The Features Of The Post Graduation Work Permit program For International Students Who Want To Find Employment In Canada After Graduation

Before April 21, 2008, international students were only allowed to work for a limited time after graduation, depending on their location.

If the international student graduated from an institution in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), Montreal or Vancouver, he could only get a work permit for one year. Outside of those three locations, the international student could apply for three years. So, to some extent, international students were limited in their ability to be able to find employment after they graduated in those three cities.

As of April 21, 2008, international students, in Canada on a student visa, can obtain an open work permit under the Post Graduation Work Permit Program, with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirements for a job offer. Now the student is allowed to apply for a work permit for up to three years to work anywhere in Canada.

There are some limitations to the work permit term. First of all, the Post Graduation work permit cannot be valid longer than the length of time that the student spent studying full time at a qualified Canadian educational institution. Also, if the student has studied for fewer than eight months, the student is not eligible for the program. If the student studied for less than two years but more than eight months, then the student may apply for a work permit for a period no longer than the length of time that the student spent studying. For example, if a student studied for nine months, the work permit will be issued for a period of nine months. If the student studied for two years or more, for example, if he is in a bachelor program anywhere in Toronto or any other institution, a work permit may be issued for up to three years.

Not all educational institutions qualify for this program. The student must be attending a publicly funded post-secondary educational institution, such as a college or university or a private post-secondary institution that receives at least fifty percent of its financing from government grants. Also, eligible privately funded post-secondary institutions should be located in a province or a territory that has signed a memorandum of understating with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, have signed an off-campus work agreement with their provincial or territorial government, and have approval from their provincial or territorial government to grant specific degrees.

There is a huge benefit to having international students in Canada and also a benefit in being able to retain them. This is especially true considering the fact that Canada invests its knowledge and time in teaching international students. In return, international students definitely benefit our country with their own professional experience gained through their studies here, a contribution which helps to increase the competitiveness of Canada in the world market. The Post Graduation Work Permit Program is designed to achieve this goal.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with immigration law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Hohots Watt LLP for a consultation.

This information is taken from an interview from May 21, 2008 interview with Viktor Hohots, Immigration Lawyer with Hohots Watt LLP, a Toronto Ontario Canada Immigration Law Firm. This article is provided as an information service only and should not be used as legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction so please consult with an appropriate legal professional if you are looking for help with a specific situation.