Canada Post Graduation Work Permit(PGWP)

An Overview of Eligibility and Application Process for International Graduates

The Post-Graduation Work Permit allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience.  

Skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupation code A (professional occupations), O (managerial occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) that is gained through the PGWP program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class within Express Entry.

PGWP are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments.  With a PGWP, as with all open work permits, graduates can work  for any Canadian employer either full-time, part-time or be self-employed

A PGWP may be issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.   The validity period of the PGWP may not go beyond the applicant’s passport validity date.  In this instance, the PGWP applicant can apply for a work permit extension once their passport has been renewed to receive the full validity of their PGWP.

Once you graduate, you can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit which is an Open Work Permit, allowing you to work in any job, without restrictions. This program provides you with a three-year open work permit. You do not need a job offer.

You can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit if:

  • You completed a study program at a designated learning institution that was at least 8 months long and led to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Maintained full time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program
    • This does not include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies.
  • Graduated from one of the following:
    • public post-secondary educational institution such as a college, trade/technical institution, university
    • Canadian private institution that is authorized to award degrees under provincial law (for example, an Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree), but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.
    • completed and passed the program of study and received notification that you are eligible to obtain your degree, diploma or certificate.
  • You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a Post-Graduate work permit. When you apply you must confirm the following:
    • You attended and completed the program
    • The name of your program and
    • The length of your program
  • You can confirm your eligibility by submitting the following:
    • Your degree or diploma
    • Your transcript or
    • An official letter from your school
    • Your study permit must be valid during these 180 days.

You are not eligible for a Post-Graduate Open Work Permit if you:

  • have a study permit that expired more than 180 days before you applied
  • already received a PGWP
  • studied English or French as a second language
  • took general interest or self-improvement courses
  • participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada
  • had received funding from Global Affairs Canada
    • Note: If you got a Study in Canada scholarship, you’re still eligible for a PGWP.
  • got the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
  • participated in the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchanges Program
  • participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • completed the major part of a study program through distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
  • completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada
  • completed a program from a private institution in 1 province or territory that was delivered through a curriculum licensing agreement with a PGWP-eligible public institution located in a different province or territory.
    • Notes:
      • This policy was confirmed in January 2023.
      • As a transitional measure, if you began or completed this type of program on or before January 31, 2023, you may be eligible for a PGWP if you meet all other eligibility criteria and either of the following applies to you:
        • You’re currently in Canada and enrolled in this type of program at a designated learning institution.
        • You already applied for a PGWP after graduating from this type of program.

Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of your Post-Graduate Open Work Permit would be. If your passport expires before your Post-Graduate Work Permit, you will be issued a Post Graduate Work Permit that’s only valid until your passport expires.

We offer Immigration Services across Canada and Worldwide.

Get started on your path to a Work Permit in Canada!

Are you an international student who has graduated from a Canadian institution and looking to gain work experience in Canada? Wondering how to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit? Contact our Canadian Immigration Consultant to guide you through the eligibility requirements and application process.

Schedule a Consultation