If you want to stay in Canada after your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) expires, you have numerous alternatives depending on your goals and personal circumstances.
Because the PGWP is a one-time contract, there are no renewals. It usually lasts for the duration of your degree of study. So, if you finished a one-year certificate, you’ll get a one-year PGWP. It has a maximum validity term of three years.
A PGWP, often known as an open work permit, permits you to work for any company in Canada. However, if you want to apply for Canadian immigration, it will help if you find work in a “skilled” occupation.
On the National Occupational Classification, the term “skilled” currently applies to jobs classified as skill levels 0, A, and B in Canada (NOC). These skill levels will change when the new occupational classification system goes into force in 2022. You can verify the skill level of your occupation on the government website.
Although people with different vocations have options for immigration, having work experience in a skilled occupation qualifies you for Canada’s most popular immigration channel.
We are not here to advise you on the best path to Canadian immigration. There isn’t a simple way out. The goal of this piece, however, is to lay out all of your options for keeping above your PGWP so that you may make an informed selection based on your specific preferences.
Make an application for immigration.
If you apply to certain immigration programs, you may be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), which allows you to work in Canada if your PGWP expires before your permanent residence application is accepted.
Many people mistake Express Entry for an immigration program; however, it is primarily an application management system for three federal immigration programs as well as a few provincial nominee programs (PNPs). The three Express Entry-managed programs are as follows:
- FSWP (Federal Skilled Worker Program);
- CEC (Canadian Experience Class) and
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (Federal Skilled Trades Program) (FSTP).
To apply for one of the three Express Entry programs, you must first meet the eligibility requirements for one of the three programs. After being admitted into the applicant pool, you will be assigned a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
You may apply for immigration only after receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from Canada’s immigration agency, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
You must have at least the required amount of CRS points in each Express Entry draw to be eligible for an ITA. The IRCC holds a draw every two weeks in which the top scorers are asked to apply for Canadian immigration.
Program for Provincial Nominees
Except for Nunavut and Quebec, the majority of Canadian provinces and territories have Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
PNPs are classified into two types. Enhanced PNPs search the Express Entry pool for candidates who could be interested in submitting for a provincial nomination. Candidates for Express Entry who are nominated by a province receive an automatic 600 points toward their overall score. This award catapults them to the top of the Express Entry candidate pool, placing them in line for an ITA in a subsequent lottery.
People who do not qualify for Express Entry may still be allowed to enter Canada through a conventional PNP. These programs allow you to apply directly to the province for a provincial nomination, which will then support your federal application for permanent residency. Some of these fundamental PNPs are also open to persons with no prior job experience in a “skilled” occupation.
PNPs do not require prior experience in the province or a job offer, though both are advantageous. Choosing a PNP entails determining your eligibility as well as for deciding the province you wish to live in.
Immigration to Quebec
Quebec has its own immigration system. To immigrate to Quebec, you must first get a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), which verifies your immigration application to the federal government. Despite the fact that Quebec is the most self-sufficient jurisdiction in terms of immigration, only the federal government can issue permanent residency status.
If you speak French and have studied and worked in Quebec, you may be eligible for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). This is a common option among Quebec PGWP subscribers. You can apply as an international student or as a temporary foreign worker. International students must achieve certain educational qualifying standards, establish their ability to communicate in French and announce their intention to settle in Quebec. Workers must have worked full-time for at least two years in a skilled occupation and be employed at the time of application. They must also show that they can communicate in French.
Pilot Program for Immigration in the Atlantic
Because of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, employers in Atlantic Canada can now hire foreign workers more readily. You may be eligible if you work in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia. This curriculum is divided into three streams: one for skilled employees, one for intermediate skilled workers (including occupations with a competence level of “C,” and one for Atlantic region graduates.
Sponsorship by a family
If your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, spousal sponsorship may be an option for you. If you apply as an in-land applicant, you may be eligible for an open work permit tailored specifically for the wives and common-law partners of Canadians in the immigration process.
Stay as a visitor for a while
Assume that none of these options work for you right now. Working under a separate work permit may allow you to extend your stay in Canada.
Work permits are classified into two types: LMIAs and trade agreements.
In order to get a work visa in Canada, your employer may be required to conduct a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This treatment is typically time-consuming and costly.
Other work permit options available through the International Mobility Program, on the other hand, simplify the process. These work permits are in place to assist Canada in meeting its broad economic, social, and cultural policy objectives. These work visa programs are open to workers whose presence would bring a “significant social or cultural benefit” to Canada. Employees in the film and television industries, as well as entrepreneurs and self-employed people, are some examples.
In addition, Canada has various trade agreements in place that allow nationals of specific countries to work in the country without the need for an LMIA. Citizens of the United States and Mexico may be eligible for a CUSMA Professionals work permit if they have a job offer in one of the 60 approved countries.
If you are from a country with which Canada has a bilateral agreement, you may be allowed to stay on an International Experience Canada (IEC) program.