Post-graduation work permit in Canada

Post-graduation work permit in Canada

Vyom Bhatt

Introduction to post-graduation work permit (PGWP) 

Almost all international students apply for a post-graduation work permit in Canada after studies. A Post-Graduation work permit (PGWP) is a document permitting international students to work in Canada after their graduation from Canadian colleges or universities.  A post-graduation work permit in Canada allows the holder to take up job opportunities in whichever field they like. It is usually offered for three years, and the duration depends on the length of the study program. In this blog, you will see how to get a post-graduation work permit in Canada, its requirements, processing time, extension, and Covid updates.

Why apply for PGWP? 

A Post-Graduation work permit enables you to stay in Canada after your graduation and helps you gain work experience in Canada, which will qualify a graduate to apply for permanent residence in Canada.International students with Post-Graduation work permit remain as temporary residents in Canada, but if a graduate needs to stay longer, he/she can apply for permanent residence in Canada. Permanent residence grants the holder social benefits and can live, work, or study anywhere in Canada.

Receiving your PGWP results in the extension of your Medical Services Plan (MSP), the extension of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and makes you eligible to apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Also Read: Best places to study in Canada 

PGWP eligibility: Are you eligible for a PGWP?

After getting your final results from a designated learning institute (DLI), you are eligible for a PGWP. A candidate has 180 days to apply for a PGWP starting from the final marks published date. 

To be eligible to receive your work permit after study in Canada, you must have:

  • Finished a full-time study program from a Canadian designated learning institute (DLI) that lasted for at least eight months and should have led to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • A valid student visa when you apply for the PGWP.
  • Studied full-time in each academic session, with two exceptions:
  • You studied part-time only in your final academic session.
  • You took a sanctioned gap in studies that lasted for less than 150 days.

You aren’t eligible for a PGWP if you have: 

  • Already received a PGWP
  • Studied English or French as a secondary language
  • Took general interest or self-improvement courses
  • Completed more than 50% of a study program by distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
  • Completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada.

Working before you apply: You can continue working up to 20 hours a week off-campus and/or full time on campus if you are eligible to work in your final term till your Letter of Completion becomes available.

pgwp eligible institutes and programs

Letter of completion is offered via SSC (Under Grades and Report) or via your program portal. Once you receive your letter of completion, you become ineligible to work on campus.

PGWP eligible institutes and programs:

Mostly all colleges and universities provide programs that make you eligible for your PGWP. For more details, you can check IRCC’s website.

Also Read: Best Intake season in Canada

Post-graduate work permit application: How to apply for PGWP:

There are two ways to apply for a Post-Graduation work permit. You can apply either through mail or online. Most individuals who are eligible for PGWP apply using the online mode because there are various advantages of applying through the online mode, such as:

  • No courier fees or mail delivery time incurred. 
  • Quick processing of your application.
  • It helps you make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • Submitting other/required documents online is easier.
  • Updates on the status of your application is sent directly to your online account.

How to apply for PGWP online on IRCC’s application portal:

Step 1: 

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • A scanner or mobile camera to create electronic copies of your documents
  • A valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: 

Reading the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide explains how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: 

Before you can upload your completed forms, you must answer some questions. IRCC uses your answers to create a personalized document checklist.

Step 4: 

Fees taken for applying for PGWP will include processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application. You’ll be required to pay your fees at the end of your application. You must pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee.

As a temporary measure due to Covid-19, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics.

Step 5: 

You need an account on IRCC to apply online. The online account can be used to

  • Pay your fees
  • Submit your application
  • Check your status
To apply for a Post-Graduation work permit, you will need 
  • Confirmation of completing your study program from your designated learning institute in Canada may include an official transcript or a copy of your transcript from your institute’s website. IRCC may request other documents once they receive your application.

When to apply a Post-Graduation work permit in Canada 

The moment your final results are published, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit in Canada. However, you may be required to submit a Letter of Completion issued by your college or university. Please note that the date you received the Letter of Completion is different from the degree conferral, diploma, and graduation day. 

PGWP Canada processing time: 

A PGWP application will be processed anywhere between 80 to 180 days. Every graduate from Canadian DLI has 180 days to apply for PGWP from the date they complete all their program of study requirements. You are free to work in Canada while you wait for your PGWP application approval process if you’ve applied before your study permit expires.

How to get a Letter of Completion from my college or university? 

