Post-Graduation Work Permit
Graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions are eligible for a one-time post-graduation work permit after completing their studies. These open work permits grant work authorization to international students, allowing them to gain valuable Canadian work experience that may be used as part of a later application for Permanent Residency.
A work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years. A post-graduation work permit cannot be valid for longer than the student’s study program, and the study program must be a minimum of eight months in length. For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the criteria. If you graduate from an eight-month certificate program, you would be eligible for a work permit that is valid for no more than eight months. Post-Graduation work permits must be obtained within a specific time-frame after graduation.
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must:
- have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program (please see note below) and must have graduated from one of the following:
- a public post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP)
- a private post-secondary educational institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and receives at least 50 per cent of its financing for operations from government grants
- a Canadian private educational institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees
- apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from their academic institution that they have met the requirements of their program.
- have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate
- have a valid study permit when applying for the work permit
Important to note: If a graduate does not apply within 90 days or falls out of status by allowing their study permit to expire, they will not be eligible to apply for a post graduate work permit. It is important to apply within 90 days of confirmation of graduation and BEFORE your study permit expires. If your study permit will expire before you graduate, you must apply for an extension.
Potential applicants should note that:
- The program of study must be a minimum of two years for the graduate to obtain the three year work permit. However, if the program was less than two years but longer than eight months, the graduate can still obtain a work permit for the same duration as the program of study. In cases where a student has obtained a one year degree or diploma from an accredited educational institution within two years of having successfully completed a previous accredited Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma, he or she may qualify for a three-year open work permit
- While a student must have been studying full time in the eight months preceding the date of application for an open work permit, an exception is made in the case where a student fulfills all the requirements except full time study in the last session of their program. For example, if a student only needs two courses in the final session to complete the program but all previous study has been full time, the student may still apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.
Contact us for more information about the Post Graduate Work Permit or for assistance in applying for a work permit.