The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a cornerstone of the immigration system in Canada, enabling foreign students who graduate from Canadian universities and colleges to work for up to three years after graduation in Canada. The post-graduation work permit also helps transition graduates to Canada’s permanent resident status.

The PGWP is an unrestricted work permit that allows its holder to work in any place in Canada with any employer, and to freely change employers.

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Here’s how applying for a PGWP work

You must actually possess valid provisional status or have left Canada in order to receive a post-graduation work permit. You must have graduated from an eligible designated institution of learning (DLI). You must also submit explicit proof that you meet any of the following requirements:

  • You have completed an undergraduate, technical, or professional training programme with a degree, diploma, or certificate at a qualifying institution in Canada for a period of at least 8 months.
  • During each academic session of the programme or programmes of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application, you have retained full-time student status in Canada*. It is only possible to make exceptions for the following: leave from studies or final academic session.
  • You have received a transcript from the qualifying DLI and an official letter stating that you have fulfilled the criteria to complete your study programme. The transcript and official letter must be included in an application for a post-graduation work permit. You must also meet one of the following conditions within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit.
  • You hold a valid study permit, OR
  • You held a study permit, OR
  • You have been allowed to study in Canada without the obligation under the Immigration and Refugee Security Regulations to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b). This list shall be limited to private diplomatic personnel, members of the armed forces of some countries, and indigenous peoples, but shall also include persons enrolled in a course or programme of studies of six months or less and completed within the duration of stay allowed upon their entry into Canada.