Post Graduation Work Permit

The Post Graduation Work Permit gives international students the chance to work after graduation by granting a Canada work permit for up to three years.

The PGWP is exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirements.

The candidate must have attended a recognized post-secondary school or a secondary school that offers qualifying programs, for at least eight months.

For programs that last between eight months and two years, the Post Graduation Work Permit is issued for the length of the study.

For international students who have studied for two years or more, a three-year permit is issued.

Those who completed more than one program may be eligible for a PGWP that combines the length of each program. Each of the programs completed must be:

  • PGWP eligible and
  • At least 8 months (or 900 hours for Quebec credentials) in length

Master’s students and graduates of other short graduate-level programs will be able to apply for a three-year work permit.

However, spouses of international students in undergraduate and college programs will soon no longer be eligible for open work permits.

A PGWP can be applied for only once, and not if someone already had a PGWP after completing an earlier program of study.

The valuable work experience gained during this period can count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry.

Post-Graduation Work Permit: Who Can Apply?

Candidates must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a program at least eight months long.
  • Have completed and passed all your program requirements
  • Have graduated from one of the following:
    1. Public post-secondary schools, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec.
    2. Private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec).
    3. Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles(DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP).
    4. Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate degree) but only if you are enrolled in a study program leading to a degree as authorized by the province.
  • Apply within 180 days of completing the program.

Note: International students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a postgraduation work permit upon graduation

Post Graduation Work Permit: How Long Is It Valid?

The validity of a PGWP is linked to the length of study. If a candidate studied for less than eight months, they are not eligible.

Length of Study 8 months to 2 years 2 years or more More than one program
Duration of PGWP Same as length of study 3 years Cumulative total length of study is applicable