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Canadian Immigration Blog


Foreign Workers with Post-graduate Work Permits

July 15, 2011
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Q: I am a foreign national working in Canada with a postgraduate work permit. I was wondering how an applicant who just finished his or her 3 year Post-Graduation work permit will be treated with regard to the 4 year cumulative CAP for foreign workers? Supposing their employment does not fall into the 4 year exemption, will they be able to stay on for another 4 years?

A: The guidelines explain that “All work in Canada counts towards the four year total, including work done while under implied status, unless the work was performed during a period in which the foreign national was authorized to study full time in Canada.” According to CIC, once a foreign national has accumulated 4 years of work, this regulation authorizes an officer to refuse to issue the foreign national another work permit.

With regard to foreign nationals who hold a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), it is important to note then that the time that they work under a PGWP (e.g. 3 years) does count towards the four year total. It follows that, if a foreign national worked for 3 years under a PGWP, and is interested in continuing to work as a temporary foreign worker in Canada, an officer would only be allowed to issue a work permit for an additional 1 year, unless the foreign national qualifies under one of the exceptions from the 4 year cap.

Foreign nationals who have graduated from a PGWP eligible institution and who are interested in remaining in Canada permanently should apply for permanent residence as soon as possible once they meet eligibility criteria (e.g. under FSWP, CEC, or PNP) as a way to minimize any issue related to the 4 year cap.


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