Post Graduate Work Permit

The Ultimate Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Guide

The Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) program allows international students who have graduated from a university or college in Canada to stay in the country and work after they complete their studies.

A PGWP is valid for eight months and three years, during which the applicant has valuable Canadian work experience. Once an applicant has a few years’ worth of Canadian work experience and meets other requirements for obtaining permanent residence in Canada (such as proving proficiency in English or French), it opens up many opportunities to apply.

This guide aims to teach you how to apply for your post-graduation work permit so that you can stay in Canada while fulfilling immigration requirements.

What is the Post Graduation Work Permit Program?

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) is an immigration program that allows international students who have graduated from a degree or diploma program at a designated learning institution to remain in Canada for up to three years after graduation.

This program was created to allow international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience and contribute to our economy while allowing them time to find permanent residence here in Canada.

Unlike most Canadian work permits, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment. PGWPs enable eligible graduates to gain valuable Canadian work experience without securing an employer offer of employment in Canada. Foreign nationals who have been granted enough work experience in Canada may be eligible for permanent-resident status, including one of the following pathways:

Post Graduate Work Permit quick facts

  1. Post-graduate work permits can be issued from eight months to three years.

  2. A PRWP will not be issued longer than the applicant’s expected study period in Canada.

  3. In most cases, the PGWP is likely to last approximately as long as the period it takes for you to complete your program, up to a maximum of three years.

  4. As long as more than 50% of your program of study is conducted via in-person classes, you are eligible for a PGWP equal to the duration of your program.
  5. If you studied part-time or did accelerated studies, your PGWP will be the length of your program of study if taken full-time.

Who Can Apply for the PGWP?

If you are a Canadian university or college student, have completed your studies, and have a valid study permit. You can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), foreign nationals must meet the following requirements: they are at least 18 years old. They have studied full-time in Canada—for at least eight months during 12 months. To be eligible for a work permit under this category, the foreign national must have studied at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in one of the below types. In addition, it is necessary to apply within 180 days of program completion.


The following levels of study and programs are eligible for PGWPs:

  • Public post-secondary schools, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec; or
  • A private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (only applies to certain institutions in Quebec); or
  • A 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); or
  • Canadian private schools can legally award degrees under provincial law only for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province.

When Can You Apply for a PGWP?

You can apply for your PGWP after you graduate from an eligible post-secondary program. If you’re unsure if your school is eligible, check with them or visit the CIC website to see if they are listed there.

You must have valid status in Canada at the time of your application. This means that if you’re studying here on a study permit, it needs to be valid until after graduation day (and not expire before then). It also means that if we could issue an extension or change some other aspect of your current status to extend past graduation day–like growing an open work permit–then we will consider this a valid rate until after graduation day as well! Note: We cannot extend PR applications once submitted, so ensure yours has been raised before applying!

You must apply within 90 days of graduating from an eligible post-secondary program; otherwise, there’s no point using them since all PGWP applications are processed through CIC offices located outside Canada, which means we won’t receive them until well after their 90-day deadline passed (and sometimes longer depending upon where applicants live).

How Much Does the PGWP Cost?

The fee for a post-graduation work permit is CDN5; however, you must also pay the CDN0.00 “Open Work Permit Holder” fee.

Post Graduate Work Permit How Long Does it take?

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is valid for three years. If you are applying for a PGWP before your graduation, it will be suitable for the duration of your program. If you are using a PGWP after graduation, it will be valid for three years.

How long does it take to get a Post-Graduate Work Permit?

A PGWP can take anywhere from 80 to 180 days to process. While waiting for your visa, you may work in Canada, provided that;

  1. You applied before the expiry date of your student permit and
  2. That employer(s) are filing copy B forms establishing their bona fide intention regarding the job offer pertaining specifically to the position/placement on behalf of the foreign national employee.

You have 180 days to apply for your PGWP from the date you complete all the requirements of your program of study.

If you leave Canada after your studies, you may apply for a post-graduation work permit from overseas—previously; applications must be submitted exclusively within the country. Suppose an application for permanent residence made through the Provincial Nominee Program is submitted outside Canada. In that case, it may be referred to a different visa office than if the applicant were inside Canada.

What Are the Residency Requirements for A Post-Graduation Work Permit Application?

You must have a valid study permit. If you’re applying for your PGWP after graduating from university, it’s essential to remember that your study permit will expire on the same date as your degree. If this is not the case (i.e., if you were working towards a certificate or diploma), then there are no residency requirements for obtaining the PGWP.

You must have completed your degree or program of studies at an eligible post-secondary school in Canada — there is no requirement for how long it took you; as long as it was completed before applying for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), it counts!.


We hope this guide has answered your questions about the PGWP and how to apply for one. If you have any more questions or would like more information about the program, please get in touch with us at

Post Graduate Work Permit 

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