Mostly the Letter of Completion will be sent automatically to the students via email after completing their last program. In some institutions, it depends on the study program - students may need to apply for graduation, give a request letter or ask their respective faculties.

If students don't receive the Letter of Completion, they seek support from the Student Services Center. Upon receiving the Letter of Completion, they may need to apply for the PGWP immediately.

After receiving my PGWP, what’s next?

After receiving your PGWP, things to be done besides searching for jobs are:

  • Extend your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Update your BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
  • Submit an application for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), if you think necessary.

Working after you’ve applied: 

After you receive your Letter of Completion and apply for PGWP, you can start working full-time for any employer immediately while waiting for a decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if:

  • You have a valid study permit and apply within the first 90 days after your Letter of Completion first was received, and you have completed your program of study in its entirety at the time you submit your application.
  • You were eligible to work off-campus without a work permit during your studies.
  • You did not work for more than 20 hours per week, off-campus, during academic sessions.
  • If you apply for PGWP after your first 90 days of receiving the letter of completion, you will not be able to work in Canada until you receive a valid PGWP from IRCC.

Duration: Post-graduate work permit length 

The duration of your work permit after study in Canada will depend on the official length of your program of study. 

If the official length of your program of study is:

  • Less than eight months: You will not be eligible for the PGWP program.
  • More than eight months but less than two years: You will get a work permit for a period equivalent to your course duration.
  • Two years or more: You will be granted a work permit for the maximum period of three years.

PGWP after 16 months of study in Canada:

You may be issued a 3year post-graduation work permit if you have completed a master’s or PhD degree in Canada and have a written confirmation of program completion that the degree is 16 to 23 months in length from your Designated learning institution.

If your registered DLI confirms the program's length in the written confirmation of program completion, you will be issued a PGWP for a duration of 3 years from visa officials in Canada.

Can you apply for PGWP outside Canada? 

You are eligible to apply for your PGWP from outside of Canada, provided that you are still within 180 days from the date you completed your studies. You do not require a valid study permit or valid visitor status to apply for your PGWP from outside of Canada.

Post-graduation work permit extension: 

PGWP cannot be extended once its duration expires. PGWP is issued only once in a lifetime to individuals who have completed their PGWP eligible program at a designated learning institution in Canada.

What to do if your passport expires before your PGWP? 

You have to make sure that your passport is valid for the entire length of time as of your PGWP.

If your passport expires earlier than your PGWP would, the government of Canada will: 

  • Issue you a PGWP that will be valid only until your passport expires.
  • Tell you if you need to extend your passport to get the full validity of your PGWP.

Is a PGWP helpful to immigrate to Canada?

Is a PGWP helpful to immigrate to Canada? Yes, of course. A PGWP is issued for international students to bring them one step closer to obtaining a permanent residence (PR) in Canada. Under the Canadian Express Way immigration system, international students, who have obtained valuable work experience through PGWP, earn extra points in their comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score. 

Can I work while applying for the PGWP? 

While applying for a PGWP, you need to wait until the application gets approved. During that waiting period, you can work full-time if you have the following:

  • a valid study permit.
  • completed the study program.
  • an eligibility to work off-campus without a permit.
Special cases: 

Various groups may or may not make you eligible for a PGWP.

Accelerated programs: 

If you can complete your study program in less time than the normal length of the program, you may be deemed eligible for a PGWP which will be valid for the full length of your program.

Distance learning: 

If you study distance learning for less than 50% of your study program, you may be deemed eligible for a PGWP. The length of the PGWP would match the length of your program, including both on-campus and distance courses. Any distance courses completed outside Canada won’t be included in the length of the PGWP after April 2023.

Taking leave from your studies: 

You won’t be deemed eligible for a PGWP if:

  • You take an unauthorized leave from your study program.
  • You don’t meet the conditions of your study permit by taking a leave.
Transfers between schools: 
  • You must spend at least eight months at the DLI to be eligible for a PGWP.
  • If you transferred between designated learning institutions (DLIs): The combined length of your studies will be counted.
  • If you transferred from a non-DLI to a DLI: Only the time you spend studying at the DLI will be counted. 
Canadian study programs with an overseas component: 

If your study program has an overseas component, you may be eligible for a PGWP as long as you earn credit from a Canadian DLI for it. 

