What is the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) and how can I apply?

All information provided are directly from IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

You may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) and want to stay in Canada temporarily to work.

Not all DLIs make you eligible for a post-graduation work permit. Check the DLI list to find out which schools offer programs that make you eligible.

Fees

Post-graduation work permit (PGWP): $255

Processing time

 Online: 95 days

 Paper: 118 days 

How long is a post-graduation work permit valid?

How long your PGWP is valid for depends on the length of your study program. If your program was:

  • less than 8 months
    • you aren’t eligible for a PGWP
  • more than 8 months but less than 2 years
    • your PGWP may be valid for up to the same length as your study program (for example, if you completed a 9-month program, a work permit may be issued for up to 9 months)
  • 2 years or more
    • a PGWP may be issued for 3 years

If you completed more than one program, you may be able to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program. For this, each of the programs you completed must be:

  • PGWP-eligible and
  • at least 8 months in length.

You can’t get a PGWP if you already had one after completing an earlier program of study.

If your passport expires before your PGWP should

Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for. If your passport expires earlier:

  • we’ll only issue you a PGWP that’s valid until your passport expires
  • we’ll tell you if you need to extend it to get the full validity

You can only extend a PGWP if we tell you to. If this happens, you have to apply on paper to extend your PGWP so that it’ll be valid for the full length it should be.


Eligibility

You have 180 days after your school issues your final marks to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

To be eligible, your study permit must have been valid at some point during these 180 days.

You must also have:

  • completed a study program:
    • at a designated learning institution
    • that was at least 8 months long and
    • that led to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program (except your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took a leave from studies)
  • graduated from a:
    • public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school, university, or CEGEP (in Quebec), or
    • private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec, or
    • private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, that leads to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP), or
    • Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree) but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province

If your passport expires before your PGWP should

Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible for. If your passport expires earlier:

  • we’ll only issue you a PGWP that’s valid until your passport expires
  • we’ll tell you if you need to extend it to get the full validity

You can only extend a PGWP if we tell you to. If this happens, you have to apply on paper to extend your PGWP so that it’ll be valid for the full length it should be.

You aren’t eligible for a PGWP if you:

  • already received a post-graduation work permit
  • 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 (GAC)
  • had funding from GAC
  • 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 majority of a study program by distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
  • completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada

Special cases

If you’re in any of these groups, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.

Accelerated programs

If you complete your study program in less time than the normal length of the program, you may be eligible for a PGWP valid for the full length of your program. For example, if you complete a 1 year study program in 8 months, you may be able to get a PGWP valid for 1 year.

Distance learning

If distance learning makes up less than 50% of your study program, you may be eligible for a PGWP. The length of the PGWP would match the length of your program, including both in-class and distance courses. Any distance courses completed outside Canada won’t be included in the length of the PGWP.

If distance learning makes up more than 50% of your study program, you aren’t eligible for a PGWP.

Leave from studies

You may not be eligible for a PGWP if:

  • you take an unauthorized leave from your study program, and
  • we find you didn’t meet the conditions of your study permit by taking this leave.

There are a few cases where you may be able to take an authorized leave of up to 150 days from your study program and still meet the conditions of your study permit. If your leave is authorized, you may still be eligible for a PGWP. Find out what counts as an authorized leave from your studies.

Transfers between schools

If you transferred between designated learning institutions (DLIs), the combined length of your studies must be at least 8 months to be eligible.

If you transferred from a school that is not a DLI to one that is, only the time studying at the DLI will be counted. The length of the time spent at the DLI must be at least 8 months to be eligible.

Canadian study programs with an overseas component

If your study program has an overseas component, you may be eligible for a PGWP as long as you earn a credit from a Canadian school for it. The PGWP will only be valid for the length of the time you studied in Canada.

Flight school graduates

To be eligible for a PGWP, a flight school graduate must meet all the eligibility above, and one of the following:

  • have completed a flight training course at a DLI training centre and now have a Canadian commercial pilot’s license or
  • have or be in the process of getting an instructor’s rating and a job offer as a flight instructor from a DLI flight training centre.

Graduates of certain Quebec schools

Quebec graduates of vocational and professional training programs must meet these conditions:

Institution

You must have graduated from a recognized:

  • public secondary school
  • private secondary school or a
  • private post-secondary school.

Learn about recognized schools in Quebec.

Degrees, diplomas and certificates

To be eligible, degrees, diplomas and certificates must be issued by the Quebec government. These include:

  • From public or private secondary schools
    • Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) (Diploma in Vocational Studies)
    • Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) (Attestation of Vocational Specialization)
  • From private post-secondary schools
    • Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC) (Diploma in College Studies)
    • Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) (Attestation of College Studies)

Program length

The program you attended and completed must have been full-time, and for at least eight months if you completed diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC) or attestation d’études collégiales (AEC). If you completed a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) it must be at least 900 hours.

