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The Ultimate Guide for Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

If you are an international student, being able to work in Canada has also come into your mind. But did you know? You don’t need a job offer to apply and work anywhere in Canada after you graduate, even if it’s unrelated to your studies. All you need is a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) and you are allowed to work for any employer, for as many hours as you wish, anywhere in Canada!

What is Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada?

Canada Post-graduate Work Permit or PGWP is an open work permit that allows international students to work after they study in a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). This work permit is only valid for eight months to three years. It’s one of the best ways to earn Canadian work experience which is definitely helpful if you are planning to apply for permanent residency.


Am I eligible to get a work permit after graduation in Canada?

Before applying for PGWP, you need to keep in mind that not all designated learning institutions can make you eligible for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. You need to meet all other criteria to be able to have Canadian work permit after graduation which is as follows:

  • You must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months and led to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • You must have studied full-time each academic session without taking time away from your studies. This does not include scheduled program breaks, such as winter break or summer break for undergraduate students.
  • You must have completed at least 50% of your program in Canada, which is calculated based on the number of courses completed in Canada.
  • You must have completed at least 50% of your program in person.

Learn more about Canadian student post-graduate work permit eligibility criteria from the Official Canada website.


How to convert your student visa to a work permit in Canada?

If you are planning to stay in Canada after graduation or you want to work after you graduate from your studies, you must apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.

  • The first thing you need to know before you apply is to check your eligibility (refer to the above article).
  • Don’t let your status expire while you wait for your marks. Apply online for your PGWP and pay the correct fee ($255). You have 180 days to apply for a PGWP from inside or outside Canada after your school issues your final marks along with your
    • Degree
    • Diploma
    • Transcript, or
    • Official letter from your school
  • If your study permit expires you have up to 90 days to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student.
    • Apply online for your PGWP and pay the correct fee ($255), and pay the fee to restore your status as a student ($350)
    • Due to system limitations, applicants must pay the fees to restore their status as a student online and attach a copy of the receipt to their PGWP online application. Applicants do not need to make a separate application to restore their status as a student.


Important Notes:

  • You can’t work until your work permit has been approved if your study permit is expired. If you don’t apply within the 90 days after your study permit expires, you must leave Canada.
  • International graduates who apply for a PGWP before the expiry of their study permit are able to begin legally working in Canada.


How a PGWP can help you immigrate to Canada?

After your PGWP expires, you can always apply for another work permit like LMIA or LMIA-exempt Work Permits and if you are eligible you might also consider applying for Canadian permanent residence. Canada’s PGWP is created to provide an efficient pathway for international students in Canada to gain PR status in the country. An easy way to convert your study permit to permanent residency in Canada. Keep in mind that you have a Canadian educational credential and work that will gain valuable extra points towards your comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score under the Express Entry program.


Canada Post-graduate Work Permit FAQs

  • How long is the validity of my PGWP?
    • A post-graduate work permit can be valid for any length of time between eight months and three years. Your PGWP will not be longer than the duration of your study permit in Canada. Generally, it will be equal to your study period up to a maximum of three years.
  • How long is my PGWP validity if I took accelerated studies?
    • If you studied part-time or did accelerated studies, the length of your PGWP will be the length of your program of study, if taken full-time.
  • How many times can I apply for a PGWP?
    • You can only apply for a PGWP once so consider taking a longer degree.
  • How long does it take to get a PGWP?
    • Application of PGWP can take anywhere from 80 to 180 days to process.
  • Can I work after graduation before I applying for my PGWP?
    • While waiting for your PGWP, International graduates are free to work in Canada provided you applied prior to the expiry date of your student permit.


Ready to apply?

If you want to be an International Student in Canada, feel free to contact us to know more about the process and application. If you are looking for PGWP assistance or PR assistance, our Certified Immigration Consultant will be happy to help you!


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