How To Get Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) – All You Need To Know


Getting a post-graduation work permit is part of the desire of international students who are currently studying abroad. As a student who is currently studying in Canada or seeking to study and work in Canada, it is important to get a post-graduation work permit as it allows you to legally live and work in the country.

What Is A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

Post-Graduation Work Permit allows students who have completed their courses from eligible Canadian DLIs (Designated Learning Institutions) to work to gain valuable Canadian work experience. There are no geographic or field of employment restrictions and international students who have been able to obtain this permit can work in Canada for as long as 3 years.

The work experience gained in training, education, experience, and responsibilities can help graduates obtain permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class that is within the Express Entry.

Benefits Of A Post-Graduation Work Permit

The benefits of a post-graduation work visa include:

  • Graduates get the opportunity to work legally in Canada.
  • You do not need a job offer before applying for the permit, this means that you can apply for any job of your choice.
  • Having work experience will give you a headstart in your professional career as it will open the door to other opportunities for you.
  • Getting a post-graduation work permit can allow you the opportunity to obtain a permanent residence later on.
  • Additionally, graduates who have a post-graduation work permit have the opportunity to work either full-time, part-time, or self-employed.

What Is The Validity Period Of  Post-Graduation Work Visa

A post-graduation work visa is valid for a minimum of 8 months and can last for a maximum of 3 years. The visa officers will examine the length of the applicant’s program of study, and then from there, they can determine how long the post-graduation work visa will be valid.

Eligibility Requirement For A Post-Graduation Work Permit

It is important to note that graduates who graduated from a program that was delivered by a private career college under a curriculum licensing agreement with a public PGWP-eligible institution in another province are not eligible for a post-graduation work visa.

However, a transitional period will be given to students who are currently enrolled in such programs. They remain eligible for a PGWP if they remain in the program and meet all other eligibility criteria. Additionally, it should be noted that applicants can only receive 1 post-graduation work permit in their lifetime. The eligibility criteria include:

  • To get a post-graduation work permit, applicants must currently hold a valid temporary status or have left Canada
  • Applicants must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI)
  • They should have completed an academic, vocational, or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that lasted for at least 8 months. They should also have a degree, diploma, or certificate in the course.
  • Additionally, applicants must have maintained a full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program of study. Exceptions can be made for the following groups:
  1. leave from studies
  2. final academic session
  • Applicants must have received a transcript or an official letter from an eligible DLI. This confirms that they have met the requirements to complete their study program. It should also be noted that this letter or transcript should be included in the post-graduation work permit application.


Furthermore, applicants must meet the following criteria within 180 days of the date of applying:

  • They hold a valid study permit.
  • They held a study permit.
  • They were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Accelerated Studies

Applicants who finish their studies before the actual time frame provided for the program are known to have accelerated studies. The length of the postgraduate work permit is based on the usual length of the program of study.  For instance, if a graduate completes a one-year program in eight months, then they’ll receive their PGWP which will be valid for one year.

Students Affected By A DLI Strike

If an applicant is affected by a DLI strike, the student will still be considered to have studied full-time during the length of the strike. Even though the time spent not attending class does not count, students must however meet the post-graduation work permit requirements.


Online Learning

International students who completed their programs entirely online (distance learning), either within or outside Canada, are not eligible for a post-graduate work visa. For students who have taken online courses at a distance learning institute, officers use the following guidelines to assess their PGWP eligibility:

  • If the student completes more than 50% of their program online, the program might be considered a distance learning program. The applicant might not be eligible for a post-graduate work permit.
  • Alternatively, if the student completes less than 50% of their program online, then there is a possibility that they might be issued a post-graduate work permit. The validity is based on the length of the program, including the credits earned from both the physical and online courses.


Interested applicants who have transferred between eligible Canadian DLIs might equally be considered for a post-graduation work visa. The time spent studying should be at least eight months. However, if the applicant graduates from an eligible institution after transferring from an eligible one, only the time spent at the eligible institution will be considered. This time frame must be for at least 8 months.

Programs With An Overseas Component

An applicant will qualify for a post-graduate work permit if they complete their program in Canada with an overseas component. This stands as long as they earn a Canadian educational credential from an eligible DLI. However, it is important to make sure that the length of studies should be at least eight months. The officers may contact the DLI to confirm and verify the information.

Work Authorization After Submitting A PGWP Application

When applications are made before the expiration of the study permit, students will still be able to work full-time. This is while they are waiting for a decision (this is even after they might have departed and returned to Canada). But they have to meet the following criteria listed below:

  • They must have had a valid study permit as at the time of the postgraduate work permit application.
  • They must have completed their program of study.
  • Also, they must meet the requirements for working off-campus without a work permit.
  • They did not exceed the usual hours of work.

Also, if the work permit isn’t granted, then applicants are expected to stop working immediately.

Spouses And Common-Law Partners

Finally, spouses and common-law partners of people who have a post-graduation work permit may be eligible to work for an open work permit under the C41 exemption.

Spouses and common-law partners of individuals with a PGWP may qualify for an open work permit under the C41 exemption.

For out more information here

Ineligible Applicants

Applicants will be viewed as ineligible if they:

  • Have previously had a post-graduation work permit in Canada.
  • Have received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC). It doesn’t however apply to scholarship recipients.
  • Have participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC
  • Have participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • Have completed the majority of the credits toward the completion of their program of study by distance learning
  • Have finished a program of study delivered by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada, regardless of their length of stay in Canada
  • Have participated in the Canada–China Scholars’ Exchange Program
  • Have gotten the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada–Chile.

Other Necessary Documents

Applicants must ensure that they provide the correct documents with accurate information. Some of the other necessary documents include:

  • Letter confirming completion of the applicant’s program of study.
  • Academic transcript
  • Any other additional documents that the officers might request.

Credit to: Afterschoolafrica