New Eligibility Criteria for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) 2024 in Canada
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New Eligibility Criteria for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) 2024 in Canada

Margaret Cooley



New Eligibility Criteria for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) 2024 in Canada

The journey to study and work in Canada is an exciting prospect, and also for those eyeing Canada PGWP in 2024, there’s the latest news to consider. Effective February 15, 2024, the Canadian government has introduced significant changes to the PGWP eligibility, particularly favoring master’s degree graduates.

Canada PGWP Updates for 2024

In a bid to recognize the invaluable contributions of master’s degree graduates to Canada’s job market, the government has extended the PGWP eligibility for these graduates. Now, regardless of the program duration (two years or less), master’s degree holders can avail themselves of a three-year PGWP. This strategic move aims to smoothen the transition of international students into the Canadian workforce, significantly enhancing their chances of obtaining permanent residence status.

This change reinforces Canada’s vision of attracting and retaining top-tier global talent, acknowledging the indispensable skills and expertise that master’s degree holders bring to the table. For aspiring international students, this development opens up a myriad of exciting job possibilities, and gain invaluable professional experience on the Canada job board.

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PGWP Eligibility for Public-Private Partnership College Programs

However, recognizing concerns regarding the quality of education and student support in specific public-private partnership college programs, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented restrictions on PGWPs for these institutions.


Starting September 1, 2024, PGWPs will no longer be available for students entering curriculum licensing agreement programs. Existing international students enrolled in these programs remain eligible, but new enrollees will not qualify for post-graduation work permits. This ensures that students receive a high-quality education and a better chance at success in their careers.

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These changes mark a transformative period for international students aspiring to study and work in Canada. Not only do they propel the country’s growth in a positive direction, but they also streamline programs, making it easier for students to find jobs in Canada after graduation.

Staying informed and adhering to new PGWP eligibility criteria is imperative for maximizing opportunities for academic and professional success in Canada.

Open Work Permit Eligibility Update for Spouses

Expanding the scope of changes, updates have been introduced on who qualifies for a work permit as the spouse of an international student in Canada. Moving forward, only partners of students pursuing graduate or professional degrees will be eligible for a work permit. This adjustment ensures alignment between the student’s educational level, such as master’s or doctorate, and the work opportunities available to their partners. The objective is to foster fairness and provide everyone with equal chances based on their educational goals.

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Cap and Provincial Attestation Letter

A substantial change in the rules involves setting a cap on new international students in Canada. With approximately 360,000 authorized study permits in 2024, reflecting a 35% decrease from 2023, Canada aims to ensure sustainable population growth.


Effective January 22, 2024, most new international students need to include a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province or territory where they’ll study with their application. This letter confirms that the student has been permitted to study in Canada by the respective province or territory, contributing to the smooth functioning of the immigration system.

Quick Facts about Canada PGWP

  • Graduates of eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions with a study program of at least 8 months duration used to be eligible for the Canada PGWP. However, with recent reforms, public-private partnership college programs will no longer be eligible for PGWP if studies commence on or after September 1, 2024.
  • The duration of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) depends on the length of the study program completed.
  • Recent updates include extending the duration of the work permit for graduates of master’s degree programs to three years, effective February 15, 2024, irrespective of the duration of their study program.
  • Restrictions may apply to graduates of public-private partnership college programs, certain study permit applicants, and spouses’ work permit eligibility based on the level of the student’s program.
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In summary, these dynamic changes to Canada PGWP signify the country’s vision to foster a welcoming environment for international students. Staying abreast of these changes ensures a smoother transition into the Canadian workforce and paves the way for a fulfilling academic and professional journey in the country.

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