Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

International students who complete a post-secondary education in Canada are eligible to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit.  This permit is an Open Work Permit allowing them to work in ANY job, without restrictions. An LMIA or a confirmation of job offer are not needed to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit.

Once they have completed their studies in an eligible program (or school), international graduates can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, which allows them to work in Canada. It is extremely important to choose the right school to stud, to ensure you are eligible for the Post Graduate Work Permit).    Search for a PGWP Eligible School here

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must:

  • have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program (please see note below) and must have graduated from one of the following:

    • a public post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP)

    • a private post-secondary educational institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and receives at least 50 per cent of its financing for operations from government grants

    • a Canadian private educational institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees

  • have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate

  • apply for a work permit while holding a valid study permit, or held a valid study permit previously within 180 days of applying for the PGWP. *You must have valid status, otherwise must restore your status and apply for PGWP.

Important to note:  If your post graduate work permit was refused, you will need to restore your status within 90 days of receiving the refusal. You must also stop working. If you are outside of the 90 day restoration period, our firm may still be able to help you in certain circumstance using case law from Federal Court.  Contact our office to discuss further and learn how we can help in this situation.

Potential applicants should note that:

  • the program of study must be a minimum of two years for the graduate to obtain the three year work permit. However, if the program was less than two years but longer than eight months, the graduate can still obtain a work permit for the same duration as the program of study. In cases where a student has obtained a one year degree or diploma from an accredited educational institution within two years of having successfully completed a previous accredited Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma, he or she may qualify for a three-year open work permit

  • while a student must have been studying full time in the eight months preceding the date of application for an open work permit, an exception is made in the case where a student fulfills all the requirements except full time study in the last session of their program. For example, if a student only needs two courses in the final session to complete the program but all previous study has been full time, the student may still apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.

Need Help?

Contact us for more information about the Post Graduate Work Permit or for assistance in applying for a work permit.

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