PR in Canada - All About Stay Back Period and Post Study Work Permit


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Jul 15, 2022 04:30 PM IST

All set to work after studying in Canada? Are you aware of the stay back period, post-study work permit, and process of permanent residence in Canada? Know how long you can stay in the country after completing your higher studies.

PR in Canada - All About Stay Back Period and Post Study Work Permit

Canada PR and PGWP: One of the perks of studying in Canada is that international students who complete their higher studies in the country may stay back in Canada for a few years to work temporarily or even live there permanently.

To stay back in Canada for work, one needs to apply for a work permit which is also referred to as a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). It is a temporary stay option in Canada to acquire work experience. The validity of PGWP depends on the length of study in Canada.

However, after acquiring relevant work experience in Canada, if someone still wishes to stay in Canada, they can apply for a Permanent Residence (PR). Let us learn about the Stay Back Period, Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), and Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada

A post-graduation work permit is a temporary work permit granted to international students who complete their studies from a designated learning institution (DLI) and wish to stay in Canada for some time to work. Any graduate from a DLI is automatically eligible for PGWP provided that the length of the program is 8 months or above.

Who can apply for a Post Study Work Permit?

Graduates from Canada can apply for a PGWP within 180 days of acquiring the degree/diploma in Canada. They must collect all the transcripts and official letters from the school before applying for PGWP. 

In case the study permit expires before receiving certificates from school, the person can either apply for a visitor's record to stay in Canada or leave Canada and then apply for PGWP.

What is the application fee for a Canadian PGWP?

The fee to apply for PGWP is CAD 255. Restoration of student status + PGWP cost is CAD 605 

What is the processing time for a PGWP in Canada?

It takes around 107 days to process PGWP.

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Stay Back Period in Canada

Stay Back Period refers to the validity of a PGWP. It depends upon and varies with the length of the study program. Generally, a PGWP is valid for up to the length of the study program. Its minimum validity is 8 months and the maximum validity may last up to 3 years depending upon the programme's specialisation.

The following table gives clarity on the stay-back period or the validity of a PGWP based on the length of the program:

Program Length 

Validity of PGWP 

More than 8 months but less than 2 years 

The validity of a work permit is equal to the length of the program 

2 or more than 2 years 

The validity of PGWP should be 3 years 

The student completes more than one program from an eligible DLI within 2 years.

The validity of the work permit should be a combination of the length of each program.

Accelerated studies (completes studies in less time than the normal length of the program)

PGWP is assessed on the length of the actual program of study

Distance learning

Not eligible for PGWP

Transfers between educational institutions

The length of the combined program must be more than 8 months to get PGWP 

Programs with an overseas component

Eligible for PGWP. Validity is based on the length of the program

Note: The passport must be valid for the entire time or else the PGWP will be valid until the passport expires. If the passport of the applicant expires before the validity of PGWP, then the applicant will have to apply for the renewal of the passport to receive the full validity of PGWP.

Are Students who Complete Online Studies Eligible for a PGWP in Canada?

Students who complete their studies outside Canada in online mode between Spring 2020 to August 31, 2021, are eligible to apply for PGWP. It is also applicable for those students who complete two study programs. The course must be completed within 2 years and each program must meet the requirements to apply for PGWP. 

Note: Students who complete online studies outside Canada after August 31st are not eligible to apply for PGWP.

What After Applying for PGWP?

As it takes 107 days to get PGWP activated, those who get an offer from an employer in Canada can start working on a full-time basis. However, in this case, the candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have a valid study permit while applying for PGWP

  • Must have completed studies

  • Must be eligible to work off-campus without a work permit

Those who apply outside of Canada will receive a new visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) once the PGWP is approved.

Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada

To begin with, let us first understand what Permanent Residence in Canada means. Often people confuse PR with acquiring citizenship in Canada, but this is not the case. PR in Canada refers to the permanent resident status given to a person who is immigrating to Canada.

Please note that getting a PR in Canada does not reflect a Canadian citizenship status. Those whose PR status is accepted receive a PR card which comes with the benefits, mentioned below: 

  • Social benefits, healthcare coverage, and option to live and work in Canada

  • Option to apply for Canadian citizenship

  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

  • Freedom to vote and run a political office 

  • Hold a job that needs a high-level security clearance

It must be noted that as a PR holder, everyone needs to pay the taxes and abide by the law of the land like the other Canadian citizens.

Eligibility for PR in Canada

To apply for Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada, the person must have lived in Canada for at least 730 days in the last five years. Candidates who have a job offer in hand will be invited to apply for Permanent Residence through Express Entry. Those who receive an invitation letter to apply for PR will have to submit documentation within 60 days. On successful completion of the process, the person will receive the PR card. Those who do not receive an invite within 12 months from Express Entry will have to resubmit their profile.

You might also be interested to read:

How to Apply for a Canadian PR?

Eligible candidates can apply for Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada through Express Entry. The process to apply for PR is done online. The candidate needs to follow certain steps as discussed below:

Step 1: Create an Account

Once a candidate receives an invite from Express Entry, he/ she can create an account on Express Entry to fill out the online application form to apply for Permanent Residence (PR). Once an account is created, the candidate can access the application forms which are divided into different sections.

Step 2: Fill in the Application Form

The candidate must access the online application, go through the guidelines carefully and fill in the different sections of the application. There is no scope for error as it might lead to a delay in the process.

Step 3: Upload Documents

The candidate must make sure to scan and upload all the required documents along with the application.

Step 4: Pay the Fee

Once all sections of the application are filled, the candidate must make payment. The PR processing fee is CAD 1,325.

Step 5: Submit the Application Form

After making the payment, review the application, and submit it. 

Step 6: Biometric Verification

After processing the application, the candidate will be invited for biometric verification. The candidate will have to pay the biometric fee and get the biometric invitation done within 30 days of receipt of the letter.

Step 7: Application Status

Now that the process is complete, the candidate can keep checking the status of the application. It takes 6 months or less than that for Express Entry to release the PR.

Hope the above information is useful for the reader. For further information, you can write to us at and get in touch with our admission professionals to reserve your post-study work permits like many of our students did in the past few years.

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