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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Options for Staying in Canada After Your PGWP Expires

How To Prepare Yourself For A Seamless Transition From Temporary To Permanent Resident.

The time has come when you realize that your Post Graduate Work Permit is expiring soon, leaving you wondering: what's the next step?

This blog post will outline your potential options for continuing your journey in Canada after the expiry of your PGWP and ways to prepare yourself for a seamless transition from temporary to permanent residency.

First, it’s important to note that a PGWP is only issued once and cannot be extended.

The length of a PGWP is determined based on the length of the completed post-secondary or post-graduate study. A PGWP can be issued for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.

If you wish to remain in Canada after the expiry of your post-graduate work permit, we recommend that you start exploring available options as soon as you have received your work permit. This is very important because it will give you sufficient time to put a plan in place prior to the expiration of your status.

Generally speaking, a PGWP holder is able to explore a few different immigration program routes after completion of their program of study. Namely, Express Entry, which is an online system that manages permanent resident applications for ‘skilled’ workers with Canadian and foreign work experience.

Eligible candidates may apply under one of the three (3) Express Entry categories:

Other immigration routes that may be available include the Atlantic Immigrant Pilot Program, Non-Express Entry PNP programs, and Family Sponsorship.

Putting Your Plan to Remain in Canada in Motion

Here are a few practical steps you can take to start working on your plan to remain in Canada:

1. Assessing your eligibility. It is important to spend time reading and becoming familiar with the requirements under the Canadian Express Entry and the respective PNP programs*.

*You may find that most PNP programs have specific categories for international students who studied in their provinces, so be sure to explore the PNP program in your province of study.

2. Aligning yourself with “skilled” employment. To increase your overall eligibility to become a permanent resident of Canada, skilled work is essential. ‘Skilled work” is classified as work experience in an occupation that is listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) at Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations), or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or Skill Level B (technical and trade occupations). The structure for this assessment may change in early 2022, so be sure to pay close attention to the website.

3. Research, Research, and more Research! It is important to familiarize yourself with labour market trends to determine the best province for you to find optimally suited employment. Your plan may require you to possibly move to a new province where your employment outlook may be in greater demand.

One advantage of submitting an application for permanent residency is that if your PGWP has either expired or is close to expiring there is the possibility of applying for a bridging open work permit (BOWP). As the word bridging suggests, a BOWP allows you to continue working while you wait on the results of your permanent residence application. Your eligibility to apply for a BOWP is dependent on a few different factors and it is important that you receive proper guidance before applying.

As mentioned earlier, a PGWP is only issued once. However, in the past, we’ve seen IRCC introduce temporary measures to facilitate the extension of post-graduation work permits in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the labor market. These temporary public policies are typically for a limited time and there are specific conditions that PGWP holders would need to meet to be considered eligible. The last public policy expired on July 27, 2021.

Preparation is Key

The most important takeaway for each and every PGWP holder is that preparation is key! Do not wait until the last minute to start exploring your options. Give yourself plenty of time to explore what programs are available to you and to align yourself with employment in areas that will enable you to meet the respective immigration eligibility.


If you are a recent graduate or an existing PGWP holder, reach out to us today to start determining your eligibility and helping you put a plan in place to ensure your transition is seamless. At Calver Immigration Consulting Inc., our intake process is very detailed to determine your eligibility even before we accept you as a client. Our team is here to give you professional advice on how to better prepare yourself for future applications.


Our Services

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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