Federal and provincial immigration officials are discussing significant changes to the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. The changes aim to align the issuance of PGWPs to labor market needs by facilitating access for students entering occupations in shortage while reducing access for graduates from other programs. The goal is to implement these changes in January 2025. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has sent a survey document to stakeholders to gather feedback on aligning educational programs with PGWP availability.

The immigration department hasn’t provided exact details on how they will implement these changes, but information from internal survey documents sheds some light. According to the internal document, both IRCC and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have aligned job titles with programs of study. This step aims to understand which educational programs equip international students with relevant skills and experience to contribute to in-demand sectors of the Canadian economy.

This alignment was achieved by synchronizing Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system with the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) system. While the NOC system categorizes and classifies occupations in Canada, the CIP system serves a similar function for educational programs, sorting them by field of study. The internal document provides an example of the “carpenter” NOC being aligned with “three programs of study: construction trades, carpentry, and woodworking/general”.