Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Guide

Post-Graduation Work Permit

What’s PGWP?

International students who have completed a Canadian program of study are eligible for post-graduation work permits (PGWPs). These permits allow them to work in Canada. PGWPs permit the holder to work as many hours as anywhere in Canada for any employer.

PGWPs can be used for anywhere from eight months to three and are a great way of gaining valuable Canadian work experience. It opens up many opportunities for permanent residence in Canada for applicants who have worked in Canada.

PGWP quick facts

  1. A work permit for post-graduation can be valid for as long as eight months or three years.
  2. A PGWP cannot be issued for any length that exceeds the duration of the applicant’s study in Canada.
  3. The PGWP will generally last for the same period as the applicant’s study time, with a maximum of three.
  4. If more than half of your study is done via in-person classes, you will be eligible for a PGWP equaling the length of your program.
  5. The part-time or accelerated study will affect the length of your PGWP.

Who can be eligible for a PGWP

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, a foreign national must have been at least 18 years of age and have completed eight months of full-time study in Canada. The study program must have taken place at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), one of these programs. A foreign national must also apply for a work permit within 180 days after completing their study program.

An applicant must be in Canada at the time they apply. They can apply for visitor status if their study permit is about to expire. While their application is being processed, applicants can apply for a PGWP immediately to start working full-time. International applicants may also apply for a PGWP.


The following levels are eligible for PGWPs.

  • The public post-secondary school (such as a college or trade/technical school or university or CEGEP, Quebec); or
  • Private post-secondary schools operate under the same rules that public schools (only applicable to some institutions in Quebec); or
  • Private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec that offers qualified programs of at least 900 hours leading to a diploma d’etudes professionnelles or an attestation professionnelle (ASP); or
  • According to provincial law, Canadian private schools can legally award degrees only for students enrolled in programs leading towards a degree, as authorized by the province.

How long does it usually take to obtain a PGWP?

Obtaining a PGWP takes anywhere from 80 to 180 working days. You can work in Canada while you wait for your PGWP if you apply before the expiry of your student permit.

From the date you have completed your requirements for your program of study, you have 180 days to apply to be eligible for the PGWP.

After completing your studies, you may apply for a PGWP overseas if you decide to leave Canada. This depends on the visa office processing the application. Post-graduation work permit applications had to be submitted from within Canada previously. Additional documentation may be required if a PGWP request is made outside Canada.

How do i apply for a PGWP?

The following requirements are required to be eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit:

  • The selected institution must be listed on the government’s DLI (Designated Learning Institutes) list.
  • The institution chosen must be either a public post-secondary institution or a private institution that confers degrees (e.g., Master’s or Bachelor’s degree );
  • The program chosen must have a minimum of 8 months.
  • Full-time program.
  • A language program was chosen.
  • A student has already received a PGWP.
  • The student completed more than half the program via distance learning. An international student is not eligible for the PGWP, if:

The current student’s study permit must remain valid to apply for the PGWP. This will allow you to work legally in Canada. International students have 180 days to apply for a Postgraduate Work Permit. This is from the date they receive the official transcript or the letter of completion.

For how long is a PGWP valid?

The length of your studies determines the validity of the Post-Graduation Work Permit. Your PGWP validity will be equal to the size of your study program if it is between 8 and 2 years. If the duration of the program is more than two years, your PGWP will still be valid. The maximum period span>

The final decision about the issuance and length of the PGWP is up to the immigration officer who is assessing the case.

E-Visa partners with over 500 schools, no matter your goal. We can help you find the right program for you! Our team of Canadian Visa Experts and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you navigate the entire process.

Is it possible to apply for a work permit once my PGWP is over?

You can apply for LMIA and LMIA exempt permits if you are eligible. A PGWP does not prevent you from applying later for another work permit. However, it is worth looking into Canadian permanent residency if you have Canadian work experience.

Candidates with Canadian work experience can apply for the following immigration programs:

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Quebec Immigration Options

I will be a working person after I graduate.

International graduates can apply for a PGWP in Canada before their study permits. While they wait for a decision on their PGWP application, these candidates don’t need to have a Canadian work permit. You may be eligible to apply for a PGWP if your student permit has expired.

How often can I apply to a PGWP

A PGWP can only be applied once. You should only use a PGWP once if you plan to continue your studies or if you are interested in a more extended degree program. Suppose YOU APPLY AFTER THE MOST EXTENDED STUDY PERIOD. In that case, a PGWP will be granted to you with a more extended validity period, up to three years.

How a PGWP can help you immigrate to Canada

Canada’s Post Graduation Work Program was created to make it easy for international students to obtain permanent residence. A candidate can apply for Canadian Express Entry visa status by combining Canadian education with meaningful, full-time work experience. An Express Entry applicant with a Canadian education credential and work experience will be able to earn valuable points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This will make them more competitive against other applicants for permanent residence status.