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International Students in Public-Private Partnerships Lose PGWP Eligibility in Canada

Austin Campbell



public-private partnerships

In a significant policy change, international students in public-private partnerships (P3s) in Canada are now ineligible for post-graduate work Permits (PGWPs). This development affects many aspiring graduates who are planning to transition to the Canadian workforce post-graduation. Let’s know more about this new regulation and its implications for international students.

New Canada PGWP Eligibility Rules

The new PGWP eligibility criteria came into effect on May 15, 2024. The IRCC initially announced on January 22, 2024, that international graduates from programs offered through public-private curriculum licensing partnerships would no longer qualify for a PGWP starting September 1, 2024. However, to prevent institutions from advancing their admission dates to circumvent these rules, the effective date was moved up to May 15, 2024.

Reports indicated that some educational institutions were advancing their fall admission dates to June or August to avoid the new PGWP rules. This prompted the IRCC to expedite the implementation of the new regulations to ensure fairness and compliance.

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Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)

International students who have completed their studies at Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) under a curriculum licensing agreement, also known as public-private partnerships (P3s), are directly impacted by this change. Here’s a breakdown of the scenarios:

  • Students Enrolled Before May 15, 2024: Those who were already enrolled in programs at private colleges administered on behalf of public institutions within the same province before May 15, 2024, may still qualify for a PGWP.
  • Students Enrolled After May 15, 2024: Students who start their programs on or after this date will not be eligible for a PGWP.
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General PGWP Eligibility Criteria

Despite these changes, many international students can still apply for a PGWP if they meet the general eligibility criteria. Here are the main requirements:

  1. Graduation from a PGWP-eligible DLI: The student must graduate from a recognized institution in Canada.
  2. Full-Time Student Status: They must have maintained full-time status during each academic session of their program.
  3. Valid Study Permit: The study permit must have been valid within the last 180 days.

Detailed PGWP Eligibility Criteria

Type of InstitutionRequired Length of ProgramProgram Outcome
Public post-secondary DLI (college, trade/technical institution, university)8 months or longerDegree (associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate), diploma, or certificate
Quebec public secondary DLI offering vocational training programs900 hours or longerDiploma of Vocational Studies (DVS), Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS)
Quebec CEGEP900 hours or longerAttestation of College Studies (ACS), Diploma of College Studies (DCS)
Quebec provincially subsidized private post-secondary/secondary DLI900 hours or longerAttestation of College Studies (ACS), Diploma of College Studies (DCS). Must be in a provincially subsidized program.
Canadian private DLI authorized by the province to confer degreesN/AAssociate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate. Must be in a provincially authorized degree program.

The recent changes to the Canada PGWP eligibility rules significantly impact international students in Canada. While the new regulations limit opportunities for those in public-private partnership programs, there are still numerous pathways for eligible students to obtain a PGWP and gain valuable work experience in Canada. Prospective students must stay informed about these changes and ensure they meet all requirements before enrolling in their chosen programs. By understanding the latest updates to the Canada PGWP program, students can better navigate their educational and career pathways, making informed decisions about their futures in Canada.

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