Post-grad student work permit eligibility criteria are set to start May 15

Mar 28, 2024 | News

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has amended the eligibility date for post-graduation work permits (PGWP) to May 15, 2024.

International students pursuing education at public-private colleges in Canada after May 15 will not be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit.

The IRCC had earlier announced international students graduating from colleges under such setups would not be eligible for PGWP as of Sept. 1, 2024.

The change in PGWP eligibility criteria does not have any impact on public colleges like Humber.

IRCC amended their decision on March 22, 2024.

Every international student who wants to work in Canada after completing their studies needs to have a PGWP, the IRCC said.

But just completing studies from any college does not make one eligible for PGWP. They need to graduate from a designated learning institution, IRCC said.

“This means that international students who begin this type of program on May 15, 2024, or later will not be eligible for a post-graduation work permit when they graduate,” it said.

“You may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) and want to stay in Canada temporarily to work,” IRCC said.

IRCC said that students completing studies from a DLI do not qualify for a PGWP. There are certain schools which have eligible programs.

Shubham Khanna, an India-based visa agent, said the colleges that were mentioned in the list, where students would not be eligible to get PGWP, had changed their intake to a month earlier.

“You know when this announcement was made, we got notified that these colleges changed their September intake to August so that students will still be eligible for PGWP and take admissions in their college,” he said.

Public-private curriculum licencing agreements allowed students to obtain degrees from private colleges, delivering programs curated by public universities.

As a result of this, graduates were eligible for the PGWP because programs were from public universities.

A statement issued by IRCC said the decision does not prevent international students from being eligible for any other kind of work permit.

“For occupations that face a labour shortage in Canada, a graduate could apply for a work permit supported by an employer’s approved labour market impact assessment, for example,” IRCC said.

Simranjeet Kaur, an international student from India who enrolled in Loyalist College for the May intake, said she has some fears due to amendments made in the PGWP program.

She said these changes will make things a bit hard for her.

“I am anxious about the challenges that lie ahead as an international student as this change adds an extra layer of complexity to my academic and career planning,” Kaur said.

She said she is still filled with hope and is positive about the opportunities that are in store for her.

“I know there are challenges that lie ahead as an international student, but I am also positive about possibilities,” she said.

IRCC said it would limit the ability of graduates to qualify for work permits.

“Concerns have been raised with regard to the quality of education provided by these institutions, as well as the lack of sufficient student supports,” IRCC said in a statement on Feb. 5, 2024.

“It has made a change to restrict PGWPs for these institutions, anticipating that without the ability to apply for a PGWP, there will be a reduction in the number of international students enrolling in them,” IRCC said in the statement.

While current students enrolled in the colleges mentioned by IRCC will remain eligible for PGWP, the statement said new enrollees will not qualify for a PGWP.

Khushbu Khajuria, an India-based visa consultant who also writes letters of intent for students wanting to pursue further studies in Canada, said students will have to face challenges because of this decision taken by IRCC but it will ultimately improve the quality of education.

“While this adjustment may initially pose challenges for certain students, particularly those enrolled in study programs under curriculum licensing arrangements, it ultimately reflects efforts to enhance the quality of education and address concerns regarding the influx of international students,” Khajuria said.

Khajuria further said implementing such rules was also important to target the existing loopholes in the system and work towards solving them.

“This move is essential in closing existing loopholes and upholding standards across all educational institutions, thereby fostering a more robust and reputable academic environment,” she said.