Canadian Government Extends Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for Master’s Degree Graduates: What You Need to Know

International students aspiring to pursue higher education in Canada have received encouraging news with recent updates in the Canadian government’s rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP). The revisions aim to provide greater opportunities for international graduates, particularly those completing master’s degree programs, to explore career prospects in Canada following their studies.

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the key updates and eligibility criteria for the PGWP:

Expanded Eligibility for Master’s Degree Graduates

The latest update allows international students who have completed master’s degree programs, even in less than two years, to apply for a 3-year Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This extension recognizes the value and potential of master’s degree graduates to contribute to Canada’s labor market and potentially transition to permanent residence.

Changes in Eligibility Criteria

However, it’s essential to note that students enrolled in Course Licensing Agreement programs will no longer be eligible for the PGWP. The government’s decision to exclude these programs aims to ensure that PGWP benefits are directed towards students completing comprehensive and recognized academic programs.

Extension of Special Measures

To further support international students amidst the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government has extended special measures related to the promotion of distance education and PGWP validity until August 31, 2024. These measures aim to facilitate flexibility and ensure continued support for international students pursuing their academic and career aspirations in Canada.

Understanding the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP)

The PGWP allows foreign students who have completed their studies at designated learning institutions in Canada to work in the country for a specified period after graduation. Here are some key points to consider regarding PGWP eligibility and benefits:

  • Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for PGWP, international students must complete their study program at a designated learning institution and fulfill specific program requirements set by the Canadian government.
  • Full-Time Enrollment: During their course, students must maintain full-time status throughout each semester of the study program to remain eligible for PGWP.
  • Program Duration: The duration of the PGWP is determined by the level and duration of the student’s study program, as well as the expiry of their passport.
  • Study Permit Requirement: International students must hold a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit to be eligible for PGWP. Students who have applied for a study permit before commencing their program are also eligible for PGWP benefits.


The extension of the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program reflects Canada’s commitment to attracting and retaining international talent, particularly among master’s degree graduates, who are viewed as valuable contributors to the country’s workforce and society. With expanded opportunities for post-graduation employment, international students can pursue their academic and professional aspirations with confidence in Canada’s welcoming and inclusive environment.

In conclusion, the recent updates in the PGWP program offer a promising pathway for international students to embark on rewarding career journeys in Canada while contributing to the country’s diverse and dynamic labor market.

Stay informed, stay inspired, and explore the possibilities that await you as an international student in Canada!


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