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Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) may be valid anywhere between eight months and up to three years. The length of permit for an international student will depend on the length of the study program completed in Canada. The permit won’t be longer than the length of your study program. Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for. 

 

Who is eligible for PGWP?

In order to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), a foreign national must be at least 18 years old and have studied full-time in Canada in a program of at least 8 months. The study program must have been completed at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in one of the following types of programs listed below: -

 

  • public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec; or

  • private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (only applies to certain institutions in Quebec); or

  • private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP); or

  • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law only for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province.

 

 

In order to apply for the work permit, a foreign national must apply within 180 days of the completion of their study program as well.

If an applicant is applying from within Canada, they must have valid status at the time of application. If their study permit has expired or will expire they may apply for status as a visitor before applying for the PGWP. However, applicants who apply for a PGWP prior to the expiration of their study permit are eligible to begin working full time immediately, while their application is processing. Applicants may apply for a PGWP from overseas.

How much time it takes to get a PGWP? 

A PGWP can take anywhere from 80 to 180 days to process. While waiting for your PGWP, you are free to work in Canada provided you applied prior to the expiry date of your student permit. 

You have 180 days to apply for your PGWP from the date you completed all the requirements of your program of study. 

If you leave Canada after your studies have been completed, you can now apply for a PGWP from overseas. If a PGWP application is submitted from outside of Canada, additional documentation may be requested depending on the visa office that will process the application.