Post-Graduate Work Permit in Canada

Foreign nationals who get the opportunity to pursue post-secondary program and has successfully accomplished are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The work permit option legally allows international students to remain in Canada to live and work after the completion of their studies.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Post-graduation work permit is an open work permit that enables foreign nationals to work for the employers of different regions across Canada. In fact, the PGWP does not require Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The open work permit is the best way to gain Canadian work experience and there are chances to become eligible for the Canadian permanent residence if worked for long time.

Following are the programs under which students can apply for permanent residence:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
  • Quebec Immigration Programs

Below are the eligibility criteria for a Post-graduation work permit:

  • A foreign national must be at least 18 years old
  • Candidate must have studied full-time in Canada with at least 8 months of program
  • The candidate must have completed the education from Designated Learning Institute (DSI)
  • The candidate must apply within the 180 days of completion of education program

The applicant applying from within Canada must have valid status during time of application. If, in case, applicants study permit gets expired or going to expire, they may apply for status as a visitor before applying for the PGWP.  

However, applicants who apply for a PGWP prior to the expiration of their study permit are eligible to begin working full time immediately, while their application is processing. Applicants may apply for a PGWP from overseas.

Following are the Levels of Study under PGWP Program:

  • Public post-secondary school (such as college, trade/technical school or university or CEGEP in Quebec); or
  • Private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public school or
  • Private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec offering programs 900 hours or longer, leading to Diplome d’etudes professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de specialisation professionnelles (ASP) or
  • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under the provincial laws only for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province

Points to be noted:

  • International students, who get funding assistance from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) or through Foreign Financial Aid Program, are ineligible for the post-graduation work permit
  • A post-graduation work permit will be valid from the time duration of eight months to three years

A PGWP will not be issued for the duration longer than the duration of candidate’s study program. PGWP’s duration will be the same as the candidate’s duration of study.


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