|You have applied for your PGWP||You are a part-time student in the last semester||You have completed your study and are waiting for grades|
|You have graduated from one program and the other starts within 150||You have taken a leave of absence without valid reasons||You have got your completion letter but have not applied for PGWP|
What is PGWP?
PGWP stands for a post-graduation work permit and basically, it’s an open work permit issued to individuals or graduates who
- studied a program of eight months
- attended a school that is part of a designated learning institution list
- upon the program completion, received a certificate, a diploma, or degree
Make sure that the program being offered is PGWP eligible and the school offering this program is included in the DLI list. It is easy to check this information just go to this website designated learning institutions list. On the page, scroll down where you have the option to choose the province.
Why should I apply for PGWP?
It’s an open work permit and this allows you to work for any employer across Canada. And the beauty about that is it makes it easier for you to build work experience.
The most important reason as to why the PGWP is so good is that this may, later on, help you obtain PR or permanent residency in Canada. And it is the easiest to obtain on your own.
Must know: Student-to-PR pathway
How do I apply for PGWP?
Well first and foremost, in order to qualify for one you should have at least studied in Canada for more than eight months to qualify under this program.
After program completion, you can apply for an online or paper-based application. and the two most important school documents that you need to submit before applying for a post-grad work permit are the following
- first your transcript of record or your final marks and
- secondly, a letter from your school saying that you’ve completed your program
All of the other documents or forms that you need to fill up under this application is easy to gather and collect.
Once you have all of that you must apply within 90 days before your study permit expires. In short, just apply right away while your study permit is still valid.
How long is a post-grad work permit valid for?
Well, that depends on the length of the program you took or studied in Canada.
- For three-year PGWP: 2 or more years of the study program
- For one-year PGWP: 1 year or 2 semester of the study program
How long is the processing time?
Because of Covid19, the processing times are longer at 197 days or more than six months for an online or paper-based postgrad work permit application. It used to take 90 days to get a post-grad work permit approval.
But this is actually really good news. It gives you more time to work full time while waiting for a decision on your application. It means you have a wider time frame to meet the requirements for express entry specifically Canadian experience class.
How much are the fees?
- 100 Canadian dollars for the open work permit holder fee
- 155 dollars for the work processing fee
Can I renew my post-grad work permit?
According to the IRCC website, a post-grad work permit cannot be renewed.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for international students. Once that’s issued to you and it expires you know that’s it.
Your only exception now to be able to renew your post-grad work permit is if your passport expires before you were able to fulfill the full length of your post-grad work permit term.
Another way that you can extend your post-grad work permit is by applying for the bridging open work permit. But your conditions of the bridging open work permit include having already submitted a PR application and all before your current work permit status expires.
Can I study again and then apply for a second postgrad work permit?
Again PGWP is once in a lifetime opportunity. You cannot apply for a second post-grad work permit after finishing your second program.
However, you can study a second one-year program in Canada after completing your first one-year program without applying for PGWP. After completing your second program, you can apply for a 3-year work permit instead of a 1-year.
Can you get a 3-year work permit after two 1-year programs?
If you studied a one-year program and then you studied another one-year program before applying for the post-grad work permit. That combined education will help you get a 3-year post-grad work permit.
What are the causes of PGWP rejection?
There are some mistakes that international students make;
- the first mistake that they generally do is that they are not a full-time student in a particular semester. They should be doing at least nine credits every semester. They should not withdraw from a credit
- They can only take a break if it is a scheduled break. And we have observed people taking breaks of their own will.
- The challenge that comes is whether they started working full-time for more than 20 hours during their full-time student status.
- Completion of study as a part-time student.
What is a post-graduation work permit?
The post-graduation work permit program in Canada allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience.
Skilled Canadian work experience in national occupation classification NOC skill type 0 or skill level A or B. That is gained through the post-graduation work permit program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.
Students who have completed their course are allowed to work while waiting for a decision on their PGWP?
Students who have completed their program of study are allowed to work while they are waiting for a decision on their post-graduation work permit application provided they meet all of the following criteria.
- They are or were holders of a valid study permit at the time of the post-graduation work permit application.
- They were a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution in a post-secondary academic vocational or professional training program.
- They were authorized to work off-campus without a work permit and
- Last they did not exceed the allowable hours of work.
Do I need a labor market impact assessment to apply for a PGWP?
The post-graduation work permit is exempt from labor market impact assessments. They are considered open and coded as C43.
With a post-graduation work permit, you can work full-time, part-time, and be self-employed.
What factors affect the length of PGWP issued to me?
- When determining the length of a post-graduation work permit officers may consider the duration of the program of study in Canada and confirm it with supporting documents.
- Regularly or regularly scheduled breaks for example scheduled winter and summer breaks should be included in the time accumulated toward the length of the post-graduation work permit.
