Under Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP), international students who have completed a post-secondary education in Canada may apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The purpose of the program is to retain skilled international students as foreign workers in Canada.

The PGWP is an open work permit that allows you to work for any Canadian employer. There is no need for a job offer or an LMIA. Holders of such permit are allowed to legally stay in Canada and work full-time, part-time, or be self-employed. International students are only allowed to have one post-graduate work permit.

The duration of the PGWP depends on the length of the study program. If the program of study is at least 8 months and less than 2 years in duration, the length of the Post-Graduate Work Permit will coincide with the length of the study program.

If the program of study is two years or longer, the Post-Graduate Work Permit is generally issued for the period of three years. If the student completed two programs within the two years, the length of both programs is combined to determine the duration of the Post-Graduate Work Permit.


To be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit, international students must:

  • Complete an academic, vocational, or professional training program of at least eight months in duration at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
  • Obtain a degree, diploma, or certificate upon graduation;
  • Be a full-time student for the duration of the program;
  • Receive a transcript or an official letter from the DLI confirming the completion of the program of studies;
  • Graduate from a public or private college, trade/vocational school, or university.

When to Apply

In 2019, the Government of Canada has extended the time to apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit from 90 to 180 days after obtaining the transcript and a official letter from the Designated Learning Institution confirming completion of the study program. Both these documents must be submitted as part of the PGWP application package.

Who Cannot Apply

The international student cannot apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit in the following cases:

  • the student has received a PGWP in the past;
  • completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada;
  • completed the majority of required credits by distance learning;
  • was a participant of the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program;
  • was a participant of the Organization of American States Fellowships Program;
  • was a recipient of the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile;
  • the student received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

In some cases, international students may be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit if they completed a distance-learning or accelerated-learning program. The current fees to apply are CAD 255 ($155 work permit fee and $ 100 open work permit holder fee).

Further Immigration Opportunities

The work experience accumulated under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Holder Program is a qualifying Canadian work experience for permanent residence applications as part of the general immigration process.

How We Can Help

Acquiring knowledge helps build a better and advanced tomorrow. This is why, for more than two decades, we, at Jane Katkova & Associates, have helped students gain study permits to study in Canada. We help students choose designated learning institutions, get a letter of acceptance, prepare documents, pay fees, and fill out their application forms.

To learn more about Canada’s Study Permits and how we can help you successfully get one, get in contact with us, or fill out our free assessment form.

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