Work legally during and after your studies in Canada

For the last few decades Canada has become a more and more popular destination for international students because of its very high quality education system, affordable tuition fees, very high living standards and most importantly legal immigration pathway options available for international students studying at public post-secondary institutions in Canada.  
The fact that Canada’s overpopulation is not more than 35 million in total and in order for the country to increase its population with educated and qualified internationals, Canada has been welcoming more than 250.000 educated and qualified people as permanent residents from all around the world every year, by using different immigration pathways and selection criterias. However for those people who do not fulfill the requirements for being selected as a direct immigrant to Canada there is another way that the international students can follow for fulfilling the requirements to apply one of immigration pathways, which is studying a full-time program in Canada at a post-secondary public institution.
By studying in Canada international students are not only gaining extra points to fulfill the requirements for their immigration applications and also are given the right to work part-time (20 hours per week) during their study period and apply for a PGWP (post-graduation work permit) after completion of their studies. The length of the PWGP varies depending on the length of the students’ total study periods at the public post-secondary institutions. In this scope and regardless of the level of the studies (undergraduate or postgraduate) the duration of the PGWPs are as below:
  • Study  for 1 year, apply for 1 year PGWP
  • Study for 2 years, apply for 3 years PGWP (studying longer do not let graduates to apply for more)
As the total study period is counted when deciding the length of the PGWP, the students who cannot find a two-year post-graduate program to study and would like to get two post-graduate programs in a row by taking another after the first one are still counted as studying for two years. This is a great opportunity because rather than the credentials students got in their home countries, the ones that they will get in Canada will be considered more when they start their job searches in Canada. As a matter of fact the more credentials and expertise the students have in Canada the more chance the students get to be employed.
The work period students spend under PGWP is not only counted to gain extra points when applying for the immigration but also some percentage of the time spent during study and work is deducted from the time that should be spent for citizenship after getting the immigration. By providing that great opportunity to international students the immigration authorities simply aim to keep more students living in Canada who already studied in Canada and gained Canadian work experience. Students who are studying in Canada at a public post-secondary institution are also allowed to work full-time (40 hours per week) during all their ‘’scheduled breaks’’ without applying for any extra work permit. This scheduled break either could be for 1 semester (if the program is for 2 years and has two semesters each year) or between two programs if the students are taking one post-graduate program after finishing the first one, unless otherwise specified by the immigration officer on their study permits.
Please always refer to CIC’s related web page for most accurate and up-to-date information: Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada
As a Georgian student and/or graduate you can always use all the benefits of studying and working in Canada at the same time by the help of our career center and also studying and living in the city of Barrie, where the unemployment rate is the lowest in the whole province of Ontario! Georgian College’s overall reputation and also the pool system that includes more than 6.200 employers (where the employers primarily look at) will definitely help you the most to be employed in your dream jobs! Georgian College students and graduates also have the priority to screen the open positions at those partnered employers which makes finding co-op, internship, field placements and job placements even easier.

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