Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)


 Work permits issued under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allow international students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience (in NOC 0, A, or B occupations). Students may work in Canada for up to 3 years after graduation. Applicants can receive only 1 PGWP in their lifetime.

The study program must be full-time  of at least 8 months length from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.

Students may apply for a PGWP from inside Canada or overseas within 180 days from the date they receive confirmation from school that they have completed their study program (not the day of the graduation ceremony!).

A PGWP is an open work permit (OWP) that allows the permit holder to work for any eligible employers (full-time or part-time) or be self-employed. An LMIA is not required for a PGWP application.


Validity of a PGWP:

The work permit cannot be valid longer than the official length of your program of study or the applicant's passport validity. It's important to ensure that your passport's validity exceeds the amount of time you are requesting on your application.

  • If you studied for less than eight months, you are not eligible for a PGWP.
  • If you studied less than two years but more than 8 months, you may get a PGWP for a period no longer than the length of time you studied.
  • If you studied for 2 years or more, a work permit may be issued for 3 years.


Implied Status:

 International graduates who apply for a work permit, such as a PGWP, before the expiry of their study permit are eligible to work full time without a work permit while waiting for a decision on their application (what's called implied status) if they have completed their program of study, applied before the expiry of their study permit, and met the requirements of their study permit.

Applicants must stop working as soon as they are notified by IRCC that their application for a work permit is refused.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • You have completed a full-time post-secondary program in Canada from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada
  • Your study program is at least 8 months in length leading to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Accelerated studies for normal length of study program may be eligible (e.g. the student completed a 1 year program in 8 months)
  • The combined length of study must be at least 8 months if a student has transferred between eligible Canadian
  • Distance (online) learning cannot be more than 50% of the program of study's total courses
  • You have received a transcript and an official letter from the DLI confirming that you have met the requirements to complete your study program
  • You completed your studies in less than 180 days before applying for a PGWP
  • Your study permit is valid when you apply for the PGWP


Ineligible Applicants:

Students are ineligible if they

  • have previously been issued a PGWP
  • received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC
  • obtained the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada–Chile
  • participated in the Canada–China Scholars’ Exchange Program
  • participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • completed the majority of the credits toward the completion of their program of study by distance learning
  • completed a program of study delivered by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada, regardless of their length of stay in Canada


Application Documents (In Canada Applicants):

  • Document checklist (IMM 5583)
  • In-Canada Application form (IMM 5710)
  • Use of a Representative (if applicable)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information form (IMM 5475) (if applicable)
  • Photocopies of your passport pages (clearly showing the dates of issue and expiry, name, date of birth, the stamp made by the Canadian authorities on your most recent entry to Canada, any other marked pages)
  • Photocopies of your travel identity document if you did not use a passport to enter Canada.
  • Photocopy of your current immigration document (if you have one)
  • Document from school confirming you have completed all requirements of your study program, a final transcript and a letter from the school and/or the formal notice of graduation
  • Proof of payment


Application Process:

  • Gather documents
  • Complete the application
  • Pay the fees
  • Submit the application
  • Receive the PGWP


Related Expenses:

  • Government Fees:
  • PGWP fees: $255


Application Documents (Outside Canada Applicants):

  • Document Checklist (IMM 5488)
  • Outside-Canada application form (IMM 1295)
  • Use of a Representative form (IMM 5476), if applicable
  • Family Information form (IMM 5707)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information form (IMM 5475), if applicable
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409), if applicable
  • Fee payment receipts in acceptable formats (work permit processing, open work permit holder fee, biometrics, etc. if applicable), Visa offices don't accept payment receipts from Canadian banks.
  • Photocopies of the information pages of your valid passport or travel document (clearing showing the passport number, the dates of issue and expiry, your photo, name, date and place of birth)
  • Two color or black and white photos meeting the requirements (On the back of two photos, write your name and date of birth); not required to include paper photos if you are required to provide biometric fingerprints and photo.
  • Proof of your current immigration status (if your country of residence is different from your citizenship)
  • Photocopy of your Marriage Certificate/License
  • Proof that you meet the requirements of the job being offered
  • An Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact (IMM 5802) or the Offer of Employment ID number
  • A final transcript and a letter from the institution and/or the formal notice of graduation.
  • Any additional documents required by the responsible visa office.