Canada or UK: Which country for Post-Study Work Permit (PSWP) ?

What exactly is a PSWP? It’s essentially a visa that permits international students to stay in the country after completing their studies for a set number of days (which varies by country) to look for a job.

Let’s start with a discussion about Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada:

International students who completed their higher education in Canada at designated learning institutions (DLIs) can apply for an open work visa and stay in the country and work under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). The post-graduate work visa in Canada permits students to stay in the country after graduation and get work experience. Students must, however, have earned a diploma from a recognized Canadian university. This provides students with the opportunity to obtain work experience in Canada. Obtaining a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP Canada) while studying in Canada is highly dependent on your course and duration. Also obtaining competent Canadian work experience through the PGWP qualifies graduates for permanent residence in Canada through the Express Entry Canadian experience class.

The PGWP does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment, unlike most Canadian work permits (LMIA). PGWPs allow qualifying graduates to get important job experience in Canada. Many foreign nationals become eligible for Canada’s permanent residency programs after gaining sufficient work experience in the country, including one of the following paths:

You are not automatically eligible for a PGWP after graduating from a DLI. An applicant has 180 days after receiving their final grades to apply for a PGWP. Also, check to see if your study permit will expire before you receive your final grades.

The PGWP permits overseas students to get work experience in Canada after graduating from a participating post-secondary college or university. In the long run, PGWP job experience helps international graduates apply for PR (permanent residency) in Canada through the Express Entry program.

PGWP Quick Facts:

  • A work visa for post-graduation might be valid for anything from eight months to three years.
  • A PGWP will not be granted for a period of time longer than the applicant’s time in Canada.
  • The PGWP will typically last for the same amount of time as the applicant’s study period, up to a maximum of three years.
  • You are eligible for a PGWP equal to the duration of your program of study if more than 50% of your program is conducted through in-person classes.
  • If you studied part-time or took accelerated courses, the length of your PGWP will be the same as the length of your program of study.

Eligibility criteria for PGWP:

Following are some considerations to keep in mind when applying for a work permit after studying in Canada:

  • You must have completed at least an eight-month full-time course in Canada.
  • You must apply for a work permit within 180 days of completing your degree. You must obtain formal confirmation from the college/university that this is true. A transcript or an official letter, for example.
  • You must have a valid student visa to apply for the PGWP.

Duration of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Canada

If your program of study has an official length of:

  • If your study is less than two years but longer than eight months, you will be granted a work visa for the duration of your course.
  • You will be awarded a three-year work permit if you have been in the country for two years or more.

How long does a PGWP take to obtain?

A PGWP could take anywhere from 80 to 180 days to process. You are free to work in Canada while waiting for your PGWP, as long as you applied before your student permit expired.

From the date you finished all of the prerequisites of your program of study, you have 180 days to apply for your PGWP.

You can now apply for a PGWP from another nation if you leave Canada after completing your study. Previously, post-graduation work permit applications could only be submitted from within Canada. Additional paperwork may be asked if a PGWP application is submitted from outside of Canada, depending on the visa office that will process the application.

Now let’s proceed to Post-Study Work Permit (UK) otherwise known as Post-Study Work Visa or Graduate Visa:

After successfully finishing a program in the UK, a Graduate visa allows you to stay in the UK for at least two years.

When you apply for Graduate Visa, you must be in the United Kingdom. A job offer is not required for graduates to apply for a post-study work visa. Furthermore, there are no minimum pay limitations on numbers, allowing students to work freely and develop their careers in the United Kingdom.

International students must have finished their course (undergraduate or higher level) from a recognized UK higher education institution in order to apply under the new Graduate route. Graduates who apply through the new path will be able to work or look for work for a maximum of two years after their degree is completed. Students pursuing a doctorate will be entitled to a three-year leave of absence.

Previously, holders of a bachelor’s or master’s degree could only stay in the UK for four months to hunt for work. International students can now stay for two years under the new guidelines. This is a follow-up to changes to visa rules that permitted PhDs to stay in the UK after graduation. The UK government intends to expand and improve its STEM-related fields.

What are the types of post-study work visas available in the UK?

If you want to stay in the UK after finishing your studies, you’ll need to apply for a UK PGWP or Post Graduate Work Permit. The UK government offers five different types of long-term work visas depending on the type of work you want to conduct.

  • Skilled worker visa
  • Health and care worker visa
  • Intra company visa
  • Minister of religion visa
  • International sportsperson visa


If all of the following are true, you can apply for a Graduate visa:

  • You’ve arrived in the UK.
  • You’re on a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) student visa right now.
  • With your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa, you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or other qualified program for a minimum period of time.
  • Your education provider (such as a university or college) has informed the Home Office that you have completed your course successfully.

If you’re not sure whether your education provider has informed the Home Office that you’ve completed your course, you can ask them.

How long will you be able to stay?

Graduate visas are valid for two years. But it will last three years if you hold a Ph.D. or other doctorate certification.

Your visa’s validity begins the day your application is approved.

If you want to stay in the UK for a longer period of time, your Graduate visa is not extendable. However, you might be able to switch to a different visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa.

When to apply:

You must apply before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expiry date.

After your education provider (such as your university or college) has informed the Home Office that you have successfully finished the course you studied on your Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa, you can apply. You do not need to wait until you have received your diploma or certificate.

As part of your application, you’ll need to verify your identity and provide your documentation.

It may take longer if you need to make an appointment to finish your application. When you start your application, you’ll find out if you need an appointment or not.

Getting a decision:

You should receive a visa decision within 8 weeks after applying online, verifying your identity, and submitting your papers.

You are free to stay in the UK while you await a decision.

Using a Graduate Visa to Study

If your selected course does not qualify for a student visa, you can only study on a Graduate visa. Alternatively, you can extend your student visa if your course qualifies for one.

If you’re studying or researching sensitive topics, you could need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) accreditation.

Now that we’ve covered everything there is to know about the Post-Study Work Permit in both countries, including how it works and other important facts, we can finally get to the bottom of our question.

In conclusion, one should choose Canada for PSWP because, while you have more time to seek a job with a Graduate Visa in the UK, acquiring a PR in Canada is considerably easier, more profitable, and more straightforward. When students are on PGWP, they are eligible to apply for PR in this nation. PR visa holders can also bring their families with them to this country.

Brexit has resulted in a number of policy changes in the United Kingdom. It is extremely difficult for international students to stay in the UK after graduation and find work. As a result, the odds of obtaining permanent residency in the United Kingdom are slim.

Overall, under given circumstances, Canada is the best place for any international student.

Obtaining a student visa and then a Post-Study Work Permit may be a time-consuming and complicated process, which is why many students hire immigration experts. Our organization has been servicing several clients for a long time, and the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) has licensed us as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Our top priority is customer satisfaction, and our professionals go above and beyond to develop a successful consulting model for every client we’ve ever had. Give us a call if you require immigration assistance.
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