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The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) is designed for students who have graduated from eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. If you would like to explore this program, the Visa HUB team can help you. Our immigration experts have years of experience in dealing with such applications and can assist you to prepare error-free, Post-Graduation Work Permit application as it will be a path to obtain permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.
- Post-Graduation Work Permit validity and application
- Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements
- Post-Graduation Work Permit eligible programs and institutions
- Post-Graduation Work Permit applicants and travel
1. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) validity and application
Post-graduation work permits are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments, graduates can:
- work full time
- work part time
- be self-employed
Post-Graduation Work Permit validity
A Post-Graduation Work Permit may be issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.
Post-Graduation Work Permit application
Applicants must apply within 180 days of obtaining written confirmation they have met the requirements for completing studies.
Applicants may apply for a PGWP from within Canada if
- their study permit is still valid
- they have a valid visitor record because they changed their status to visitor status before their study permit expired, while waiting. However, they would not be eligible to work while waiting for a decision on their PGWP application
- they are on implied status
2. Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements
Applicants can receive only 1 Post-Graduation Work Permit in their lifetime.
To obtain a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must currently hold valid temporary status or have left Canada. They must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI). They must also submit clear evidence that they meet all of the following criteria:
- They have completed an academic, vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- They have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their Post-Graduation Work Permit application. Exceptions can be made only for the following:
- They have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their program of study.
Note: The transcript and official letter must be included in a Post-Graduation Work Permit application.
Students are ineligible if they
- have previously been issued a post-graduation work permit
- received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Note: This does not apply to Study in Canada Scholarship recipients who are eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
- participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC
- obtained the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada–Chile
- participated in the Canada–China Scholars’ Exchange Program
- participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
- completed the majority of the credits toward the completion of their program of study by distance learning
- completed a program of study delivered by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada, regardless of their length of stay in Canada
3. Post-Graduation Work Permit eligible programs and institutions
Students are ineligible for a post-graduation work permit if they have completed the following:
- an English as a second language or French as a second language course or program of study
- general interest or self-improvement courses
- a course or program of study at a private career college
- a public post-secondary institution, such as
- a college
- a trade or technical school
- a university
- CEGEP (in Quebec)
- a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec
- a private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to
- a diploma of vocational studies (DVS)
- an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)
- a Canadian, private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees, such as an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, but only if the student is enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree, as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution
See the DLI list to verify schools’ eligibility.
4. Post-Graduation Work Permit applicants and travel
If the applicant travels, there are three options to return to Canada:
- Temporary resident visas (TRVs) apply to applicants from countries whose nationals require a visa, must be summitted from outside Canada
- Electronic travel authorizations (eTAs) apply to applicants from countries whose nationals do not require a visa
- Travel before a decision is made on a post-graduation work permit, must be in possession of either a valid
- TRV, when they are from a country whose nationals require a visa
- eTA, when they are from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt, and they are travelling to Canada by air
Students who have completed their program of study
Students who have completed their program of study are allowed to work while they are waiting for a decision on their Post-Graduation Work Permit application, provided they meet all of the following criteria:
- they are or were holders of a valid Study Permit at the time of the Post-Graduation Work Permit application
- they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program
- they were authorized to work off-campus without a work permit
- they did not exceed the allowable hours of work
Determining the length of the post-graduation work permit
The validity period of the Post-Graduation Work Permit may not go beyond the applicant’s passport validity date, otherwise the Post-Graduation Work Permit applicant has to apply for a work permit extension upon the renewal of their passport to receive the full validity of their post-graduation work permit.
|Program’s length, including||Length of Quebec vocational programs||Length of the Post-Graduation Work Permit that can be issued|
|At least 8 months and less than 2 years.||At least 900 hours and less than 1,800 hours.||The length of the work permit should coincide with the length of the program|
|2 years or longer.||1,800 hours or longer.||the length of the work permit should be 3 years.|
The student completed more than one program within 2 years.
Note: Each program of study must meet all PGWPP eligibility requirements and be at least 8 months in length.
The student completed more than one DVS or a DVS and an AVS from an eligible DLI within 2 years.
The DVS program must be at least 900 hours in length. The AVS program can be less than 900 hours in length, if submitted in combination with a DVS.
The length of the work permit should combine the length of each program.
If the combined length of the programs is 2 years or longer (or 1,800 hours or longer for a combination of a DVS with an AVS in Quebec), the work permit may be valid for up to 3 years (provided that the DVS program in Quebec is at least 900 hours in length).
If a student completes their studies in less time than the normal length of the program (that is, they have accelerated their studies), the Post-Graduation Work Permit should be assessed on the length of the program of study.
Applicants impacted by a designated learning institution (DLI) strike
Applicants who are impacted by a strike affecting a DLI in Canada are considered to be studying continually full time during the strike period. The period of time in which the students are not attending class due to a school strike does not impact their eligibility under the PGWPP. Applicants impacted by a school strike must meet all other eligibility requirements under the PGWPP.
Students must be continually studying full time in Canada. However, if a student meets all the eligibility requirements, with the exception of full-time status during their final academic session, they are still considered eligible for the PGWPP.
Distance learning can be considered online learning. Students who complete a program of study exclusively by distance learning (outside or within Canada) are not eligible for a post-graduation work permit. Unless the online portion is less than 50% of the program of study’s total courses are completed by distance learning, a Post-Graduation Work Permit may be issued.
Transfers between educational institutions
In cases where a student has transferred between eligible Canadian DLIs, the combined length of study must be at least 8 months to qualify for a post-graduation work permit.
In cases where a student graduated from an eligible DLI after having transferred from an ineligible institution, only time spent at the eligible DLI counts as eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit issuance. Time spent at the eligible institution must be at least 8 months.
- Example 1: Transferring from a foreign institution
- Example 2: Transferring from an ineligible institution
- Example 3: Transferring between eligible DLIs
Programs with an overseas component
If a student completes a program of study in Canada that has an overseas component, they are eligible for the PGWPP, as long as they earn a Canadian educational credential from an eligible DLI. However, the length of the Post-Graduation Work Permit is based on the length of time they studied in Canada.
Applicants whose study permit becomes invalid or expires must either
- leave Canada and apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit from overseas, or
- apply to restore their status as a student by applying for a PGWP with the correct fees
Work authorization after submitting a Post-Graduation Work Permit application
Graduates who apply for a work permit, such as a post-graduation work permit, before the expiry of their study permit are eligible to work full time without a work permit while waiting for a decision on their application (some conditions apply)
Spouses and common-law partners of Post-Graduation Work Permit holders
Spouses and common-law partners of Post-Graduation Work Permit holders may be eligible to apply for an open work permit.
Want to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit? The Visa HUB team can help you. Our immigration experts have years of experience in dealing with such applications and can assist you to prepare error-free, Post-Graduation Work Permit application.
If you would like to learn more about your immigration options, we would be happy to assist you. Our immigration consultants will assist you with every step of the process.