What is a Post-Graduate Work Permit?

Frequently Asked Questions

Upon completing studies at a public Canadian post-secondary institution, international students may apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allowing them to work in Canada. This permit will allow them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry, for up to three years after graduation, depending on the length of their program of study. It is an open work permit and does not require a job offer at the time of application.

Eligibility: An individual who has continuously studied full-time at a designated public learning institution (DLI) for at least eight months may apply for a PGWP. Those who have completed a study program that is shorter than eight months in duration, are not eligible for a PGWP.

Duration: A PGWP is issued for the length of the study program, and can range in duration from eight months to three years. A PGWP cannot be valid longer than the length of your study program in Canada. It is the length of the study program itself that is taken into consideration, not how long it takes an individual to complete the program. For example, if you complete an eight month certificate program in six months, the duration of your PGWP will be for eight months, or if you graduate from a four-year degree program, your PGWP will be for three years, as that is the maximum duration possible for a PGWP.

Applicants must hold a valid study visa when applying for a PGWP and must do so within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (e.g. an official letter or transcript) from the educational institution indicating that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study. The 90 days are calculated from the day final marks are released or the day they receive written confirmation, whichever comes first.

A PGWP cannot be renewed. When a PGWP is due to expire, the holder must apply for a different permit or visa if they wish to continue to stay and/or work in Canada. Graduates may submit an application for permanent residence while applying for a PGWP. Additionally, skilled Canadian work experience gained through the PGWP program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Express Entry program.

PGWP holders are free to leave and return to Canada and work at any time as long the PGWP is valid.

We can assist you with submitting a PGWP application. Send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 416-847-3347.