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Proposed Changes to the PGWP Program


Background

The PGWP is an open work permit available to international students who have completed an eligible program of study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. It allows graduates to gain valuable work experience in the country after their studies.


The Current Scenario

Until now, international students have been able to benefit from the PGWP program based on the length of their study. However, recent discussions among federal and provincial immigration officials aim to make significant changes to PGWP eligibility.


The Proposed Adjustments

  1. Alignment with Labor Market Needs: Canada’s immigration system intends to align the issuance of PGWPs with labor market demands. This means facilitating work permits for students entering occupations facing shortages while reducing access for graduates from other programs.

  2. Mapping Job Titles to Programs of Study: To implement these changes, both Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have mapped job titles to specific educational programs. By synchronizing the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system with the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) system, they identify which programs provide relevant skills for in-demand sectors of the Canadian economy.

Implementation Timeline

The Minister is expected to provide advice on this issue in spring 2024, with the goal of implementing changes by January 2025.


Motivation Behind the Changes

The primary goal is to ensure that PGWPs are granted to students entering occupations where there is a shortage of skilled workers. By doing so, Canada aims to strike a balance between meeting labor market needs and supporting graduates in their career paths.

In summary, these proposed changes signal a shift toward a more targeted approach, emphasizing the alignment of work permits with the country’s economic requirements. As the situation evolves, students and graduates should stay informed about the latest developments in the PGWP program.

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