Last Updated Jun 12,2024

8 New Changes Coming to PGWP for International Students in Canada


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This newsletter provides an overview of potential changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program for international students in Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is considering eight new measures to better align international student programs with Canada’s labor market needs.

Detailed Breakdown

The IRCC is surveying colleges and universities across Canada to gather feedback on eight proposed changes to the PGWP program. Here’s a breakdown of each point:

  1. Focus on Labor Shortages: Students may need to complete programs corresponding to occupations experiencing labor shortages to qualify for a PGWP. Programs would be categorized based on Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  2. Alignment with Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): The IRCC wants to ensure a smooth transition for graduates to permanent residency through Provincial Nominee Programs.
  3. Job Offer Requirement: Students might need a job offer in an in-demand field to extend their PGWP beyond one year.
  4. Additional Eligibility Criteria: Language proficiency tests or provincial approval could become additional requirements for extending a PGWP past the initial year.
  5. Impact on Existing Students: The new PGWP rules might be applied to all graduates this year, potentially affecting students already enrolled in Canada.
  6. Revision of Occupational Shortage List: The IRCC seeks input on how often the in-demand occupations list should be reviewed and when changes would apply to current students.
  7. Long-Term Retention: The survey aims to understand if the proposed changes will encourage graduates to stay and work in the region of their studies.
  8. Exemptions: The survey explores potential exemptions to the new criteria, such as for francophone students, graduate programs, or others.


These proposed changes signify a potential shift in the PGWP program. The focus on aligning student programs with labor market needs could benefit Canada’s workforce. However, existing students and those planning to study in Canada might face uncertainties regarding eligibility and exemptions.

We recommend staying informed about future announcements from the IRCC. If you’re an international student considering studying in Canada, research programs aligned with in-demand occupations. This can increase your chances of qualifying for a PGWP and potentially transitioning to permanent residency.

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