Canada Immigration: How to Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
Canada Immigration: As an international student in Canada, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) if you graduated from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). The Post-graduation work permit is a temporary resident permit that allows immigrants who have studied in Canada to work and live in the country. A work permit is a written authorization to work in Canada issued by an officer to a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
International students who complete 100% of their studies online from outside Canada between March 2020 and summer 2022 are also eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The program must be from a PGWP-eligible DLI, and must meet the PGWP eligibility requirements.
How Long Is A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Valid?
Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sets the length of a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) according to the length of the study program.
- You are not eligible for the PGWP if your program was less than 8 months
- If the program was at least 8 months, but less than 2 years: You may be given a PGWP that is valid for up to the same length as your program. For instance, if your program was 12 months, you may be given a work permit for up to 12 months.
- You may be eligible for a PGWP that is valid for 3 years if your program was 2 years or more.
- If you completed more than one program, you may be eligible for for a PGWP that combines the length of each program, given both programs meet the PGWP eligibility requirements.
What If Your Passport Expires before the Length of your PGWP?
You must ensure that your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP). However, if your passport expires earlier:
- You will be issued a PGWP that is valid for until your passport expires. For instance, if you are eligible for 3 years PGWP but your passport is only valid for 6 months, IRCC will issue you a PGWP for 6 months.
- IRCC will tell you if you need to extend your passport to get full validity. You can only extend a PGWP if IRCC tells you to. If this happens, you have to apply on paper to extend your PGWP so that it will be valid for the full length it should be.
Canada Immigration: What Are The Required Documents for A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?
- Before you can apply for a PGWP, you need one of the following to prove you have completed your studies:
- a degree or diploma
- an official letter from your school
- an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from your school’s website
We advise that you gather all these documents or as many as you can to prove you have completed your studies.
2. A complete IRCC document: “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM5710).” This form should be downloadable from your online application portal for PGWP.
3. A valid passport or travel document: It should be valid for the eligible length of your PGWP.
4. A digital passport size photo if you are submitting your application online.
How you can apply for a PGWP depends on where you’re applying from. In most cases, you must apply online.
5. Pay the PGWP fees of $255 CAN; Restoration of student status and PGWP: $605 CAN.
If you need to extend or change the conditions on your PGWP
You must apply on paper if you’re extending or changing the conditions of your PGWP. You can only extend your PGWP if your passport expired before your PGWP’s validity period. This means the PGWP is only given once, and cannot be extended, unless the circumstance given above.
Canada Immigration: What Are the Eligibility Requirements for A Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?
You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or from another country, as long as you are eligible. You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a PGWP.
- Your program must be from a PGWP-eligible Designated Learning Institution.
- The program must be at least 8 months in length. Note that you are not eligible for a PGWP if your program is less than 8 months.
- You should have maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program. This doesn’t include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies.
- Your study permit should be valid at some point within the last 180 days prior to applying for the PGWP.
- You must submit all the Required documents to be successful
You Are Not Eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) If …
- have a study permit that expired more than 180 days before you applied
- already received a PGWP
- studied English or French as a second language
- took general interest or self-improvement courses
- participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada
- had received funding from Global Affairs Canada
- Note: If you got a Study in Canada scholarship, you’re still eligible for a PGWP.
- got the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
- participated in the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchanges Program
- participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
- completed the major part of a study program through distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
- completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada
Canada Immigration: How to Apply for A Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) for International Students
To Apply Online for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) from Inside Canada:
- Gather all the required documents and have a credit or debit card ready to make your payment.
- Read the instruction guide on how to complete the application forms.
- Create an online account or sign in: You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:
- pay your fees
- submit your application
- check your status
- Changes to biometrics requirement for in-Canada temporary residence applicantsAs a temporary measure, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics.If you are applying from Outside Canada, you will need to provide your Biometrics information if you have not given your biometrics to Canada in the past 10 years. Read more on the exemptions here
If you cannot apply online
You can submit a paper application if either:
- you can’t apply online because of a disability
- there’s a problem with the online application
Facts About the PGWP
- You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or from another country, as long as you’re eligible.
- You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a PGWP.
- If your study permit will expire before you get your marks, you have 2 options. You can
- apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer or
- leave Canada and apply for your PGWP
If your study permit expires before you apply
If you don’t change your status to visitor and your study permit expires, you have up to 90 days after your study permit expires to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student.
To restore your status as a student, you must
- apply online for your PGWP and pay the correct fee ($255) and
- pay the fee to restore your status as a student ($350)
- Because of system limitations, you must pay the fees to restore your status as a student online and attach a copy of the receipt to your PGWP online application. You don’t need to make a separate application to restore your status as a student.
- You can’t work until your study permit and work permit have been approved.
- If you don’t apply within the 90 days, or if the 90 days have already passed, you must leave Canada.