Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) expires in 2024 - Options and alternatives


For many international students in Canada, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is an indispensable solution, offering them the opportunity to gain work experience and reside in Canada. In 2024, with the imminent expiry of many PGWPs, holders find themselves at a crossroads, looking for ways to extend their stay and progress towards permanent residency.

Extension of Post-Graduation Work Permits to 2024

In response to the needs of the Canadian labor market, the government has announced the extension of Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) for international students. This measure allows PGWP holders to extend their stay in Canada by up to 18 months. International graduates from a Canadian institution whose PGWP has expired or is about to expire can benefit from this extension. To be eligible for this extension, PGWP holders must meet certain criteria and follow a specific application process. This policy also applies to those whose PGWP has already expired in 2023, and to those eligible for the 2022 facilitation measure.

In addition to provisional work authorization while the application is being processed, beneficiaries of this extension include not only graduates whose permits expire in 2023, but also those who were eligible for PGWP facilitation in 2022. From April 6, 2023, these graduates can follow a simplified process to extend their work permits, and are also eligible to reinstate their status if necessary, even after the standard 90-day period. Based on this duration, the extension period is expected to end around mid-October 2024.

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PGWP renewal and alternatives: Options for international graduates in 2024

With the expiration of Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) approaching for many international students in 2024, it's essential to explore the options available. The PGWP renewal and alternatives offer several ways to extend your stay in Canada and move towards permanent residency. In this section, we'll look at various strategies.

1. Open work permit for spouse

PGWP holders with a spouse in Canada may wish to consider an Open Spousal Work Permit. This permit allows you to work for any employer without being tied to a specific job. It is available to spouses of international students or skilled workers residing in Canada, offering greater flexibility and freedom to work.

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To obtain this type of permit, applicants must prove their legal marriage or common law status (continuous cohabitation for at least one year). This option is particularly advantageous for couples looking to stay together in Canada while enjoying the freedom to work.

2. Open transitional work permit via express entry

The Transitional Open Work Permit (TOWP) represents an opportunity for those who have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Express Entry system. This permit allows holders to continue working in Canada while their application for permanent residency is being processed, offering essential continuity in their immigration journey.

To be eligible for the BOWP, it is essential to receive the ITA before the PGWP expires. This permit eliminates uncertainty and offers significant support to applicants during the often lengthy process of permanent residency, enabling them to maintain their employment and status in Canada.

3. LMIA and closed work permit with employer support

Another route for PGWP holders is the LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) process, leading to an employer-supported closed work permit. This approach requires the support of a Canadian employer willing to prove that no permanent resident or Canadian citizen is available for the position, thus offering a unique opportunity to the PGWP holder.

The LMIA process involves specific steps and requirements that must be met by the employer. Although this route can be more complex, it represents a solid option for those who have already established professional ties in Canada and can obtain the necessary support from their employer.

4. Conversion to visitor status

In some cases, converting PGWP to visitor status may be a viable strategy. This option is relevant for those who wish to remain in Canada for personal reasons or while waiting for other immigration opportunities, but it carries significant restrictions, including a ban on working.

This conversion allows individuals to remain legally in Canada while exploring other immigration avenues or waiting for more favorable circumstances. However, it is important to note that during this time, the holder of visitor status cannot participate in the Canadian labor market.

5. From work permit to study permit

Opting for a study permit after the PGWP has expired is another possible strategy. This transition allows former PGWP holders to pursue additional studies in Canada, which may strengthen their qualification for permanent residency or enhance their professional skills.

As a student, the holder of a study permit can work up to 20 hours a week during academic sessions and full-time during school vacations. This option is particularly suited to those seeking to extend their education while retaining the possibility of working part-time.

7. Impact of French proficiency on CRS score

Knowledge of French can have a significant impact on the Global Ranking System (GRS) score for the Express Entry program. Bilingual applicants, or those with a strong command of French, can benefit from extra points, increasing their chances of obtaining an ITA for permanent residence.

Specific draws for French-speaking applicants often have a lower CRS score requirement than regular draws. This option is particularly advantageous for PGWP holders who are fluent in French, offering them an alternative route to permanent residency in Canada.

8. Application for permanent residence from abroad

PGWP holders may also consider applying for permanent residency from outside Canada. This option may be particularly relevant for those with international experience or professional ties abroad.

Applying for permanent residency from abroad often involves capitalizing on international work experience and qualifications. This can be an effective strategy for those with unique skills or experience that are in high demand in Canada.

9. PNP-PR and change of province

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offers a pathway to permanent residency for PGWP holders ready to move to a new province. Each province has its own criteria and workforce needs, offering diverse opportunities depending on the candidate's skills and experience.

Engaging in a PNP may require living and working in the province for a set period of time. This option is ideal for those who are flexible about where they live and who can respond to the specific needs of the job market in a given province.


The extension of Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) to 2024 is a response to current labor market conditions in Canada. This measure offers PGWP holders an additional opportunity to stay in the country temporarily. The range of options for international graduates, including open work permits for spouses, BOWP via Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), illustrates the diversity of paths available.

This extension of PGWPs, in combination with other immigration programs, presents a variety of opportunities for foreign graduates. These options are alternatives for those seeking to extend their stay or pursue opportunities in Canada. The extension of PGWPs is therefore part of a broader set of policies that respond to different needs and situations of individuals in Canada.

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3 Responses

  1. Cheikh tidiane Mbaye says:

    Hello my name is Cheikh tidiane Mbaye i live in Senegal i want a study permit

  2. Cheick oumar Sy says:

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  3. Papa Ndiaga boye says:

    I am Senegal I sought work welder industry all materials tig mig argon my phone number with WhatsApp 212632171768 if you jette interested contact me

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