Supporting documents

You must include these documents with your PGWP application:

  • the certificate or official document that confirms you completed your program, or official transcript from a Quebec school board or recognized private school
  • an official letter from the school that confirms the length of the study program (in hours or months) and the program code

How to apply

You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or overseas, as long as you meet the eligibility.

You have up to 180 days after you receive confirmation from your school that you’ve completed your study program to apply for a work permit. This confirmation could be a degree, diploma, transcript or official letter from your school.

If you plan on staying in Canada and your study permit will expire before you apply for a PGWP, you should change your status to a visitor. You have up to 90 days after your study permit expires to restore your status or you’ll have to leave the country.

Get your documents ready

Before you can apply for a PGWP, you’ll need:

  • an official letter from your school that confirms you’ve completed your study program
  • an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from your school’s website

We may request other documents once we receive your application.

You need to give your biometrics

In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where biometrics fits in the application process.

How you can apply for a PGWP depends on where you’re applying from. In most cases, you must apply online for a post-graduation work permit.

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 on your PGWP. You can only extend your PGWP if your passport expired earlier than your PGWP validity should have been. You may need to change the conditions on your PGWP if you need to provide an additional document, like a medical exam, after you already applied.

You can only extend a PGWP if we tell you to.

How applying online helps you

  • No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.
  • Your application may be processed more quickly.
  • It helps you make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • You can quickly submit more documents online (if we ask you to).
  • You get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.

Apply online from outside Canada

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • biometrics

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee.Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

If you need to use any of these services, you’ll pay these fees directly to the third party.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

Step 5: Create your 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

Create an account or sign in


Apply on paper from outside Canada

Step 1: Get the application package

The application package includes an instruction guide and all the forms you need.

Read the instruction guide before you complete your application. We won’t refund your application fee, so make sure you’re eligible for a PGWP before you apply.

Get the application package.

Step 2: Complete your application and attach your documents

Make sure you include all the documents we ask for. Your application may be delayed if information or documents are missing. The document checklist in the application package lists all the documents to include.

Answer all questions carefully, completely and truthfully.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

If you need to use any of these services, you’ll pay these fees directly to the third party.

Step 3: Pay your applications fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • biometrics

You’ll need to pay your fees online before you submit your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee. To do this:

  1. Go to pay your fees online.
  2. Select Temporary Residence for a list of fee options.
  3. Select both the work permit fee and the open work permit holder fee.
  4. Follow the instructions to complete your payment. Save a copy of your receipt to your computer.
  5. Print and attach a copy of your receipt to your completed application.

Our instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you and show you how to pay them.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you pay your application fees. If you don’t, you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

Step 4: Submit your application

Submit your completed application to the address given in the application package. Make sure you include the fee receipt and all the necessary documents.


Apply online from inside Canada

Applying online from inside Canada

In most cases you must apply online to get or extend a work permit from inside Canada. When you apply online, we get your application instantly, which can help us process your application faster. If you already applied on paper, you don’t have to resubmit your application online.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application.

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee.

Step 5: Create your 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

Create an account or sign in

If you can’t apply online

You can submit a paper if either:

What to do if you can’t apply online


After apply

Processing time

 Online: 95 days

  Paper: 118 days ?

Processing time is the average for how long it takes from when an application is received to when we make a decision. Learn more about processing times.

Working while we process your application

You can work full-time until we make a decision on your work permit application if you:

  • had a valid study permit when you submitted your application
  • completed your study program
  • were eligible to work off-campus without a work permit while studying and you didn’t work more hours than you were allowed to

If these don’t apply to you, you must wait until your work permit arrives to begin your new job. It’s illegal to work in Canada without a permit.

If we refuse your work permit, you must stop working the day we notify you.

Do you need to apply for a TRV or eTA too?

If you submit your application from outside of Canada

We’ll issue you a new temporary resident visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) when we approve your PGWP application.

If you submit your application from inside Canada

If you need a TRV to enter Canada, we won’t issue you a new one when we approve your PGWP application. You’ll need to apply for a new TRV separately, if your current one is expired and you want to travel outside of Canada.

If you need an eTA to enter Canada by plane, we’ll issue you one when we approve your PGWP application.

Travelling outside of Canada

If you’re in Canada and want to travel outside of Canada, you must have a valid TRV or eTA. If you don’t have a valid TRV or eTA when you return to Canada, you may not be let back into the country (even if you have a valid PGWP).

Spouses or common-law partners

If we approve your application for a PGWP, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit. Answer a few questions to find out what kind of work permit they may be eligible for.

Date modified: 2019-06-26 by IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *