Five Ways To Stay In Canada After Your PGWP Expires

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by

There are several options if you want to stay in Canada after your post graduation work permit has expired. You may pursue any or all of these options, depending on your motive and personal situation. The PGWP is a one-time deal with no additional extensions available. It usually lasts as long as your study program does. So, if you completed a one-year certificate, you’ll be eligible for the PGWP for one year. It can be utilized over a maximum of three years in total.

A PGWP, as a free work permit, allows you to work for any employer in Canada. However, for your Canadian immigrant, it would be preferable to obtain a position in what is known as a “skilled” profession. The term “skilled,” as it is used presently, refers to occupations Canada classifies into skill levels 0, A, and B on the National Occupational Classification (NOC). 

While several other immigration alternatives are available to people with work experience in a professional career, having work experience in a skilled profession can help you qualify for Express Entry, Canada’s most popular immigration program.

Here are five alternatives:

Apply for an Express Entry Immigration Program

The Express Canada immigration system is the economic immigration option. You can consider this as your first choice if you want to live and work in Canada as a skilled worker. To qualify, you will need a valid job offer and experience in a so-called “skilled occupation.” It’s the most common option many immigrants go for once their post graduation work permit expires.   

The three Express Entry-managed programs are:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);

Canadian Experience Class (CEC); and

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

To immigrate using the Express Entry system, you must first be qualified for one of the three programs. After being put into a pool of applicants, you receive a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). You can only apply for immigration after being given an Invitation to Apply by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada’s immigration department.

To be selected for an ITA, you must have the required amount of CRS points according to a specific Express Entry draw. IRCC holds draws every two weeks in which they invite the top-scoring candidates to apply for Express Canada immigration.

Apply for permanent residence through Express Entry

Express Entry is a Canadian immigration selection system that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) employs to recruit skilled individuals for entry into the country. You may submit an online profile to Express Entry if you’re eligible. Your profile will receive a score based on your details, and you will be ranked against other applicants in the Express Entry pool.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

If you want to reside in a particular province or territory, you may be able to apply through the PNP. There are expanded and restricted PNPs. 

Expanded PNPs look for eligible people in the Express Entry pool. After a province nominates an applicant, their total score increases by 600 points. This encouragement raises them to the top of the pool of Express Entry candidates, priming them for success in the next draw and preparation for it.

People disqualified for Express Entry may be able to come to Canada as a result of a base PNP. Some base PNPs allow you to apply for a provincial nomination directly with the province, which will assist you in completing an application for permanent residency with the federal government. Certain base PNPs cover specific jobs.

 Prior experience or a job offer is not required for PNP applications, though these factors usually help. Choosing a province is partly an assessment of your eligibility for particular services and a choice of where you want to call home.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program collaborates with the federal government, the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), and designated employers in the region. The program is designed to help employers hire foreign workers and international graduates who have the skills and experience to fill labour shortages in the Atlantic region.

Family Sponsorship

After getting your post graduation work permit expires, the last best option is family sponsorship. Spousal sponsorship may be right for you if your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If you’re applying as an in-land applicant, check with the provincial government to see whether you can get an open work permit specifically for spouses and common-law partners of Canadians undergoing immigration proceedings. This can be a big help if your partner is the only income earner in the family.

Other family members who may be eligible to sponsor you include:

Dependent children

Parents and grandparents

Adopted children


There are many different ways to stay in Canada after your post graduation work permit expires. You can consult an immigration lawyer or licensed immigration consultant to find out which option is best for you. They will be able to assess your situation and recommend the best course of action.

Read More: Tips for writing an excellent SOP for a study visa in Canada

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