How to stay in Canada after your PGWP expires

How to stay in Canada after your PGWP expires 

Looking to extend your stay in Canada beyond your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)? There are a number of ways through which you can prolong your stay in Canada or even settle down and build a life here as permanent residents. 

PGWP provides you Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation that can qualify you for Canada’s most popular immigration pathway – Express Entry.

In this article, we will spell out all your options to stay beyond your PGWP so that you can pick an option best suited to your needs.



In this article, we will cover:

What is Post Graduate Work Permit 

The Post Graduate Work Permit is a one-time deal and it lasts as long as your study program. For example, if you have done a one-year program, you get a PGWP for one year. PGWP can be valid for up to a maximum of three years. 

It is an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer anywhere in Canada. It also adds crucial points to your profile for your Canadian work experience. 

Ways to prolong your stay

  1. New Open Work Permit

Canada has recently released detailed instructions on how certain Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders can apply for a new open work permit or extend their current one and keep working in the country till their permanent residence application is through. 

This measure was initially announced by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in April but the detailed instructions were delayed due to a technical issue.

According to a statement by IRCC, PGWP can not be  applied for at the port of entry and must be submitted online by December 31, 2022. In case, you are already in Canada, you will be allowed to keep working in Canada till the time a decision is taken on your  extension application. 

These measures will affect individuals in different ways. Here are a few scenarios  listed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

1. Your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, your passport is valid through April 2024 and your address is up to date.

In this case, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t need to respond to the e-mail message from IRCC to confirm your mailing address. An updated work permit will be automatically issued to you and will be sent to your mailing address by mid-October.

2. Your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, but your other details such as address and passport validity need to be updated.

In this  case, you need to inform IRCC that your mailing address needs to be updated. 

Please note, you will not  receive the initial mail if your passport’s validity doesn’t allow the extension. In that case, you will be sent a separate email in September. 

If you need to update your mailing address or your passport information, you will get an email in September to which you need to respond and submit all the relevant information within 15 days. Once you update this information, you will receive an updated work permit in the mail by mid-November.

3. Your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, but you won’t be able to update your address or passport validity.

In this case, you won’t  receive any email from IRCC and you will have  to apply for extension online. Depending on your case, you might receive a work permit extended to your passport expiration date, or you can apply after renewing your passport.



4. Your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, but IRCC didn’t contact you at all.

In this case, you are not eligible to have your work permit extended. You may still apply online to extend your work permit.

5. Your PGWP expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to October 1, 2022.

In this case, you need to apply online for a work permit. Application portal opened on August 2, 2022 for the same. If you are in Canada and your temporary status has expired, you must apply to restore your status as well. Under some special measures, you are allowed to restore your status, even if it expired more than 90 days ago.

Please note, you can apply for an extension from outside Canada and return after you have been approved.

Here is everything you need to know. 

  1. Bridging Open Work Permit

Applying to certain immigration programs can qualify you for a BOWP (Bridging Open Work Permit) that lets you keep working in Canada even if your PGWP expires before you get approved/rejected for permanent residence.

  1. Express Entry

Express Entry is an application management system for three federal immigration programs, and a few Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The three main programs under Express Entry

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC); and
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

You need to be eligible for one of the three programs in order to submit your Express  Entry profile. Once you are in the Express Entry pool, you get a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

IRCC holds Express Entry draws every 15 days and sends ITAs (Invitations to Apply) based on a CRS cut-off score. Once you have received an ITA, you can only apply for immigration.

Here is a comprehensive guide on Express Entry and CRS

  1. Provincial Nominee Program

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are managed by Canadian provinces and territories, with the exceptions of Nunavut and Quebec.

There are two broad categories of PNPs. 

  • Enhanced PNPs invite the Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination that adds 600 points toward their overall score, thus qualifying them automatically for permanent residence. 
  • Base PNPs – People with no Express Entry profiles can migrate to Canada through a base PNP program. You can directly apply for a provincial nomination under base PNPs which then supports your application for permanent residence. These base PNPs are provinces’ way of  bridging  the talent gap to build their economy. 

Here is a comprehensive guide on Provincial Nominee Programs

  1. Quebec immigration

Quebec has its own immigration system. You need a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) to to support your immigration application to the federal government. Please note: even though Quebec has a lot of independence in terms of nominations, the sole decision lies with the federal government whether to grant you permanent residence or not. 

In order to be eligible to migrate to Quebec, you need to be proficient in French. If you speak in French, studied and worked in Quebec, you may be eligible for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). 

This is one of the most popular options for Quebec PGWP holders. You can apply both as an international student, or as a temporary foreign worker. International students need to meet certain additional eligibility criteria, prove their French language proficiency, and demonstrate that they intend to settle in Quebec. 

Temporary workers need to show at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled occupation, and must be employed by a qualified employer at the time of application.

Also, if you speak French and have skilled work experience, you might as well qualify under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).

Here is everything you need to know about Quebec Immigration pathways.

  1. Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is one of the new immigration pathways allowing newcomers to migrate to Canada’s four Atlantic provinces that is Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador as a permanent resident (PR).

Here is a comprehensive guide on AIP.

  1. Family sponsorship

Spousal sponsorship can be another  potential route for you if your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Also, if you are applying as in-land applicants, you can apply for an open work permit. 

Here is everything you need to know about spousal sponsorship

  1. Work permits: LMIAs and trade agreements

Many a times, your existing employer can secure a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and  sponsor you for permanent residence. This process is usually long and comes with a fee.

Who can help me with settling in Canada? 

Keel’s team of expert Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you figure out everything you need to know about Canada Immigration Programs. Our streamlined immigration services will take care of the entire process from the day you decide to change your life until settling in Canada. 

Schedule your call today, let’s make your Canada dream a reality.

Click here to book your consultation. 

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