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What is a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

Post Graduation Work Permit

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The Post-Graduation Work Permit, also known as the PGWP, is an open work permit. This means that the student holding the permit is permitted to work in Canada for any employer of their choosing, as well as for any Canadian employer, without first having to secure a job offer from that employer.

It gives international students who graduate the ability to work in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies there.

One of the most significant advantages of the PGWP is that it allows international graduates to gain professional work experience in Canada.

This can be useful for PGWP holders later on when they apply for immigration to Canada. A holder of a PGWP must, as a general rule, complete one year of professional work experience in an occupation with a National Occupation Classification code of 0, A, or B before they are eligible to apply for a permanent residence program in Canada.

PGWP’s eligibility requirements

To qualify for a PGWP, international students are required to have the following:

  • Studies in an educational, vocational, or specialized training program at an eligible Designated Learning Institution that lasted for a minimum of eight months and was completed successfully (DLI)
  • Finished an educational program that resulted in the awarding of a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • Maintained their status as a full-time student in Canada throughout every academic system of the program of study and included this information in their application for a post-graduation work permit
  • Got a transcript and an official letter from the DLI verifying that the applicant has fulfilled all requirements to complete their program of study.

Additionally, the student needs to have received their degree from:

  • a public institution of post-secondary education, such as
  • a college
  • a school for trades or a technical college
  • a school of higher education
  • CEGEP (in Quebec) (in Quebec)
  • A private post-secondary institution in Quebec that is subject to the same regulations as public post-secondary institutions in Quebec;
  • A private or post-secondary school in Quebec that provides qualifying programs of 900 hours or more and results in the issuance of a diploma of studies in professional studies (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP); 

Canadian private school that, by provincial law, has the authority to confer degrees (such as an Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate), but only if the student has been enrolled in a study program that is approved by the province and ultimately leads to the conferral of a degree.

What is the PGWP’s Application Deadline?

Within 180 days (six months) of procuring a transcript and an official letter from an eligible DLI verifying that the criteria to complete the program of study have been met, the applicant has the opportunity to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit before the application window closes.

Candidates have two options available to them if their study permits are about to expire before they receive their grades:

  • Apply to a visitor record to extend your stay in Canada,
  • depart Canada and apply for the PGWP.

Applicants are required to provide evidence that they either currently hold a valid study permit, previously held a study permit, or were authorized to study in Canada without the need to obtain a study permit by the provisions of paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations before submitting their application.

How much time does it take to get a post-graduate work permit?

The processing time for a PGWP can range anywhere from 80 days to 180 days. You are allowed to work in Canada while you are waiting for your PGWP, provided that you applied for it before the date that your student permit would have expired.

After you have finished all the requirements for your program of study, you have 180 days to submit your application for the PGWP.

You can now apply for a PGWP even if you have already left Canada and completed your education elsewhere. In the past, applications for post-graduation work permits had to be brought forward solely from within Canada.

If an application for the PGWP is made from a location not within Canada, the visa office responsible for processing the application may request additional documentation.

Contact us to apply for a post-graduation work permit!


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