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Increase Your PGWP Duration with 2 Years of Study in Canada

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  • read time3 min Read
  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:May 22,2024 10:58 AM IST

  • Worried about a short PGWP? Extend your stay in Canada while getting extra work experience and boosting your path to permanent residency.
  • Don't just wait for your 1-year program to get over. Apply for another 1-year program for a longer PGWP duration.
  • Learn how to become eligible for a 3-year PGWP after completing 2 years of studying in Canada. 

All About PGWP in Canada.webp

Post-Graduation Work Permit, or PGWP, is one of the many reasons why Indian students choose to pursue post-secondary education in Canada. It's a promising tool for aspiring students like you to achieve your goals in the land of Maple Leaf. But, if you are already studying in Canada, you must be aware of its one major flaw: the short duration of PGWP obtained after 1-year post-graduate diploma. The PGWP period after 1-year program is indeed short because a PGWP is tied to the duration of your original study program. So what are the options? What choices do you have to get a longer PGWP duration in Canada? The answer is simple: apply for another program. That sounds implausible, but you can actually do it. Let's figure out how.    

What is PGWP in Canada?

Post-graduation Work Permit is an initiative by the Canadian government that allows international students to obtain a work permit in Canada upon completion of their studies from the Designated institutes. It enables you to stay and work in Canada after completing your studies. To be eligible for this permit, you need to be enrolled in a study program in Canada for at least 8 months. Based on your program length, the duration of the PGWP also varies from 8 months to up to 3 years. For example, if you complete a 9-month program in Canada, you may get a PGWP with a validity of 9 months. 

Although PGWP was meant to help Canada attract and retain skilled individuals, it also benefits international students. With this permit, you get the flexibility to work for any employer across Canada in any occupation and gain valuable work experience in the Canadian labor market. 

PGWP Canada Eligibility 

As a Canadian graduate, you can apply for a PGWP within 180 days of graduation. Ensure your study permit is valid within these 180 days to avoid rejection of your PGWP application. While applying, you will be asked to confirm the name and length of your program along with proof that you attended and completed it. You can do so by submitting: 

  • Your degree or diploma
  • Your transcript or
  • The official letter you received from your school

Furthermore, you'll be required to meet the general PGWP requisites such as: 

  • You must complete a study program at a designated learning institution and meet certain program requirements.
  • You must have maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during your study program.
  • You must have a study permit that has been valid within the last 180 days.
  • You must have applied to extend your study permit in Canada before its expiry date (It's fine if the application is still being processed).

Why Continue Studies in Canada? 

Continuing studies in Canada means longer PGWP, which allows you to reap significant benefits and strengthen your CV beyond belief. However, it's important not to let the idea of a longer PGWP decide your program. You must always choose a program based on your academic interests and career aspirations, not vice versa. Pursuing a program that fits your goals will help you develop skill sets required to move forward in the job market. As for the benefits of longer PGWP, here are some of them: 

More time to gain work experienceWith valuable experience in the Canadian job market for an extended period, you can increase your employability and potential permanent residency.
Enhanced job searchesThe additional time allows you to do a thorough job search and connect with professionals to land a position that aligns with your career goals. 

Current Rules Regarding PGWP Canada Duration

Canadian government designs rules to align PGWP Canada duration with the educational experience of international students. These rules are meant to provide valuable Canadian work experience and help you gain permanent residency seamlessly. Here are some recent changes in the rules that you must know about: 

General DurationA PGWP may be valid for 8 months and up to 3 years. The length of your PGWP will depend on the duration of your student program completed in Canada.
Master's Degree ProgramStudents who've completed a degree in any master's program longer than 8 months become eligible for a 3-year PGWP. However, this does not apply to certificate or diploma programs. 
Passport ValidityThe PGWP validity also depends on the expiry date of a student's passport. The PGWP will not be issued beyond the expiration date of the passport. Hence, students must ensure that their passport is valid throughout their PGWP.

Note: These rules are subject to change, so you are advised to always check for updates from official websites or contact Canam experts.  

How to Maximize PGWP Duration?

One of the easiest ways to maximize your PGWP duration is by enrolling in a 1+1 program. For those of you who've already chosen the bundled program (combined 1+1 program), it's all good. But if you are in Canada for a 1-year PG diploma, you can apply for another 1-year program for a longer PGWP. As discussed earlier, pursuing studies for 2 years in Canada makes you eligible for a 3 year PGWP. 

