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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Understanding PGWP Refusals and How to Address Them

The Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) can play a pivotal role in the professional life of an international graduate in Canada. It not only provides an opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience but also serves as a stepping stone towards Permanent Residency. However, the road to obtaining a PGWP isn't always smooth, and it can be refused for various reasons. Understanding these reasons and knowing how to avoid refusals and address a refusal if it does happen can make a significant difference to your application.

1.  Non-compliance with Study Permit Conditions:

One of the most common reasons for a PGWP refusal is non-compliance with study permit conditions. This includes not maintaining full-time student status or taking unauthorized leaves during the study program. If you apply for a post-graduate work permit without explaining your reasons for non-compliance, then an officer may refuse your PGWP.


2. Ineligible Program of Study:

Not all programs of study make a graduate eligible for a PGWP. If your program does not meet the eligibility criteria set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), your application may be refused. Some people get PGWPs from non-PGWP programs and then subsequent applicants graduating from the same institution think that they will also be granted one. It’s important to complete a program that is eligible for a PGWP in the first place.


3.  Incomplete or Incorrect Documentation:

The importance of providing complete and correct documentation cannot be overstressed. Missing or incorrect information can lead to an immediate refusal. Make sure you double-check all your documents and follow the PGWP document checklist meticulously, the documents we see omitted the most are proof of status in Canada, final grades, or diploma/ degree.


4.  Expired Immigration Status:

If you apply for a PGWP when your study permit is expired, and you do not have maintained status, your application could be refused. It's crucial to apply for the PGWP within the specified period after your study program has ended.


5.  Application Delays:

An application submitted after more than 180 days since completion of the study program can lead to a refusal. Always apply within the timeframe provided by IRCC, if not you risk a refusal on your PGWP.


What to do if your PGWP is refused?


Firstly, don't panic. A refusal isn't the end of the road. There are steps you can take to remedy the situation.


Application Review

Review your application to understand why it was refused. The refusal letter from the IRCC will provide reasons for the refusal.



Once you have identified the issues with your initial application, you can address them and reapply. You need to submit a new application and pay the processing fees again.


Restoration of Status

If your status expired and you were refused, you might be eligible to apply for restoration of status within 90 days of your permit expiry date. Remember to pay the fees to restore your status, plus the application fees for both your original status and the work permit.


Appeal to Federal Court

If you believe the decision was unjust, we can help you pursue an appeal to the Federal Court if you have exceeded your time limits for an application.


Remember, every situation is unique. What worked for your friend might not work for you. Therefore, professional advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can be invaluable. As an RCIC, I can help you navigate these complex processes and increase your chances of a successful PGWP application.


Remember, a refusal is not a full stop, but a comma in your immigration journey. With the right approach, you can overcome this hurdle and continue your journey towards your Canadian dream. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don't hesitate to reach out. book an online consultation with us here.


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 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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