The number of international students that are getting the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is increasing rapidly and this is a report from Statistics Canada.
The PGWP allows international student graduates to work anywhere and for any employer in Canada for up to three years depending on the duration of their study program.
PGWP holders can get access to many Canada economic class immigration programs with their Canadian education and work experience.
Statistics Canada studied the labour market participation of PGWP holders from 2008 to 2018 and saw that the number of PGWP holders who reported income in this time grew more than 13 times in size from 10,300 in 2008 to 135,100 in 2018.
International students are getting more PGWPs and median earnings are increasing Statistics Canada examines how international student graduates engage in the Canadian labour market through the PGWP.
The median annual earnings received by PGWP holders in this period has increased from $14,500 in 2008 to $26,800 in 2018 and this has been adjusted to reflect the difference in dollar value over the decade. These earnings suggest an increase in the average amount of labour input.
Also, nearly three-quarter of all PGWP holders became permanent residents within five years of receiving their PGWP and this was because of the Canadian work experience they have as it increased their chances of getting permanent residence in Canada.
With the Canadian education and work experience of PGWP holders, they may have strong motivation to seek permanent residency.
Most of the PGWP holders come from two source countries which India and China. These two countries make up 66% of all the PGWPs issued in 2018 up from 51% in 2008.
Indian international students who became PGWP holders grew more than four times in size from 10% in 2008 to 46% in 2018. But the opposite happened for international students from china that got PGWPs falling from 41% to 20%.
So over the decade, the international students from India that wanted to study at postsecondary school level increased much faster than those from china.
Most of the PGWP holders moved to work in British Columbia, Ontario and Québec. For PGWPs issued in 2018, about 56% were for international graduates that wanted to work in Ontario up from 44% in 2008. The PGWP holders that want to work in British Columbia decreased from 19% in 2008 to 16% in 2018. Quebec also saw a decrease in interest from 13% in 2008 to 11% in 2018.
PGWP holder’s earnings differ by country of origin, sector and destination
The PGWP holders from Iran had the highest median earnings in 2018 followed by those from Nigeria and Pakistan. Earnings were lowest for those from China, followed by those from the US and Vietnam.
In 2018, PGWP holders working in the territories reported the highest median earnings followed by those in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The lowest earnings were reported by those working in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
From 2008 to 2018, PGWP holders employed in Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest growth in earning followed by Québec and New Brunswick. Earnings were lowest for those working in Alberta, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
Median earnings for PGWP holders were consistent with the general pattern among all Canadian workers in 2018. PGWP holder employed in mining and oil and gas extraction, utilities, and public administration were the highest earners. The PGWP holders who worked in educational services, accommodation and food services, administrative and support, waste management and remediation services and retail trade where the lowest earners.
Over the decade, PGWP holders working in accommodation and food services, real estate and rental and leasing, educational services and retail trade grew to be the highest earners over this period.
History of PGWP
The PGWP was introduced in 2003 as a pilot program in some provinces before it expanded nationwide in 2005. From 2008, the PGWP allowed recent graduates to work for any employer in Canada for up to three years and in 2014 study permit holders were allowed to work after completing their study program while waiting on the approval of their PGWP.
These changes were a way of making Canada a more attractive destination for international students and also give them the opportunity to get permanent residency.
PGWP Eligibility Requirements
For you to be eligible for the PGWP, you will need to have graduated from a full-time program of not less than eight months at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
Except for students that enrolled during the pandemic, studies must have been completed in-person as it is part of the PGWP eligibility criteria.
International students may count the time they spent studying online between March 2020 and August 31, 2022 even if the entire program was online during this time.