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Canada Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP)

International students can work while they are studying in Canada, and also obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after their educational program has been completed.

Advantages of PGWP:

  • allows a graduate in Canada to work for up to three years after completing their studies;

  • gives the opportunity to earn highly desired and sought after “North American work experience;

  • the mentioned experience is a huge advantage when submitting an immigration application if one decides to permanently stay and work in Canada (you get additional CRS points for Canadian education and experience);

  • if she/he decides to leave the country, the gained education and work experience make them more competitive in the job market.

What is a post-graduation work permit?

The post-graduation work permit allows students to graduate from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to obtain Canadian work experience. A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) gives you permission to work full time in Canada for up to three years. The length of the work permit depends on the length of your program. A job offer is not required in order to apply and working in a specific field is not a must. 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.

The work subsequently obtained through the PGWPP may help support your application to become a Canadian Permanent Resident.

Skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupational code A, O or B that is gained through the PGWPP helps graduates to qualify for Canadian permanent residence through the Canadian experience class, within Express Entry.


Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements

Only 1 post-graduation work permit in the lifetime is allowed.

Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • They have a valid study permit;

  • They had 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.


To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have:

Completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months and obtained a degree, diploma or certificate;

Studied full-time each academic session (excludes scheduled breaks), with two exceptions:

 1. You studied part-time in your final academic session only

 2. You took an authorized gap in studies for less than 150 days

In addition, you must:

  • Apply within 90 days after your Letter of Completion first becomes available AND have a valid study permit at the time of application, OR

  • Apply within 180 days after your Letter of Completion first becomes available, AND have previously held a valid study permit, and one of the following:

  • Applied for visitor status before your study permit became invalid

  • Applied to restore your temporary resident status

  • Applied from outside of Canada


Why should You apply?

A PGWPP is an amazing way to advance your professional goals and obtain valuable work experience, which you might assist You to qualify for permanent residence.


If you are eligible to work in your final term, you can continue working up to 20 hours a week off-campus and/or full time on campus. Once the Letter of Completion is issued, you must stop working immediately, since you are not eligible to work anymore.


How to apply?

Your study permit will become invalid 90 (ninety) days after your Letter of Completion is available, or the study permit expiration date, whichever comes first.

If your study permit expires within the 90 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available, you will need to apply to extend your study permit for an additional 90-day bridging period three to four months before your study permit expires.

Having a valid study permit at the time of application is one of the requirements to be eligible to work full-time after submitting your PGWP application online.

If you must provide biometrics information, apply for your work permit earlier to allow for this extra step.


After you’ve applied

Check if you are eligible to begin working full-time while you are waiting for a decision from IRCC.



Post-graduation work permits are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments. 


With a post-graduation work permit graduates can:


  • work full-time

  • work part-time

  • be self-employed

The validity period of the post-graduation work permit may not go beyond the applicant’s passport validity date.


If the student is enrolled in a program of study that is normally 1 year, but the student manages to complete the requirements for the program of study within 8 months, she/he may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit that is valid for 1 year.


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. If less than 50% of the program of study’s total courses are completed by distance learning, a post-graduation work permit may be issued.

How to proceed?

1. Email us ( Your issue and any documentation that you consider relevant


2. We review your documents and appoint a consultant/lawyer to contact you with the brief assessment


3. You decide whether to proceed.


All our cases are handled by experienced lawyers and RCIC immigration specialists.


Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and the copyright owner is the: Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Immigration Quebec

Disclaimer: The content of this page is provided as an information guide only. The use of this website is at the viewer/user's risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners of this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any site to which these pages connect or are linked.​​

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