Canada post-graduate work permit
The Canada post-graduate work permit program (PGWPP) allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupational code A, O or B that is gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class, within Canada Express Entry System.
With a post-graduation work permit, as with all open work permits, graduates can
- work full time
- work part time
- be self-employed
The supporting regulatory framework for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) is subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations.
For detailed PGWPP eligibility requirements and guidelines, see PGWPP Requirements.
PGWPP application time extended
On February 14, 2019, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) announced that the PGWPP delivery instructions have been updated to include a series of facilitative measures, such as
- the removal of the requirement to hold a valid study permit when applying for a post-graduation work permit
- the extension of the deadline to apply from 90 days to 6 months
This allows students to have more time to submit their post-graduation work permit application once they obtain their notice of graduation from their institution.
IRCC says study permit will be valid ‘at some point’ during the 180 days that graduates now have to submit their PGWPP application.
“This is huge news for international graduates who are applying for a post-graduation work permit,” said David Cohen, senior immigration agent.
PGWPP eligibility requirements
To become eligible for PGWPP, an applicant study programs must be at least eight months long and meet other specified criteria. An applicant does not require any Canadian job offer at the time of application.
Applicants can receive only 1 post-graduation work permit in their lifetime. For full eligibility requirements and guidelines click
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 Canadathat 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.
Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:
- They hold a valid study permit.
- They held a study permit.
- They were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.