The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a program under the International Mobility Program in Canada that allows international students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit. This permit allows graduates to gain Canadian work experience and pursue permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must have completed an academic, vocational, or professional training program at an eligible DLI in Canada that was at least 8 months in duration and led to a degree, diploma, or certificate.*

* Quick Tip – when choosing your school remember that attending a DLI opens the door to a Post Graduate Work Permit whereas, Fred’s College of Accounting (even if they offer a 6 month co-op programme) is a dead end and once you graduate you are on your own.

  • Applicants must have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of their program (with certain exceptions).
  • Applicants must have received confirmation of program completion from their DLI (such as a transcript or an official letter).
  • Applicants must apply for the PGWP within 180 days of receiving confirmation of program completion.
  • Applicants must not have previously been issued a PGWP.
  • At the time of application, applicants must have had valid temporary resident status or have left Canada.

Can I keep working after I complete my studies before I get my new Post Graduation Work Permit?

After completing your studies as an international student in Canada, you have several options to continue working, depending on your circumstances:

If you have applied for a PGWP while your study permit is still valid, you may work full-time without a work permit while waiting for a decision on your PGWP application. This is authorized under paragraph R186(w) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Here are the key points to remember:

  1. Valid Study Permit: You must have had a valid study permit at the time of your PGWP application.
  2. Application Within 180 Days: You must apply for your PGWP within 180 days of receiving confirmation that you completed your program.
  3. No Work Permit Required: You can work full-time while waiting for a decision on your PGWP application if you meet the above conditions.
  4. Maintain Status: You must maintain your status in Canada as a temporary resident during the waiting period.

It’s important to note that if your study permit expires before you apply for the PGWP, you will not be eligible to work until your work permit is approved. * In such a case, you would need to either apply to restore your status as a student or temporary resident or leave Canada.

* Quick Tip – A study permit expires automatically, 90 days after you complete (or abandon) your studies – regardless of the expiry date printed on the document.

Application Process:

  • Applicants can apply from within Canada with a valid study permit or if they can restore their student status.
  • Applicants can also apply from outside Canada or at a Canadian port of entry, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

Though no longer a Golden Ticket, the PGWP is key for international graduates to move from temporary to permanent residence in Canada by enhancing their permanent residence application.