International students who have just graduated from a Canadian designation learning institution (DLI) may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This work permit allows them to stay in Canada longer and gain Canadian work experience.
Post-Graduation Work Permit Validity
The length of the PGWP depends on the length of the program they studied.
If the program was less than 8 months: you are not eligible for a PGWP
If the program was more than 8 months, but less than 2 years: you may receive a PGWP that’s valid for the same amount of time as your study program. For instance, if you studied for 10 months, you may be given a 10-month PGWP.
If the program was 2 years or greater: you may receive a 3 year PGWP, which is the maximum duration of a PGWP.
If you completed multiple programs: you may receive a PGWP that is valid for the length of both programs combined. However, both programs must be PGWP eligible and be of 8 months minimum.
If you completed your studies faster than the actual length of your program, you may still be eligible for a PGWP for the full length of your study program. For instance, if your program was for 1 year in length, but you completed it in 8 months, you may receive a 1 year PGWP.
You are only allowed to receive one PGWP. Upon the expiration of your PGWP, you may not apply for a second one.
You have 180 days (6 months) after you receive your final marks or obtaining your transcript/official letter from your school to apply for a PGWP.
If your study permit is about to expire before you get your marks, you have 2 options:
- Apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer
- Leave Canada and apply for your PGWP
If your study permit has already expired, you must restore your student status before you can apply for your PGWP. This will require an additional fee of $350.
To be eligible for a PGWP you must have:
- Completed a study program in Canada at a DLI (check this list) to find out which schools have eligible programs) that was at least 8 months long, which led to a degree, diploma, or certificate
- Studied as a full-time student during each semester apart from your final semester which could have been part-time
- Graduated from one of the following:
- a public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP in Quebec
- a private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec
- a private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, that leads to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)
- a Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree), but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province
Supporting Documents for PGWP
Ensure you have the following 2 documents before you go to apply:
- Letter confirming your completion of the study program
- Official transcript by your DLI
You are not eligible to apply for a PGWP if you:
- Have already been issued a PGWP
- Studied English or French as a second language
- Took general interest or self-improvement courses
- Received funding from Global Affairs Canada
- Participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada
- Acquired the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
- Participated in the Canada-Chile Scholar’s Exchanges Program
- Participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
- Majority of your study program (more than 50%) was completed through distance learning (online courses, e-learning, or correspondence)
- Completed your study program at a non-Canadian institute located in Canada
- Took an unauthorized leave from your study program and did not meet the conditions of your study permit by taking this leave