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Master’s Students Eligible for Extended Work Permit

Master’s Students Eligible for Extended Work Permit

Feb 17, 2024

In a recent development, international students pursuing master’s programs in Canada that are less than two years in duration are now eligible for a three-year post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This change, effective immediately, is part of the efforts by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to enhance the pathways for international students to transition to permanent residency in Canada.

The previous policy linked the duration of the PGWP to the length of the study program. However, recognizing the valuable skills and contributions of master’s students, IRCC has expanded the eligibility criteria to offer longer work permits to these individuals. This change is a testament to Canada’s commitment to attracting and retaining skilled international talent.

Under the new rules, students enrolled in programs other than at the master’s level will continue to receive PGWPs corresponding to the length of their study program, up to a maximum of three years. Additionally, students enrolled in programs at PGWP-eligible designated learning institutions (DLIs) that are at least two years in length will also be eligible for the extended three-year PGWP.

Impact on International Students

This update is expected to have a significant impact on international students, especially those pursuing master’s degrees in Canada. The extended work permit duration will provide these students with more time to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can enhance their eligibility for permanent residency through programs like the Express Entry system.

Changes to Spousal Work Permits

In addition to the changes to the PGWP, IRCC will also be amending the rules for spousal work permits for international students at the undergraduate level. Moving forward, only spouses of students at the master’s and doctoral level will be eligible to receive a spousal work permit. This change is aimed at ensuring that spousal work permits are issued to individuals who are likely to have strong ties to Canada.

PGWP Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a PGWP, international students must:

  • Have completed studies in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that is at least eight months long, at an eligible DLI.
  • Have studied in a program that led to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Have held full-time student status in Canada during every academic session of the program or programs of study completed.
  • Have received a transcript and an official letter from an eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study.
  • Have graduated from a public post-secondary institution such as a college, trade or technical school, university, CEGEP (in Quebec), or private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec.

How DEV Immigration Can Help

As an immigration consultancy owned and operated by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), DEV Immigration is well-equipped to assist international students in navigating the complexities of the Canadian immigration system. Our experienced consultants can provide personalized guidance on the PGWP application process, ensuring that you meet all eligibility requirements and submit a strong application.

The extension of the post-graduation work permit duration for master’s students is a positive development that will benefit both international students and the Canadian economy. It provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Canada, which can enhance their prospects for permanent residency. As Canada continues to attract talented individuals from around the world, initiatives like these will play a crucial role in ensuring that international students feel welcome and supported in Canada.

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