Post Grad Work Permit



As there are a record number of students who are choosing to study in Canada, many wish to be able to take that new diploma/degree and use it in the Canadian Work force. As the Canadian government is looking to retain talent that has already been trained locally, there is a Post Graduate work permit available which is a first step to the Canadian Experience which can be pivotal to the success of a Permanent Residency application. The Permit itself can be offered up to the length of the program but with a maximum duration of three (3) years but depends on the length of study.


The following are the requirements for the Post Graduation Work Permit:

  • Must have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application. Exceptions can be made if there were leave from studies or it was their final academic session.
  • Must hold a study permit, held a valid study permit or were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit, within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit.
  • Must have completed a program at a designated learning institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Received official transcripts and an official letter confirming graduation from the program.

It is important to note that you will not be eligible as per the Canadian Government regulations if you:

  • Completed a program that is less than 8 months in length
  • 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


This work permit will allow you to work in Canada and gain valuable Canadian experience that will build on what you have studied in school. As an open work permit, this allows you liberties to work for any employer and not need an LMIA to switch positions or change employers. However, as the PGWP can only be issued once in a lifetime, you must use your work experience and time wisely.

Furthermore, you can gain skilled work experience which can be used to qualify for permanent residence, such as CEC. Additionally, you can also use this time to your advantage by cutting down the time that it would take to qualify for Canadian citizenship.


While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:

Students must maintain their full-time student status during each academic session of the program or their programs of study to qualify for the PGWP. However, if a student meets all the eligibility requirements, except for full-time status during their final academic session they are still considered eligible. If the applicant took a period of leave that was authorized by their school, they must include documentation proving the leave was authorized and the officer will assess if the applicant was compliant with the conditions of their study permit.

You will need to provide transcripts as proof, along with the letter of completion of studies. However, you may provide an official transcript, or a transcript copy that is from their DLI.

It can be! But for some people whose case is not straightforward, it can be difficult. It is your responsibility as the applicant to prove why you meet the requirements. The immigration process has so many factors that can affect how it goes and many of these factors are out of your control. But our services and guidance allow you to maximize your options and gain knowledge to have the strongest case possible.

The PGWP validity is issued based on the length of the program (s). If the program is 8 months and less than 2 years, the work permit should coincide with the length of the program. If the program is 2 years or longer, the length of the work permit should be 3 years.

If a DLI is on strike, students are studying continually full time during the strike period. If your study permit is about to expire during this time, you will need to apply for an extension and explain that there is a strike affecting the completion of your studies. The period in which the students are not attending class due to a school strike does not impact their eligibility under the PGWP.


We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:

  • An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
  • Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
  • Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
  • Collaboration with a licensed immigration consultant who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
  • Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.


A: No. As you have not applied for a PGWP, you are not eligible to work as per paragraph R186(w). If you apply for the PGWP, before the expiry of your study permit, you are eligible to work full time while waiting for a decision on the application, as long as you meet the other requirements.

A: Yes. The spouse or common-law partner may apply for a spousal open work permit as long as they meet the requirements.

A: Yes, however, each program must be at least 8 months in length and follow the eligibility requirements. The length of the PGWP should combine the length of each program.

A: No, as long as you have the transcripts and a letter of completion of studies.

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