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Federal and Provincial Governments Consider Revising Post-Graduate Work Permit Criteria

In collaboration with provincial authorities, Canada’s federal government is exploring potential changes to Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP). The aim is to reduce the number of international graduates working on these permits while addressing employers’ labor needs.

A letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to the provinces included several key questions. Among these were whether new eligibility criteria for the PGWP should apply this year or if current international students should be grandfathered in. 

The IRCC also inquired about which groups of international students, if any, should be exempt from the upcoming changes and how frequently the occupational shortage list should be updated.

Other considerations include additional criteria for international students, such as language skills, and whether students should be required to prove their job offers align with occupational shortages.

Recent IRCC data revealed a significant increase in the number of study permits issued, rising 70.6 percent last year to 683,585 from 400,590 in 2022. This surge prompted Immigration Minister Marc Miller to cap study permit applications this year at 606,250 to help curb inflation, especially in the housing sector. 

The cap is expected to reduce the number of new international students by 40 percent, with only 292,000 applications anticipated to be approved by year’s end.

Despite the proposed changes to the PGWP, IRCC officials emphasize that international students can still apply for regular work permits after graduation. 

International students with valid study permits can work on campus without a separate work permit. This applies to full-time students at public post-secondary schools, private colleges in Quebec under specific conditions, and private Canadian schools authorized to award degrees.

Students are also typically allowed to work off-campus without a work permit if they meet certain criteria, including having a valid study permit and enrolling in a qualifying academic or vocational program.

These students can work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.

Some study programs require work components, such as co-op placements or internships, necessitating a work permit. International students between 18 and 35 from countries with agreements with Canada can work and travel in Canada for up to one year through the International Experience Canada program.

The post Federal and Provincial Governments Consider Revising Post-Graduate Work Permit Criteria appeared first on CI News | Latest Canada Immigration News.


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