Post-Graduation Work Permit
You may be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) within 180 days of receiving written confirmation from the educational institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your program of study.
What is it?
A Post-Graduation Work Permit is a document that gives you permission to remain in Canada as a worker and work full-time for up to 3 years after you graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution.
Why do I need it?
A Post-Graduation Work Permit allows you to gain Canadian work experience, which can help prepare you to apply for Permanent Residence.
When do I need it?
In addition to your letter of completion, you must also submit an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from the school's website. As soon as you receive both documents, you have 180 days to apply for your PGWP. The date of your graduation ceremony does not affect the application period. You do not need a job offer to apply for the PGWP
How do I apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?
Students whose study permits expire before they complete their programs must extend their study permits. You can apply for a post-graduation work permit from within Canada if your study permit is still valid. If you have completed your program and your study permit will no longer be valid, and you wish to remain in Canada, you must apply for visitor status before your study permit expires.
If your study permit expires before program completion you must stop studying and apply for a restoration of status.
Foreign nationals may apply for a post-graduation work permit from overseas. Depending on where you are applying from, IRCC may require additional information. The application package for a post-graduation work permit can be obtained through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Your application must contain proof that you have completed your program of study. IRCC is now requesting a letter confirming completion of the program of study and official transcripts, or a copy of your transcripts from the school's website.
You will apply online on the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Once I have applied for Post-Graduation Work Permit, can I start to work full-time?
You are not authorized to work full-time until your Post-Graduation Work Permit application has been received by IRCC. However, If you have just completed your program but have not yet applied for a Post Grad work permit (PGWP) you may work off campus on a part time basis if:
- You meet the eligibility criteria to work off campus as per [R186(v)].
- You completed the final academic requirements for your program, but you haven’t received a written confirmation of program completion from NAIT (PGWP completion letter and official transcripts, or a copy of your transcripts from the school's website).
Students may work part-time until the first date they receive written confirmation of program completion from NAIT (completion of studies letter and official transcripts, or a copy of your transcripts from the school's website) if their study permit remains valid during this period.
Once students receive written confirmation of program completion from NAIT, they are no longer authorized to continue to work in Canada, as they no longer meet the eligibility criteria in paragraph R186(v).
You will be eligible to begin full time work immediately after you have applied for your Post-Graduation Work Permit.
Pursuant to s.186 (w) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act's regulations, an international student who holds a valid study permit and has apply for a post-graduation work permit, is eligible to work without the post-graduation until a decision on his/her application had been made:
186. A foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit
(v) If they are the holder of a study permit and
- they are a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution as defined in section 211.1,
- (ii) the program in which they are enrolled is a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program, or a vocational training program at the secondary level offered in Quebec, in each case, of a duration of six months or more that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, and
- (iii) although they are permitted to engage in full-time work during a regularly scheduled break between academic sessions, they work no more than 20 hours per week during a regular academic session; or
(w) If they are or were the holder of a study permit who has completed their program of study and
- they met the requirements set out in paragraph (v), and
- (ii) They applied for a work permit before the expiry of that study permit and a decision has not yet been made in respect of their application.
I held a Post-Graduation Work Permit before. Can I apply for another one?
No. You are not eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit if you have previously been issued a PGWP following any other course of study. A PGWP can only be issued to you once in your lifetime.
What else do I need to know?
- Can I change jobs with the PGWP or do I have to work for just one employer?
- My Study Permit expired at the end of the semester when I finished my program. Do I need to extend it to apply for a PGWP?
- My passport will expire before my 3 year PGWP term is up. Can I extend it?
- How does the length of my diploma/degree/certificate determine the length of my PGWP?
Will employment with my PGWP allow me to apply for Permanent Residence?
The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice.