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Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

Post-graduation work permits (PGWP) are open work permits given to international students who graduate from a Canadian program of study to gain valuable Canadian work experience. PGWPs are valid for between months to three years. A PGWP will not be issued for a duration longer than the applicant’s duration of study in Canada. 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 of study. If you studied part-time, or did accelerated studies, the length of your PGWP will be the length of your program of study, if taken full-time. Once an applicant has work experience in Canada, it opens a lot of opportunities to obtain Canadian permanent residence.



Check your eligibility


Get your documents ready


Apply online


Pay for your application fee


Submit your PGWP application


Start working in Canada

STEP 1: Check your eligibility

  • You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside or outside Canada as long as you’re eligible.

  • You a foreign national and must be at least 18 years old

  • You have studied a full-time programme in Canada, for at least 8 months.

  • You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a PGWP.

  • When you apply, you must confirm the following:

    • that you attended and completed your program

    • the name of your program 

    • the length of your program

  • Your study permit must have been valid at some point during these 180 days.


If an applicant is applying from within Canada, they must have valid status at the time of application. If their study permit has expired or will expire they may apply for status as a visitor before applying for the PGWP. However, applicants who apply for a PGWP prior to the expiration of their study permit are eligible to begin working full time immediately, while their application is being processed. Applicants may also apply for a PGWP from overseas.

STEP 2: Get your documents ready

Before you can apply for a PGWP, you need one of the following to prove you’ve completed your studies:

  • a degree or diploma

  • an official letter from your school

  • an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from your school’s website

They may request other documents once they receive your application such as your passport and your Canadian Study Permit.

STEP 3: Apply PGWP online

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

You can only apply for a PGWP once. If you are planning on taking another program of study that is a continuation of your first program, or you are considering taking a longer degree program in Canada, you might want to apply for your PGWP strategically. Applying after the longest period of study will grant you a PGWP with longer validity, to a maximum of three years.

STEP 4: Pay for your application fees

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee. In most cases, your fees will include:

  • Processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application

  • Biometrics

  • Third-party fees: depending on your situations, you may need to pay third parties:


A PGWP can take anywhere from 80 to 180 days to process. While waiting for your PGWP, you are free to work in Canada provided you applied prior to the expiry date of your student permit. You have 180 days to apply for your PGWP from the date you completed all the requirements of your program of study.

STEP 6: Start working in Canada

International graduates who apply for a PGWP before the expiry of their study permit are able to begin legally working in Canada. These candidates do not need to hold a Canadian work permit while they await a decision on their application for a PGWP. If your student permit has expired, you may be eligible to restore your status and apply, provided you have only been out of status for less than 90 days.

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