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If you are studying in Canada, you may have considered sticking around to work. You may even want to immigrate down the road. Here’s what you need to know about the post-graduation work permit.

What is the post-graduation work permit?

A post-graduation work permit is a permit that allows you to stay up to three years after graduation. This is an open work permit, which means that you can work for any employer. Another benefit is that the employer does not have to do a Labour Market Impact Assessment or prove that they tried to hire a Canadian before they hired you. You do not need a job offer to apply for the permit.

What types of study qualifies for the permit?

Girl taking notes laptop and tabletTo qualify, your educational program must be at least eight months and full time.

Study at public institutions qualify for this program. Private institutions may qualify if they operate under the same rules as public institutions and / or they offer degrees and you were in a degree program.

To qualify, you must have a valid study permit and successfully pass your program. Then, you must apply within 90 days of receiving written confirmation that you met the graduation requirements of your program. This could be your grades or a formal written confirmation, whichever comes first. You do not need to wait until you receive your paper diploma or degree or attend the graduation ceremony before you apply.

If you have been studying full-time in the last eight months, you can attend part-time in your final semester and still qualify.

Distance-based educational programs and foreign institutions in Canada aren’t qualified, nor are some international programs, awards, fellowships and exchanges.

You must study at least eight months consecutively. Don’t take a semester off.

How long can you work in Canada?

If your program is two years or more, you can work up to three years. If your program is more than eight months, but less than two years, you can work up to the length of your program.

If you apply when your study permit is still valid and you are eligible to be working on your study permit, you can work while the government processes your application. If it’s denied, you must stop working that day.

If you apply after your study permit expires, you must wait for the government to process your application.

Can a post-graduation work permit help me immigrate to Canada?

Canadian flag and mountainsA post-graduation work permit can be used to qualify for the Experience Class of Express Entry, if you work in certain occupations. If your ultimate goal is to immigrate to Canada, you should plan your course of study and career path carefully, because the Canadian job market is competitive.

Jobs that do not require post-secondary education such as sales clerk or cashier will not help you qualify for the Canadian Experience Class.

You can only apply for one post-graduation permit, no matter how many educational programs you complete. After that, you need to immigrate through normal channels if you wish to stay and work.

Studying and working in Canada is an exciting prospect for many. The post-graduation work permit is an opportunity for you to discover if Canada is the right place for you. If you are eligible, why not take advantage of this flexible opportunity?

You can take on a professional or skilled role which could help you immigrate permanently, or just work your way across the country experiencing the many different cities, resorts and towns. Where will your Canadian adventure take you?