Canadian Immigration News

Private Colleges Urge Canada to Expand the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

2.9 minute read
"According to the chair of a national organization, Canada is missing out on thousands of additional international students studying at private career colleges by not making them eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Nov 12, 2021
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According to the chair of a national organization, Canada is missing out on thousands of additional international students studying at private career colleges by not making them eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

Patrick Dang, head of the Seymour Education & Learning Centres (SELC) in Vancouver says that by making these students eligible for a PGWP, Canada would increase enrollments in private educational colleges to a record high. Currently, only international students enrolled at public universities and private degree-granting institutions are eligible to apply for a PGWP. 

According to the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) that represents 500 regulated career colleges across the country, more international students attending private institutions will stay back in Canada if they are given access to the PGWP. The NACC is currently lobbying Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to change its PGWP policy. The NACC states Canada is losing around $120 million in revenue every year by not allowing international students to apply for PWGP.

Allowing international students enrolled at private institutions to apply for a PGWP will add thousands of jobs in the job market, according to the NACC. 

Why Is There a Call to Expand the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program?

The recent call to expand the PGWP program to include international students graduating from private institutions comes after a series of global surveys showing that Canada is the top destination for international students from all over the world. 

One of the surveys conducted by IDP Connect found that more than 1/3rd of the students surveyed chose Canada as their top choice for post-secondary education. The survey had 3,650 respondents from over 55 countries. Of the 1/3rd students who chose Canada as their top choice, 72% selected Canada for the ability to work while studying, 66% prioritized the affordability of tuition fees while 64% selected Canada for its affordable cost of living. 

According to IDP, the availability of immigration options and post-study work permit options play a huge role in attracting international students to Canada. International students are focused on future career opportunities with financial considerations in deciding where to study. Canada is especially popular as a study destination for students from Asia, with a significant number coming from Commonwealth countries. 

Canada is the top destination for international students from the following countries:

  • India
  • The Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
  • Kenya
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Vietnam
  • Canada
  • Thailand
  • Mauritius
  • China
  • Turkey

According to IDP, international students are more focused on getting a return on their investment in education. 

Another study entitled Supporting Recovery and Driving Growth in Global Higher Education by QS World revealed that international students were more confident in coming to Canada due to its successful Covid-19 vaccination program. Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec are the most popular provinces among international students. 

A survey-based on Google Search Data found that people in over 36 countries are searching for study options in Canada online. The availability of job opportunities during and after your study program is a key influencer in attracting international students to Canada. 

Canada allows international students to work 20 hours per week on-campus or off-campus during the academic season and 40 hours per week during academic breaks. This helps Canada address the labor crunch. There is a current labor shortage of at least 1.5 million in British Columbia alone over the next 5 years. 

What Are the Top Highest Paying Occupations for International Students in Canada?

International students can find employment in the following highest-paid occupations in Canada:


International students can work as freelance writers, web designers, copywriters, graphic designers, or translators. The average salary of freelancers in Canada is up to $25 per hour.


International students can get part-time jobs working as a server or bartenders as it allows them to earn between $12 to $15 per hour, not including the tips. 

Ridesharing Drivers: 

This is among the most popular part-time occupations among international students. They can become an Uber or Lyft driver and earn around $14 to $25 per hour as a ridesharing driver.


International students can get paid $15-$20 per hour as a tutor depending on the subject and the number of students they are teaching.

Teacher’s Assistant: 

International students can find employment on-campus by becoming a teacher’s assistant. They will generally be helping teachers in tutoring students, creating lesson plans and facilitating classes, and checking paper works. They can get paid around $15 to $16 per hour.

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