Post graduate work permit
Canada offers the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) as part of its efforts to attract international students and retain them as immigrants. The PGWP is valid for up to three years (the actual length of each person's PGWP depends on the length of their Canadian educational program). The PGWP is an open work permit, which allows international graduates to work for any Canadian employer without needing a job offer. A major benefit of the PGWP is it enables international graduates to gain professional work experience in Canada. Such work experience is helpful when PGWP holders go on to apply for Canadian immigration. Many of Canada's over 100 different immigration programs reward candidates who have studied and/or worked in Canada. A PGWP holder needs to gain one year of professional work experience in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, or B to then be eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent residence program.
What are the PGWP's Eligibility Requirements?
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must have:
- Completed studies in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that is at least eight months long at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List.
- The study program must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
- Held full-time student status in Canada during every academic session of the program or programs of study completed and included as part of their post-graduation work permit application.
- Received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study.
- a public post-secondary institution, such as
- a college
- a trade or technical school
- a university
How Long is a PGWP Valid For?
A PGWP is valid for anywhere between 8 months to 3 years. The actual length depends on the length of your program at a Canadian DLI. IRCC provides the following guidelines on its website:
- Completed program under 8 months: Not eligible for a PGWP.
- Completed program between 8 months and less than 2 years: The PGWP will be valid for the same length of your study program (e.g., a 10-month program will result in a 10-month PGWP)
- Completed program of 2 years or more: PGWP will be valid for 3 years.
- Completed more than one program: You may be able to combine your Canadian educational programs to get a PGWP if the programs are DLI eligible and each over 8 months in duration. The total length of the PGWP will correspond to the durations above.
What is PGWP’s Application Deadline?
The deadline to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit is within 180 days (six months) of obtaining a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study have been met.
- If the study permit is set to expire before the marks have come in, candidates have two options:
- apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer; or
- leave Canada and apply for the PGWP.