ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 262-C - June 5, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Post Graduation Work Permit Program for International Students Graduating from Designated Private Post-Secondary Institutions in British Colombia – Revised Guidelines


Additional changes have been made to the Pilot Program to expand the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) for international students graduating from designated private post-secondary institutions in British Colombia. The guidelines have been updated (or revised – whichever you prefer) and distributed to all participating institutions.


This supplementary Operational Bulletin (OB) outlines changes to the parameters originally specified in OB 262-B dated February 22, 2011.

Besides providing a clear understanding of expectations pertaining to this project, these instructions are intended to assist in delineating concrete responsibilities that participating institutions must undertake, while providing the logistics surrounding the implementation of the project.

New Pilot Parameters

  • The pilot will end on January 31st, 2013. International students accepted into programs of study at participating institutions after August 31, 2012 will not be eligible to participate in the pilot.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will continue to process the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) applications of graduates from participating institutions that are enrolled in eligible programs and attending classes on or before the August 31st, 2012 deadline.
  • The list of participating institutions has been revised; it excludes degree-granting institutions.
  • The term “career training” has been more clearly defined.
  • Qualifying programs are more clearly defined.

Pilot Procedures

All of the general eligibility criteria, conditions of the work permit (WP) and processing procedures that apply to the existing PGWPP also apply to this pilot project. These will apply in conjunction with the following guidelines for this pilot.

A) Qualifying Institutions

This pilot is limited to private post-secondary institutions that deliver non-degree career training programs of eight months or longer, and that received their Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation before the start date of the pilot (January 31, 2011) and continue to maintain EQA status for the duration of the pilot.

Note that the list of eligible, non-degree granting institutions remains the same.

All degree-granting institutions, with the exception of one, have been removed from the previous list of eligible institutions as graduates of degree-granting programs are already eligible for a PGWP under the regular PGWP stream.

The revised list of institutions includes:

  • Degree-Granting Institutions: Sprott-Shaw Degree College
  • Non-Degree Granting Institutions: Arbutus College of Communication Arts, Business & Technology; Ashton College; Canadian Tourism College; Centre for Arts and Technology; Eton College; Greystone College; John Casablancas Institute of Applied Arts; MTI Community College; Omni College; Pacific Audio Visual Institute; Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts; Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute; Sprott-Shaw Community College; Stenberg College; Universal Learning Institute; Brighton College; Vancouver Film School; Vancouver Institute of Media Arts.

B) Qualifying Programs

For the purposes of this pilot;

A program providing training/instruction is “career training” if it provides students with a certificate, diploma or degree. The program must also be related to the National Occupational Classification scheme and must be eight months or longer. The National Occupational Classification (NOC) coding structure is used to describe the work carried out by a position.

  • General interest courses, courses designed to prepare or train international students for university, college or high school level course work, and English or French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL) instruction are not considered “career” training for the purposes of this pilot.
  • Studies must have taken place at participating BC EQA-designated institution and in British Colombia. In cases where a student transferred between educational institutions, the student must have graduated from a BC EQA participating institution listed in pilot guidelines and the period of study must be at least eight months in length at a participating institution.
  • Eight months or more must be conducted within a single program of study. Distance learning programs do not qualify but programs offered by EQA participating institutions that combine distance learning from outside of Canada and in class education in BC may qualify if a minimum of eight months of the course of study was conducted entirely within BC at the EQA participating institution.
  • The PGWP will only be issued to correspond with the length of time that the course of study was conducted in B.C.

C) Qualifying Applicants

In order to be eligible to apply for a WP under this pilot, students must have enrolled and begun course work in an eligible program of study on or before August 31st, 2012.

The student must have successfully completed their program of study in order to be eligible to apply for the PGWP.

Officers may wish to ask for proof of enrolment such as tuition payments and transcripts should they require documentation to support a student’s eligibility to apply under the pilot.

D) Post-Graduation Work Permit Issuance

  • Consult section 5.24 of Overseas Processing (OP) 12 Manual Students.
  • Use labour market opinion (LMO) exemption code C-43 in conjunction with paragraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations in support of the “competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions or economy.”
  • Verify the eligibility of applicants pursuant to existing procedures to ensure that they meet the requirements of the pilot and the broader PGWPP. Issue an open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination requirements, if applicable) WP to eligible applicants.

E) System Instructions

Special Program Code: Officers are required to use the Special Program Code “ISP” (the long description is International Student Pilot Program for B.C.) in the Field Operations Support System, Global Case Management System, Computer-Assisted Immigration Processing System, or, for inland processing, in the drop-down menu in the Case Processing Centre system under “Special Programs”, for applicants meeting the requirements of the pilot. The use of this special program code is mandatory and it will be important for statistical research, evaluation and policy development purposes.

F) Validity and Duration

A WP issued under this pilot, like any other issued under the PGWPP, may be valid up to a maximum of three years depending on the duration of the program of study. If the program of study is two years or more, the student may be eligible for a three-year WP. Should the program of study be less than two years but at least eight months, the student may be eligible for a WP lasting for a period equal to the duration of the studies. For example, if the student graduated from an eight-month certificate program, he or she may only be eligible for a WP of an eight-month duration.

G) Program Integrity Monitoring

Should a participating institution lose its EQA designation during the course of the pilot or cease to offer eligible programs of study, BC will contact CIC to communicate that the institution is no longer eligible to participate in the pilot. International students graduating from the institution in question will no longer be eligible to apply for a PGWP as of the day the institution loses its EQA status; however, all applications received by CIC before the date of EQA revocation will be processed accordingly.

H) Program Evaluation

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation will be performed in partnership with the Province of British Columbia to determine the success of the pilot program.

I) Further Information

For further information on eligible programs, officers are encouraged to visit the website of British Columbia’s Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) at Officers may also direct inquiries regarding eligible programs to British Columbia’s Ministry of Advanced Education at

For additional information relating to the PGWPP, please refer to the CIC website at

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