Flight school graduates: 

To be eligible for a PGWP, a flight school graduate should meet all the eligibility requirements such as:

  • They should complete a flight training course at a DLI training centre and should have a Canadian commercial pilot’s license.
  • Should be in the process of getting an instructor’s rating and a job offer as a flight instructor from a DLI flight training centre.
Can I study further? 

If you wish to study further in Canada, you can do so. All you need to do is extend the study permit before it expires and start with your second program. If both the programs are eligible for the PGWP, you can apply for a PGWP strategically based on the length of each program. Since the Canadian immigration officer issues a PGWP only once to a candidate, use it wisely.   


Changes in PGWP introduced by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) 

The Canadian government has introduced various new measures regarding PGWP due to the widespread outbreak of the ongoing pandemic. Because of Covid-19, many international students are not able to enter Canada due to travel restrictions.

Immigration, Refugees and, Citizenship, Canada (IRCC), keeping in mind the immigration problems caused due to the Coronavirus, made a significant announcement in May that distance learning obtained until December 31, 2020, would be counted in the criteria for obtaining a PGWP.

changes in pgwp introduced by the immigration, refugees, and citizenship canada

These changes in PGWP are shaping up the post-pandemic immigration system adopted by Canada that is making education and immigration easier for International applicants. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Distance learning was not considered as a criterion for PGWP eligibility.

The new eligibility rules for PGWP are:

  1. Students will be able to study online overseas without any time being deducted from their PGWP up until April 30, 2023. This will only be taken into account if the students complete 50% of their studies in Canada.
  2. Students who have graduated from more than one eligible programs will be able to combine the lengths of their programs when applying for PGWP.
  3. This rule is applicable for students who have enrolled in a program starting between May to September 2020 and study online up till April 2021. Students are also required to complete at least 50% of their studies in Canada.
  4. Students who have opted for short-term programs with a duration of 8-12 months starting from May to September 2020 will be eligible to apply for PGWP while completing their entire program overseas. 
  5. Students must submit a study permit application before starting a program of study at a DLI in the winter/summer/fall 2021 semester or for the winter 2023 semester to be eligible for the new measures introduced by IRCC.

FAQS about PGWP 

Q. Can I get a job and work permit after completing under graduation in Canada? 

A. Getting a job depends on the course you’ve selected and your economic conditions. You can be eligible for a work permit if you’ve completed any study program with a duration of more than eight months.

Q. After my graduation, can I work before applying for a PGWP? 

A. Yes, after your graduation, you can work before applying for a PGWP, provided that your study permit does not expire. If your study permit expires, you may restore your status by applying for an extension immediately and not more than 90 days.

Q. Can I get a work permit after completing a one year course?

A. Yes, you can be eligible for a work permit if the duration of your course was more than eight months.

Q. Can I be eligible for PGWP if I’m studying online from abroad due to Covid-19? 

A. According to the new policy by IRCC, students will be able to study online overseas without any time being deducted from their PGWP up until April 30, 2021. This will only be valid if the student completes at least 50% of their course in Canada.

Q. Can I get more duration on PGWP if I’ve completed two programs? 

A. Yes, you may be eligible to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program, but each of the programs you completed must be PGWP-eligible and at least eight months in length. 

Q. What is the maximum duration of PGWP? 

A. 3 years is the maximum duration of PGWP.

Q. Can I apply for PGWP again? 

A. PGWP is only issued once per person, and you cannot apply for PGWP again if you already had one before.

Q. Which are the best sites to refer to regarding PGWP?

A. You can get information about PGWP at visacrunch and

Q. What if I have dependents?

A. If you have dependents while applying for a PGWP, extend their validity period too before it’s late. To do so, go through the additional criteria before you can apply for an extension spouse/common-law partner’s work permit.

Subscribe and get our weekly updates straight in your inbox.

Recent posts like this


Kanan Team

17 expert preparation tips for success in IELTS Speaking Tests
kanan Blog


Kanan Team

Is studying abroad worth it? Benefits and advantages of studying abroad
kanan Blog


Kanan Team

8 IELTS Courses In Moga That Helps To Achieve Your Dreams
kanan Blog

A truly global higher education partner to learners and education institutions Support learners at every point in their global education journey with reliable services, products and solutions.

Global Headquarters

Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

229, Yonge Street Suite 406 Toronto Ontario, Canada M5B 1N9

Indian Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

132, Habibullah Rd, Satyamurthy Nagar, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

kanan-ftr-phone+91 63570 12000


Copyright © 2023 KANAN.CO All rights reserved.