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Apply for a post-graduate work permit

It is the dream of many (if not most) international students to stay in Canada after they complete their studies. If you were an international student in Canada and you have completed your study program, within the 180 days following the completion of your study program, depending on the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) you attended, you may be able to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWPP is supported by the regulatory framework of subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations.

The PGWPP allows students who have graduated from eligible DLIs to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0 or skill level A or B that is gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.

Students who have completed their program of study are allowed to work (under paragraph 186(w) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations [IRPR]) while they are waiting for a decision on their post-graduation work permit application, provided they meet all of the following criteria:

  • they are or were holders of a valid study permit at the time of the post-graduation work permit application

  • they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program

  • they were authorized to work off-campus without a work permit

  • they did not exceed the allowable hours of work

 

Based on the length of the study program you graduated from, your work permit be issued for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years. When determining the length of a post-graduation work permit, officers may consider the duration of the program of study in Canada and confirm it with supporting documents. Regularly scheduled breaks (for example, scheduled winter and summer breaks) will be included in the time accumulated toward the length of the post-graduation work permit.

It is important to keep in mind the following:

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

  • If your PGWP validity is shorter than what it be because of the expiry date of your passport, you will need to apply for a work permit extension upon the renewal of their passport to receive the full validity of their post-graduation work permit.

  • Post-graduation work permits can be extended only when the length of the permit could not be provided at the time of the application, due to the expiry date of the applicant’s passport.

 

You will not be eligible for a post-graduation work permit if you: