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5 Ways to Stay in Canada After Your PGWP Expires

The PGWP or The Post-Graduate Work Permit grants permission to international graduates to work anywhere within Canada for a maximum period of three years. Unfortunately, extensions are only possible under exceptional circumstances. As a result, if PGWP owners wish to extend their stay, they will have to try out other options. Fortunately, there are some alternatives available for PGWP holders who may wish to extend their stay temporarily or perhaps even permanently. We look at some of the options they can make use of.

Provincial Nominee Programs or PNPs

There are several Provincial Nominee Programs that are offered to international students in Canada who wish to settle down in this country. Nominee programs under the name of “Enhanced PNPs” use the Express Entry System. When a candidate receives a nomination through one such enhanced PNP program, s/he receives 600 points toward their CRS scores for Express Entry. 

Canada has organized Express Entry draws even during the pandemic. This practically means that a PGWP holder can benefit from the expedited processing time of Express Entries. It could allow permanent residence within 6 months after the application has been processed. Moreover, there are options available even for those PGWP holders who have not completed their work experience in a specified occupational skill type for Express Entry. Some provinces provide “base” PNPs, allowing candidates hailing from skills of C and D types to apply! 

The Atlantic Immigration Program

This is a program devised to help fresh graduates hailing from Atlantic post-secondary schools to gain permanent residency in Canada. This can allow PGWP holders to remain in Canada. To qualify for this program, a candidate needs to complete a qualifying program lasting a minimum of 2 years. They also need to have a job offer in Labrador or Newfoundland or Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, or Prince Edward Island. The skill type can be A, B, C, or O. 

The primary advantage of this program is that eligible international graduates do not need to possess work experience. This means PGWP holders can also apply even before they begin working. So, this program is of specific benefit to PGWP holders who are yet to start working. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program packed up on December 31, 2021, only to be replaced by the Permanent Atlantic Immigration Program On March 6, 2022. 

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot or RNIP

This is an option for those who have graduated from a post-secondary educational institute that works on government funding. The institute has to be located in one of the 11 Canadian rural communities. As a prerequisite for this program, the candidate needs to complete a post-secondary course or a master’s degree for a minimum period of two years and should have spent some time in the community. Each of these rural communities will have its own set of eligibility criteria for those who wish to apply. Every program for each of these 11 communities will therefore have to be studied carefully before signing up for any. 

A Work Permit

The majority of work permits will need employers to go through long-drawn procedures for a Labor Market Impact Assessment of an LMIA. However, other options do not require an LMIA. There is the International Mobility Program or IMP, for instance, that allows employers in Canada to hire foreign workers temporarily without a Labor Market Impact Assessment. 

To be able to apply for a work permit that is exempt from LMIA, the work must have broader cultural, economic, and other competitive advantages for Canada as a country and also reciprocal benefits for Canadians and its permanent residents. If you are eligible for a permanent residency before the expiry of your PGWP, you may also be eligible for a “bridge open work permit.” This is the permit that will allow working in Canada while you wait for the processing of the application for permanent residency. 

A Post Secondary Program

Enrolling in a post-secondary program can allow you to stay in Canada and also work about 20 hours every week. So, if you have applied for Express Entry and happen to be waiting for your application to go through, a post-secondary program could be one of the best ways to stay through. 

Each of these programs has a specific set of guidelines, however. Make sure you have a complete idea before taking your pick. 

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