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Why IRCC May Refuse Your Post Graduation Work Permit Application

Why IRCC May Refuse Your Post-Graduation Work Permit Application

Understanding why Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) might refuse your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) application is crucial for international graduates. Key reasons for refusal include failure to meet PGWP eligibility criteria, missing required documents, unexplained study gaps, late application submission, and failure to maintain legal status in Canada. This blog outlines these common pitfalls to help ensure a successful PGWP application process.


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Failure to Meet PGWP Eligibility Criteria

To obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), international graduates must meet specific eligibility criteria set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These criteria include completing a program of at least eight months in length at a designated learning institution (DLI), studying full-time throughout their program (except for the final semester), and graduating from an eligible institution. Graduates of Quebec-based vocational programs must meet additional criteria. Failure to meet any of these conditions will result in the refusal of the PGWP application.

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Missing Required Documents

When applying for a PGWP, international graduates must submit one of the following documents: an official letter from their DLI confirming program completion, an official transcript, or a copy of the transcript from the DLI’s website. Missing any of these documents will lead to a refusal from IRCC.

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Unexplained Study Gap

Students who take breaks from their studies without formal authorization or a valid explanation risk having their PGWP application refused. IRCC allows for authorized leaves of absence for valid reasons like family emergencies, but any unexplained study gaps can be grounds for refusal.

Late Application Submission

IRCC requires that PGWP applications be submitted within 180 days of the DLI issuing final grades. Applications submitted after this period will be refused.

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International students must ensure their study permit is valid at some point during the 180 days they have to apply for a PGWP. Students must maintain legal status in Canada and not violate their student visa conditions. If the study permit expires before applying for a PGWP, students must restore their status or leave Canada to apply from abroad.


By understanding and adhering to these criteria, international graduates can improve their chances of obtaining a PGWP and gaining valuable Canadian work experience.

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