Basically, 1+1 programs entail taking 2 separate programs back to back. Its general process goes a bit like this: 

  • You get a letter of acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • Study and complete the first program
  • Obtain 2nd letter of acceptance (LOA) for another program from the same or different institute.
  • Study and complete the second program

Choosing a 1+1 program comes with a bunch of benefits, such as: 

  • 1+1 programs help you maximize your PGWP and diversify your knowledge in two different specialized areas, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.
  • It can also be a great option for students who may not be able to afford a 2-year program altogether. With the 1+1 program, they can start their 1-year program in Canada and simultaneously save up for their 2nd program.
  • 2-year programs are scarce, especially 2-year PG diploma programs, which makes a 1+1 program a great alternative. 
  • It also allows students to gain extra work experience in the gap period (period of rest between the 1st and 2nd program). After receiving written confirmation of program completion from your current institution, you can use the gap period to work full-time. 

 But first, you have to meet the following conditions:

  • You must meet the eligibility to work off-campus.
  • You must have applied to stay in Canada as a student before your study permit expires.
  • You must have an LOA to a full-time study program at a DLI indicating that you will start the new program within 150 calendar days of receiving notification of program completion from your current institution. 

    How to Apply for a 1+1-Year Program

    First you apply for a 1-year study program in Canada. The process, include you applying and getting the letter of acceptance for your first program in the institute of your choice. You then apply for student visa and  fly to Canada to commence your studies. 

    Midway through your 1st program of study, you apply for the second program at the same or different DLI. To apply for a second program, you will have to repeat the process of meeting the eligibility criteria and getting your second letter of acceptance. You may also be required to apply for a study permit extension before it expires to continue your studies in the second program. 

    To avoid mishaps while applying for 2nd program, you can consider the following tips: 

    Availability of the program Ensure the program you want to pursue is available.
    Time it rightKnow that the race to get admission in a 1-year program will be highly competitive. So, make sure you apply for the program accordingly. 
    Perform wellYou must stay on top of your game and perform well in both academics and extracurricular activities to keep the ball rolling. Doing so will allow you to finish your 1st program on time and apply for the 2nd program along with a study permit extension.
    Stay on the timelineStaying on the timeline will allow you to make the most of your time in Canada and achieve all your milestones. 

    Important notes

    Apply to the programs at Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) to become eligible to apply for a PGWP.

    Stay updated on the current regulations, and always check the official IRCC website for the latest updates. 

    Remember, getting a Canadian Qualification and gaining 1 year of Canadian work experience on a PGWP makes you eligible to get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency 

    Tips & Strategies to Get PGWP for Canada

    There are many tips and strategies that you can use to increase your chances of receiving a PGWP and leverage the work authorization to launch a successful career in Canada. Here are some tips for you straight from the Canam counsellor's desk: 

    For PGWP Application:

    Gather Documents EarlyTo avoid delay, start collecting transcripts, reference letters, and language test results in advance.
    Review Eligibility RequirementsDouble-check with IRCC's website to ensure your program qualifies for a PGWP.
    Meet Deadlines StrictlyLate applications are rarely considered, so set reminders and track deadlines carefully to ensure a smooth application process.
    Proofread Your Application CarefullyEnsure that every information on your application is accurate. Also, look out for silly mistakes, typing errors, and inconsistencies. 

    For Selecting a 1+1 Program:

    Align with Interest and Career GoalsDon't solely focus on the duration of the PGWP. Choose a program that actually interests you and aligns you with your long-term career aspirations.
    Consider Program Reputation and Faculty ExpertiseOpt for programs from reputable universities with professors known for their research and industry connections.
    Investigate Tuition and Scholarship OptionsCompare program fees and explore scholarships or financial aid options to manage the cost of your studies. 


    In conclusion, pursuing a 2-year study program in Canada isn't just about unlocking a few extra years in Canada. It is a strategic move that can supercharge your resume with valuable Canadian work experience and open doors to permanent residency. So what are you waiting for? Delve into the program options, ace your PGWP application, and experience the exciting Canadian job market for longer. For any trouble and queries about the program or application process of a  PGWP, contact the study abroad consultants at Canam. 


    PGWP allows you to gain more work experience and thoroughly search for a better job. 

    You can develop strong language skills, network with professionals, and volunteer in your community to improve your chances of staying in Canada.  

    You can apply for a 1-year program by following these steps:

    Research programs 

    • Meet eligibility 
    • Gather application materials 
    • Submit before your study permit expires and meet university deadlines
    • Prepare for interviews and review offer terms
    While choosing a 2-year program, consider the following: 

    • Prioritize interests and career goals over just the duration of the PGWP.
    • Consider program reputation and faculty connections.
    • Investigate tuition fees and scholarship options.
    PGWP allows you to gain more work experience and thoroughly search for a better job. 
    Current PGWP rules are: 

    • No PGWP for program under 8 months 
    • PGWP matches the program length
    • 2-year study programs will qualify you for a 3-year PGWP
    • PGWP validity is limited to your passport's expiry date

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