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PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permits)

International students who complete a post-secondary education in Canada are eligible to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit. This permit is an Open Work Permit allowing them to work in ANY job, without restrictions. An LMIA or a confirmation of job offer are not needed to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit. Once they have completed their studies in an eligible program (or school), international graduates can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, which allows them to work in Canada. It is extremely important to choose the right school to stud, to ensure you are eligible for the Post Graduate Work Permit). Not all DLI’s are eligible for PGWP so make sure your investment will give you right ROI. Contact us for more information about working in Canada or for assistance in applying for a study permit / Firm Offer from a eligible DLI

a) Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must:
  • have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program (please see note below) and must have graduated from one of the following:
    • a public post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP)
    • a private post-secondary educational institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and receives at least 50 per cent of its financing for operations from government grants
    • a Canadian private educational institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees
  • apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from their academic institution that they have met the requirements of their program.
  • have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate
  • have a valid study permit when applying for the work permit
Important: If a graduate does not apply within 90 days or falls out of status by allowing their study permit to expire, they will not be eligible to apply for a post graduate work permit. It is important to apply within 90 days of confirmation of graduation and BEFORE your study permit expires. If your study permit will expire before you graduate, you must apply for an extension.

b) Potential applicants should note that:

  • The program of study must be a minimum of two years for the graduate to obtain the three-year work permit. However, if the program was less than two years but longer than eight months, the graduate can still obtain a work permit for the same duration as the program of study. In cases where a student has obtained a one-year degree or diploma from an accredited educational institution within two years of having successfully completed a previous accredited Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma, he or she may qualify for a three-year open work permit
  • While a student must have been studying full time in the eight months preceding the date of application for an open work permit, an exception is made in the case where a student fulfills all the requirements except full time study in the last session of their program. For example, if a student only needs two courses in the final session to complete the program but all previous study has been full time, the student may still apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.

Need Help?

Contact us for more information about the Post Graduate Work Permit or for assistance in applying for a work permit/ study permit

c). Find out if your school and / or program is eligible for a PGWP

It is very important to select the correct institution and program, otherwise, you may not be eligible for a work permit after you graduate. Not all DLI (Designated Learning Institutions) are eligible for a PGWP. Also, refer to Student Visa Refusal page for information on the Student Visa process. Without a Student Visa being approved, you will not be able to come to Canada to Study. Our firm can help prepare and submit a Student Visa application to ensure you can come to Canada and Study. Avoid a refusal, contact us today. Work permits issued under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allow international students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Students may work in Canada for up to three years after graduation. You have 180 days after your school issues your final marks to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). However, to be eligible, your study permit must have been valid within 180 days preceding your PGWP application.
You must also have:
  • Completed a study program:
    • at a designated learning institution
    • that was at least 8 months long and
    • that led to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program (except your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took a leave from studies)
  • Graduated from a:
    • Public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school, university, or CEGEP (in Quebec), or
    • Private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec, or
    • Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, that leads to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP), or
    • Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree) but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.

d). Applying for a post-graduation work permit

You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or overseas, as long as you meet the eligibility. If you plan on staying in Canada and your study permit will expire before you apply for a PGWP, you should change your status to a visitor. You have up to 90 days after your study permit expires to restore your status or you’ll have to leave the country. If you have left Canada after graduation, you can still apply using the Application for a work permit made outside of Canada (IMM 1295). Learn how to apply for a post-graduation work permit from outside Canada.

e). You are not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program if you:

  • Already received a post-graduation work permit
  • Studied English or French as a second language
  • Took general interest or self-improvement courses
  • Participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Had funding from GAC
  • Got the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
  • Participated in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
  • Participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • Completed most of a study program by distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
  • Completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada

Need Help?

  • Contact us for more information about the Post Graduate Work Permit or for assistance in applying for a work permit/ study permit

f) Does the length of my studies in Canada affect the length of the work permit?

The work permit cannot be valid longer than the official length of your program of study in Canada. For example, students graduating from a four-year degree program might be eligible for a three year work permit. Students graduating from an eight-month certificate program would only be eligible for a work permit of eight months. Benefits of a career in the skilled trades include:
  • If you studied for less than eight months
    • you are not eligible for this program.
  • If you studied less than two years but more than eight months
    • you may get a work permit for a period no longer than the length of time you studied (for example, if you studied for nine months, a work permit may be issued for a period of nine months).
  • If you studied for two years or more
    • a work permit may be issued for three years. (The validity period of your work permit cannot exceed that of your passport. Therefore, you should ensure that your passport’s validity exceeds the amount of time you are requesting on your application.)

g). When should I submit my application?

You have up to 180 days after you receive confirmation from your school that you’ve completed your study program to apply for a work permit. This confirmation could be a degree, diploma, transcript or official letter from your school.

Need Help?

Contact us for more information about the Post Graduate Work Permit or for assistance in applying for a work permit/ study permit