Post-Graduation Work Visa

Graduates of Canadian educational institutions can apply for the right to work after training — the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which will allow them to put the knowledge and skills that were acquired during their studies into practice.

Post-Graduation Work permit

The Post-Graduation Work permit is an Open Work Permit, which means that you do not need to be invited by a specific employer and LMIA to obtain it. A PGWP holder can work for virtually any employer anywhere in Canada. You can work full time, part-time and also be self-employed.

The Post-Graduation Work Permit allows graduates to gain valuable Canadian experience, which will increase their chances of obtaining residency in various Canadian immigration programs. For example, Canadian work experience in specialities related to NOC 0, A and B will allow a candidate to apply for residency under the Canadian experience class program.

You can get a Post-Graduation Work Permit only once in a lifetime. So, if in the future, as an international student, you plan to enrol in another degree program, it is better to wait until you complete the last program.

You can count on receiving a Post-Graduation Work Permit if you are studying in the following educational institutions in Canada with DLI status:

  • public higher or professional educational institution, such as a college, trade / technical school, university or CEGEP in Quebec,
  • A private educational institution that operates under the same rules as a public educational institution (applies to some private universities in Quebec),
  • A private school that is eligible to award degrees under provincial law (but only from provincially-approved degree programs),
  • A private educational institution (in Quebec) offering training programs of 900 hours or more, leading to the Diplôme d’études professionnelles or Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle.

ATTENTION! Not all study programs lead to a Post-Graduation Work Permit. Before applying to the university, be sure to check if you can count on a Post-Graduation Work Permit after graduation. This can be done on the official website of the Government of Canada.


The duration of the Post-Graduation Work Permit depends on the duration of the schooling.

The basic rules are as follows:

  • If the period study lasted from eight months to two years, then the validity of the Post-Graduation Work Permit will be the same period as the duration of the study.
  • If the studies lasted more than two years, then the Post-Graduation Work Permit will be issued for three years.

You must apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit within 180 days of graduation. This can be done both in Canada and abroad.

How to apply

The applicant must be over 18 years of age and have completed their studies full time (part-time studies are possible during the last semester).

To submit documents for the Post-Graduation Work Permit, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A document confirming the completion of studies,
  • A transcript with grades.

You can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit online at the official Government of Canada portal.

The term for consideration of documents for the Post-Graduation Work Permit is from 80 to 180 days. However, a former student can start work immediately after applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, provided that their Study Permit has not expired.

A Post-Graduation Work Permit holder’s partner can apply for an Open Work Permit for the same period.

Read also: Immigration to Canada through education

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