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Canada has always been a top destination for international students, offering world-class education and opportunities for postgraduate work experience. Recently, Canada announced changes to its Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP) process by ending the practice known as “flagpoling” in Canada. This significant update aims to improve fairness for all applicants, particularly impacting international students.

Understanding the Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP)

The Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP) is a crucial pathway for international students in Canada. It allows graduates from designated learning institutions to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can be pivotal for those aiming to settle in Canada permanently. The duration of the PGWP can vary from eight months to three years, depending on the length of the study program completed.

PGWP enhances your professional resume and makes you eligible to apply for permanent residence through programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the Express Entry system. For many Nigerian students, the PGWP is a bridge to fulfilling long-term career and residency goals in Canada.

The End of Flagpoling

Flagpoling refers to the process where international students or temporary residents leave Canada briefly, typically to the United States, and then re-enter to expedite the processing of their immigration documents. While this practice has been convenient for many, it has also raised concerns about fairness and the overall integrity of the immigration process.

By ending flagpoling, Canada aims to ensure a more equitable system in which all applicants undergo the same procedure without shortcuts. This change aims to distribute the workload evenly across immigration offices and reduce the pressure on border services. The move aligns with Canada’s commitment to a fair and transparent immigration system.

All postgraduate work permit applications must now be made through regular channels within Canada. It might seem like an extra step, but it ultimately leads to a more standardized and predictable application process.

We reported about some updates coming to PGWP here. Could this be one of the updates? Fingers crossed.

What This Means

As an international student in Canada, take note of the following:

  • Application Processing: You must plan your PGWP applications carefully, ensuring all documentation is complete and submitted well in advance.
  • Travel Plans: If you planned quick trips to the U.S. for flagpoling, you need to adjust your travel plans and prepare for potential wait times within Canada.
  • Fairness and Consistency: The changes promise a more consistent application process, which can be beneficial in the long run by reducing unexpected complications.

Navigating the New System

Here are some tips to help Nigerian students adapt to the new policy changes:

  1. Plan Ahead: Start your PGWP application process early. Gather all necessary documents and ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest immigration policies and procedures. It will help you avoid any last-minute surprises.
  3. Seek Professional Guidance: Consult with immigration experts who can provide personalized advice and assist with your application.

Having good support can make a significant difference in navigating these changes smoothly.

How We Can Help

Navigating the complexities of Canadian immigration policies can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. We specialize in helping Nigerian students apply for study permits, post-graduation work permits, and other immigration pathways. We offer comprehensive services that include:

  • Personalized consultation sessions to understand your specific needs.
  • Step-by-step guidance through the application process.
  • Up-to-date information on the latest immigration policies and procedures.
  • Assistance with documentation and application submissions.

Our mission is to provide you with the support and expertise you need to turn your Canadian dreams into reality. Let’s work together to make your Canadian journey a successful one.


The recent changes to Canada’s Postgraduate Work Permit process aim to create a fairer and more transparent system for all international students. While the end of flagpoling may require some adjustments, it ultimately aims to benefit applicants by ensuring a consistent and equitable process. Let’s work together to make your Canadian journey a successful one.


Author Chinwe

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