The number of international students using the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program in Canada as a pathway to permanent residency is increasing every year, according to a 2022 study by Statistics Canada.
The program allows eligible graduates of Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) to work in Canada for a maximum of three years, providing valuable Canadian work experience that can aid in acquiring permanent residency in Canada.
The study found that the total number of PGWP holders in Canada rose steadily from 2008 to 2018, with a 528% increase in the number of holders during that time period.
Meanwhile, the 2013 graduating cohort saw 52% of its graduates obtain a PGWP five years later, highlighting the program’s growing popularity among international students.
One reason for this popularity is the earning potential for PGWP holders. In 2018, the median average earnings for valid PGWP holders with positive T4 earnings was $26,800, up from $14,500 in 2008. This increase in earning potential across Canada has made the PGWP an attractive option for international students looking to build a life in Canada.
Path to permanent residency
Another reason for the program’s popularity is its usefulness as a tool for obtaining permanent residency in Canada. The work experience gained through a PGWP can prove beneficial for prospective permanent residents, as many permanent resident pathways in Canada reward candidates with Canadian work experience. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, almost three-quarters of all PGWP holders become permanent residents within five years of obtaining their PGWP.
It’s important to note that PGWPs are the main way for international students to work in Canada upon graduation from a Canadian DLI. The length of the permit will depend on the length of the post-secondary program from which the permit applicant graduated.
PGWPs allow holders to work for any Canadian employer of their choice, providing valuable work experience and making it easier to transition to permanent residency in Canada.
The PGWP Program is becoming an increasingly important pathway to permanent residency for international students in Canada.
If you are an international student looking to build a life in Canada, it’s worth considering this program and learning more about its potential benefits.