Post Graduation Work Permits – What You Need to Know.



International students are given a great opportunity after finishing their studies in Canada. Graduates from eligible Canadian institutions can apply to obtain an open work permit called Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

Residency Options If You Hold a Post Grad Work Permit

The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows recent graduates to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can grant additional points for immigration in the future with respect to an Express Entry. Skilled workers (under NOC A, O or B) who gained experience through the PGWP may qualify to apply for Permanent Residency. There are also different options within the provinces. The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program offers programs to assist new graduates with residency, for example.

Who Can Apply For A PGWP?

After graduation, international students may be granted a PGWP for up to a maximum of three years. To qualify, the student must have continuously studied full-time in Canada and must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months.

In addition, the student must have graduated from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution. Graduates must apply within 180 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from the institution indicating they have met the requirements for completing the academic program.

The student must have completed and passed the school program and received notification that he or she is eligible to obtain their degree, diploma or certificate. The graduate must have a valid study permit when applying for the Post-Graduation Work Permit. It is very important to keep your status active. 

Students are ineligible for a PGWP if they have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit, participated in certain scholarship programs, completed most of their program of study by distance learning and/or completed a program of study delivered by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada, regardless of their length of stay in Canada.

English- as- a- second language or French- as- a- second language course or program of study, general interest or self-improvement courses and a course or program of study at a private career college are also not eligible for PGWP.

Do I Need to Apply From Within Canada?

The student may apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit from within Canada or from overseas. Graduates can apply within Canada if their study permit is still valid. If the applicant’s study permit is no longer valid, and they wish to remain in Canada, they must apply for visitor status before their study permit expires.

Former international students who change their status to visitor status before their study permit expires, while waiting for their notice of graduation from their institution, may also apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit from within Canada.

How Long is a PGWP Valid?

A Post Graduation Work Permit is normally issued based on the length of the study. A minimum of eight months up to a maximum of three years.

The PGWP validity period is never longer than the passport validity date of the applicant. If the applicant’s passport expires before the validity period of the PGWP, it is possible to apply for a work permit extension upon the renewal of their passport. Applicants can receive only one Post Graduation Work Permit in their lifetime.

Do I Need a LMIA If I Hold a PGWP?

No. Another advantage of the PGWP is being exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA). A PGWP is an open permit and allow graduates to work full-time, part-time and as self-employed.

Can I Work Full Time While Waiting for a Decision on My PGWP?

Applicants may work full-time in Canada while waiting for a decision on their PGWP application as long as they applied before the study permit expiration. 

Are you considering studying in Canada or a Post Grad Work Permit? Contact us directly anytime to set up a free consultation, we’re always here to help. /

Written by: 

Leann Iamartino; 

Senior Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant; Commissioner of Oaths 

Foothills Immigration Inc.

Source –

Immigration columnist, Leann Iamartino