Foreign students in Canada have the opportunity to work in the country before and after graduating. This is one of the popular routes to becoming a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. Chances are you’ve heard about the post-graduate work permit which assists international graduates to transition seamlessly into the Canadian workforce.
The validity of an open work permit is up to three years. Graduates can apply for it so that they can be employed by any Canadian employer. In case your program will run for a minimum of 2 years, you will likely work for 3 years. On the other hand, if your program will only take a year, you will be allowed to work for a year.
Your work permit won’t extend to your significant other automatically. You will need to apply for an open work permit for your partner once you’ve secured a job. It’s important to include a letter of their work contract when applying. The processing fee for a post-graduate work permit is around $155, while an open work license will attract a charge of $100. Each applicant will pay a biometrics fee which is $85.
Obtaining a degree from a Canadian university will boost your eligibility for better-paying jobs as it often attracts extra points.
How to apply for a Canadian post-graduation work permit
1. Confirm your eligibility
The following individuals are ineligible for the post-graduate work permit:
- A student running a part-time program. However, submitting a ‘Leave of Absence’ letter can help you to access this program.
- Every rotary international exchange student.
- Students who are running online programs whether in Canada or overseas.
- Those who have obtained any Canadian scholarship.
Now that we’ve addressed those who are ineligible, we’ll briefly take a look at the conditions you need to meet for the post-graduate work permit:
- You must apply within 90 days of completing your program.
- A valid graduation letter.
- A study permit before applying for a work permit.
- You must have received an affirmation letter after completing your program.
International students must apply for the post-graduate work permit within 180 days of getting their final grades. Nevertheless, the best thing is to adopt a visitor status if 180 days are over and you’re still interested in applying for the work permit. Make sure you do this within 90 days after the expiration of your study permit.
The next thing is to submit a letter and transcript from your university after you’re through with your program. Although you’re required to be a full-time student to access the post-graduate work permit, your last semester as an undergraduate can be part-time.
2. Check the validity of your post-graduate work permit
The major factor that often determines how long the permit will be valid is the length of your study program. Students who are running a two-year program may obtain validity of three years, while those who enroll for a nine-month program can get a nine-month validity on their work permit.
Don’t hesitate to apply online or offline once your documents are ready. It’s ideal to apply online if the process doesn’t involve renewing your permit. Some of the perks of applying online are that it doesn’t attract courier fees and you will find it easier to review your application.
Ensure that you read the guide on the official website to avoid making any mistake. Get your smartphone camera or a scanner handy for your documents. Getting approval for the post-graduation work permit can be around 87 days, especially for online applicants.