Post Graduate Work Permit

Home Post Graduate Work Permit

Post Graduate Work Permit

Canada offers the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) as part of its efforts to attract and retain international students as immigrants. The PGWP is an open work permit that allows international graduates to work for any Canadian employer without requiring a job offer. It is available to students who have completed their studies at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). The PGWP grants permission to remain in Canada and work full-time for a duration of up to three years after graduating from a Canadian post-secondary institution. The length of the work permit depends on the length of the program completed. The PGWP is a valuable opportunity to advance professional goals, gain Canadian work experience, and potentially qualify for permanent residence.

Quick Facts about PGWP:

  • The duration of a PGWP can range from eight months to three years.
  • Typically, the PGWP is granted for a duration equivalent to the period of study, up to a maximum of three years.
  • If more than 50% of the program is conducted through in-person classes, the student is eligible for a PGWP of the same duration as their program.
  • For part-time or accelerated studies, the PGWP duration corresponds to the length of the program if taken on a full-time basis.
  • International students can receive only one PGWP. If a previous PGWP was obtained after completing an earlier program of study, another one cannot be obtained.
  • Applicants who apply for a PGWP before their study permit expires can start working full-time immediately while the application is being processed, without requiring a separate work permit.
  • If you leave Canada after completing your studies, you can also apply for a PGWP from overseas.

PGWP Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for a PGWP, you must:

  • Have completed a program of study from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that lasted at least eight months and led to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Have studied full-time each academic session, with exceptions for part-time study in the final academic session or authorized leave for less than 150 days.
  • Obtain a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming program completion requirements.
  • Graduate from a public post-secondary institution, private post-secondary school in Quebec, private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, or a Canadian private school authorized to award degrees.
  • Hold a valid study permit or visitor record.
  • Submit an application to extend the study permit before it expires, or an application to change status to a visitor before the study permit expires.

Authorized Leave from Studies: Certain conditions or circumstances may be considered authorized leave, including medical reasons, pregnancy, family emergency, school closure, change of schools, or deferred program start date. During an authorized leave, you cannot work on or off-campus, even if your study permit allows it.

PGWP Application Deadline: The deadline to apply for a PGWP is within 180 days of obtaining a transcript and an official letter confirming program completion.

Special Cases:

  • Accelerated Programs: If you complete your study program in less time than the normal duration, you may be eligible for a PGWP valid for the full length of the program.
  • Distance Learning: If distance learning constitutes less than 50% of your program, you may be eligible for a PGWP. The PGWP duration includes both in-class and distance courses, excluding any completed outside Canada.
  • Transfers between Schools: The combined length of studies must be at least eight months to be eligible for a PGWP. If transferring from a non-DLI to a DLI, only time spent at the DLI counts.
  • Canadian Study Programs with an Overseas Component: If your program includes an overseas component, you may be eligible for a PGWP as long as you earn a credit from a Canadian school. The PGWP duration is based on the time spent studying in Canada.

Ineligible PGWP Applicants: International students are ineligible for the PGWP if they have previously been issued a PGWP, studied English or French as a second language, took general interest or self-improvement courses, received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), or participated in specific government-funded programs or distance learning programs delivered by non-Canadian institutions in Canada.