How Education Choices Affect The Term And The Availability Of Student Graduate Work Permits

It’s really important for students to make sure that when they’re planning their educational program they choose the right institution.

They need to choose one that is qualified to give them the opportunity to get post-graduate employment and also one that allows them to work on campus while they’re going to school. So, they need to do their homework.

A lot of the private language schools or private training institutions don’t meet the federal government qualifications for these programs. So, though they may be able to get a study permit to study at a non-qualifying institution, what the students are going to find out is that they can’t work while they’re studying nor can they qualify for a post-graduate work permit.

Once students graduate from a qualifying institution, they can apply for post-graduate work permits of different lengths depending on the program they’ve been in. If they’ve completed a program that’s 2 or more years in length, then they will get a work permit for 3 years. If they’ve completed a program that’s under 2 years in duration, then they will get a work permit for the length of time of the program that they went to school for. A 1-year program would entitle them to a 1-year work permit. An 18-month program would entitle them to an 18-month work permit. But, a 2-year program entitles them to a 3-year work permit. The way they count a 2-year program is based on a school year and the average school year is 8 months in post-secondary education. If a person completes a 2-year program in 16 months, they can still take advantage of the 3-year work permit.

The work permit application is very fairly simple. It is made to the Case Processing Center in Vegreville, Alberta, upon proof that the student has met the educational qualifications and that they’ve finished their program. The processing time for the application is very quick, usually 30-60 days.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with immigration law issues in the Calgary, Alberta Region, contact Sherritt Greene Barristers & Solicitors for a consultation.

This article is taken from a July 15, 2008 interview with Michael Greene an immigration lawyer with Sherritt Greene Barristers & Solicitors, a Calgary Immigration Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.