- The validity period of the post-graduation work permit may not go beyond the applicant’s passport validity date. If the applicant’s passport expires before the validity period of the post graduation work permit, the officer should note this reason in the notes box in a global case management system.
- The post-graduation work permit applicant then has to apply for a work permit extension upon the arrival of their new passport to receive the full validity of their post-graduation work permit.
- Post-graduation work permits can be extended only when the length of the permit could not be provided at the time of the application due to the expiry date of the applicants’ passport.
- If the officer notes that the duration of studies was shorter than the duration of the program as indicated in the letter confirming the completion of the program of study. And a program was not completed in an accelerated form. The post-graduation work permit may be issued in accordance with the duration of studies.
- For example, if the applicant undertook classes for a period of 12 months, not in an accelerated form but their degree notes that it is a two-year degree the post-graduation work permit may be issued for 12 months in accordance with the duration of their studies.
What will happen to the length of my post-grad work permit if I change school or program?
In cases where a student has transferred between eligible Canadian DLIs. The combined length of the study must be at least eight months to qualify for a post-graduation work permit.
For a student who graduated from an eligible DLI after having transferred from an ineligible institution only time spent at the eligible DLI counts as eligible for post-graduation work permit issuance. Time spent at the eligible institution must be at least eight months.
When can I apply for a post-graduation work permit?
Applicants must apply for a post-graduation work permit within 180 days of obtaining written confirmation such as an official letter or transcript from the designated learning institution indicating that they have met the requirement for completing their program of study.
Calculation of the 180 days begins the day the students’ final marks are issued or the day formal written notification of program completion is received. Whichever comes first. It is on the applicant to provide proof of the date, a transcript is received. Officers may also confirm this date with the DLI.
What will happen to applicants whose study permit becomes invalid or expires?
Applicants whose study permit becomes invalid or expires must either leave Canada and apply for a post-graduation work permit from overseas.
They can apply to restore their status as a student by applying for a post-graduation work permit with the correct fees.
Can I continue to work after my graduation while waiting for the PGWP?
As per paragraph R18 6, graduates who apply for a work permit such as a post-graduation work permit before the expiry of their study permit are eligible to work full-time without a work permit while waiting for the decision on their application. If all of the following apply
- they are or were the holders of a valid study permit at the time of the post-graduation work permit application
- they have completed a study program
- they have met the requirements for working off-campus without a work permit under paragraph R186 and
- they did not exceed the allowable hours of work under paragraph R186
Applicants remain eligible to work full-time without a work permit or waiting for a decision on their application even after leaving and re-entering Canada. Applicants must stop working as soon as they are notified that their application is refused.
What makes you an ineligible applicant for PGWP?
The following conditions make you an ineligible applicant for PGWP:
- Students are ineligible if they have previously been issued a post-graduation work permit.
- They receive funding from Global Affairs Canada.
- They participated in the Government of Canada awards program funded by GAC.
- They obtained the Equal Opportunity Scholarship in Canada and Chile.
- They participated in Canada and China’s scholars exchange program.
- They participated in the Organization of American States fellowship program.
- They completed the majority of the credits towards the completion of their program of study by distance learning and
- They completed a program of study delivered by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada regardless of their length of stay in Canada.
What about the part-time status for a final academic session?
Students must maintain their full-time student status during each academic session of the programs or programs of study. They complete and submit as part of their post-graduation work permit application.
However, if a student meets all the eligibility requirements with the exception of a full-time status during their final academic session. They are still considered eligible for the post-graduation work permit.
Shall I wait to apply until the Covid 19 crisis passes?
The simple answer is no. The application process would take some time to process.
If you wait until the covid19 crisis passes there will likely be a flood of applications into the system. And the waiting period may be endless.
If you apply now you beat the rush. And by the time the crisis passes your cases will be much closer to being approved.
Am I eligible for a postgraduate work permit?
To be eligible for a postgraduate work permit and to get an open work permit under a postgraduate work permit.
You need to have completed eight months of studies in Canada as a full-time student. Your studies should be completed from a post-secondary institution in Canada.
Remember all the public universities and colleges in Canada offer post-graduate work permits. But there are very few and limited universities and colleges in Canada which are private and still offer postgraduate work permit.
Please check the conditions of a postgraduate work permit with your institution before applying.
What is implied status?
Implied status is the period from the date that you make an application in a change of your conditions for your stay in Canada till the time the decision is made on your application. The period in between is called implied status.
Can I study and work during my implied status?
Yes, you can study full time during your implied status until the decision is made on your application. All the conditions of your study permit applies during the implied status.
Can I extend my issued postgraduate work permit?
No, you cannot extend your postgraduate work permit. As it is a one-time opportunity given to any international students.