Stay in Canada after graduation

The PGWPP allows students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. It is an open work permit, under which you can work for any employer.

A work permit under the PGWPP may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years. A post-graduation work permit cannot be valid for longer than the student’s study program, and the study program must be a minimum of eight months in length. For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the criteria. If you graduate from an eight-month certificate program, you would be eligible for a work permit that is valid for no more than eight months.

To obtain a work permit after your graduation, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have studied full time in Canada and you must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months.

  • In addition, you must have graduated from:

  • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP (in Quebec), or

  • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, or

  • a private secondary or post-secondary institution (in Quebec) offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP), or

  • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees but only if you are enrolled in one of the programs of study leading to a degree as authorized by the province and not in all programs of study offered by the private institution.

  • You must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program.

  • You must have completed and passed the program of study and received a notification that you are eligible to obtain your degree, diploma or certificate.

  • You must have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.

In addition, applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time of application

  • Have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit

  • Have completed a full time program that lasted 900 hours or more (normally eight months in length), leading to aDiplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)

  • Apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program

  • Provide a supporting letter from your institution outlining the duration of studies and the program code

Impact of length of the studies in Canada and the length of the work permit

A Post-Graduation Work Permit cannot be valid longer than the length of your studies in Canada. If the official length of your program of study is:

  • less than eight months

  • you are not eligible for this program

  • less than two years but more than eight months

  • you may get a work permit for a period no longer than the length of your program of study (for example, if you studied for nine months, a work permit may be issued for a period of nine months)

  • two years or more

  • a work permit may be issued for three years

You are not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program if you:

  • study in a program that is less than eight months long

  • participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

  • participate in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC

  • receive funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

  • participate in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile

  • participate in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program

  • participate in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program

  • participate in a distance

  • learning program either from abroad or from within Canada or

  • have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit following any other program of study.

Documents needed to apply for a post-graduation work permit:

  • Your valid passport or travel document that guarantees re-entry to the country that issued it. (Include copies of the pages with your photo, name, date of birth, citizenship, passport number, issue and expiry date, and all entries made by Canadian authorities, including your Temporary Resident Visa if you have one.)

  • Completed fees receipt OR a credit card for online payment.

  • Proof that you have completed all the requirements for your program of study in Canada. This could be your final transcript, a letter from your educational institution (school), formal notice of your graduation or any other document that proves you have completed your studies in Canada.

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