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Understanding the PGWP: A Vital Pathway for International Students

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is an open work permit granted to international students who have completed a qualifying program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. This permit allows graduates to work for any employer in Canada and is a critical step for those looking to gain Canadian work experience, which is often required for various permanent residence (PR) programs. The duration of a PGWP can range from eight months to three years, depending on the length of the study program completed.

Proposed Changes to the PGWP in 2024

The goal of re-aligning labor market needs is to facilitate access to work permits for students entering occupations in shortage while reducing access for graduates from other programs. Here’s a breakdown of the main updates:

  1. Occupational Shortage Focus:

  • The synchronization of Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system with the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) system will better align educational programs with labor market needs.

  • This adjustment aims to balance the influx of international students with the demand for skilled labor across various sectors.

  1. International Student Cap and Temporary Resident Levels:

  • In January 2024, IRCC announced an international student cap and included temporary resident levels in the annual Immigration Levels Plan for the first time in history.

  • These measures aim to reduce stress on Canada’s social systems by managing the number of new temporary residents annually.

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