Your Options to Stay in Canada After PGWP Expires

Your Options to Stay in Canada After PGWP Expires

Sanjay Yadav Sanjay Yadav
[Published 30 Apr, 2024 | 12:28 PM]
About Author - 6 min read

In 2022, 98,000 PGWP holders gained permanent residence in Canada - almost 82% of all temporary residents. In addition, 62,410 PGWP holders in Canada became permanent residents in 2023.

Many international students after completing their studies, apply for Post-Gradutation Work Permit - which allows them to work in Canada for up to three years. As a work permit extension is only allowed in certain circumstances, there are other options for you to convert your temporary visa to a permanent visa.

Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada

6 Options for PGWP Holders to Stay in Canada after PGWP expires

Option 1: Apply for Permanent Residence 

You can gain permanent residence in Canada by applying through either Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class, various Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), or gain PR in one of the four Atlantic provinces through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP).

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The best way to remain in Canada after your work permit is about to expire is to apply for Canadian Experience Class (CEC), one of the Express Entry managed streams. To qualify for CEC, you must have Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation for at least one year. 

In addition, meet other Canada PR eligibility requirements like language proficiency. Only apply for CEC if you wish to live anywhere except Quebec.

  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

You will find many PNPs offering international graduates to settle in their province. Provinces have ‘enhanced’ PNPs - which are aligned with the Express Entry system. If you get a nomination through enhanced PNP, it will add 600 additional points towards your Express Entry profile, boosting your chances of receiving an invitation to apply.

Don’t worry, if you haven’t completed work experience in an occupational skill type eligible for Express Entry, there are many PNP options to explore. Further, many provinces offer ‘base’ PNPs - allowing those with work experience in TEER 0, 1, 2 and 3 to apply for nomination.

  • Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

If you’ve completed your studies from an Atlatinc post-secondary institution, apply for Canada PR through AIP. This will allow you to stay in Canada before your PGWP expires. To qualify for AIP, you need to have completed an eligible program of a minimum of 2 years.

You must also have a valid job offer from an employer in one of the Atlantic provinces - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador.

6 Options for PGWP Holders to Stay in Canada after PGWP expires

Option 2: Apply for Permit Extension & Open Work Permit

Do not worry if your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is about to expire. If you do not qualify for Canada PR, explore other temporary options to stay in Canada.

  • Study permit extension

If you wish to continue studying in Canada after your PGWP expires, you can simply submit an application for your study permit extension. This will allow you to remain in the country as an international student - for the duration of your new study program.

Keep in mind that you have to apply for the extension before your PGWP expires and meet the eligibility requirements for the study permit extension.

  • Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

If you have already submitted your application for Canada PR and are waiting for a decision on your application, you can also apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). To be eligible for this permit, you must have applied for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and have received an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) from IRCC.

With a BOWP, you can continue working and maintain your legal status in Canada until a decision is made on your PR application.

  • Open Work Permit

If you wish to continue working, explore options to apply for an open work permit. You can consider asking your employer to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) so that they can get a closed work permit.

This means that you - the permit holder - can stay in Canada and work, although you may not work for another employer.

Talk to an Expert

To boost your chances of converting your temporary status to permanent residence in Canada, gaining Canadian work experience in a skilled occupation is crucial. No doubt that immigration rules are complex and applying for permanent residence after PGWP expires requires a good understanding of the process.

Canada Study Visa Approved within 1 Month | Saloni Gupta's Visa Story

Need help?

Reach out to Nationwide Visas, one of the best immigration consultants in Hyderabad. With thorough knowledge of Canadian immigration, the team will assess your case, offering the best possible solution to apply for Canada PR. Whether you need help with your application, documentation, finding jobs, or else, they’ve got you covered!

Get a free consultation session and determine the best option to apply for your situation.

Call us@ +91 92 92 92 92 81 or email us at

Good Luck!

Read More: Study Visa to Canada PR: Step-By-Step Guide


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