Post Graduation Work Permits

What is a Post Graduate Work Permit?

The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWP) was designed to aid foreign students enrolled in a post-secondary institution in Canada who want to work in Canada on completion of their studies. There are also pathways for students who wish to become permanent residents of Canada; one of them is applying through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program after you have accrued at least 12 months’ worth of full time Canadian work experience (or part time equivalent). Refer to our article on the Canadian Experience Class to check the other eligibility criteria. Post-Graduate Work Permits may be issued for a period up to three (3) years.


The criteria for obtaining a work permit after graduation are as follows:

  • Must have attended a public post-secondary institution in Canada (private post-secondary institutions that operate under the same rules and regulations as public post-secondary institutions and private secondary and post-secondary institutions in Quebec that offer at least 900 hours of study in a qualified program are two other types of post-secondary institutions that meet eligibility criteria under the PGWPP)
  • Program of study must have been more than eight (8) weeks in a full time capacity
  • A Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees. (Candidates must, however, enroll only in those programs that lead to degrees that were authorized by the government)
  • The work permit must have been applied for no more than ninety (90) days after you received written confirmation of the completion of your academic program and are eligible to receive the relevant credential
  • Your study permit must still be valid when you make this application

Post-graduate work permits will not be issued for a period longer than the total amount of time your program of study lasted, or for more than three (3) years, whichever comes first.

For programs that last less than eight (8) months, you are not eligible for a post-graduate work permit.

For programs that last more than eight (8) months but less than two (2) years, you may receive a work permit on graduation up to the total amount of time your program of study lasted

For programs over two (2) years in length, you may receive a work permit for up to three (3) years after your graduation. This is the maximum amount of time you will be granted on the work permit with this application.

What are some of the things that make you non-eligible to the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program?

  • If you participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
  • If you are a participant in a Government of Canada awards program funded by DFATD
  • If you are a beneficiary of funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • If you are a participant in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
  • If you a participant of the Canada-China Scholars Exchange Program
  • If you are a participant in the Organization of American States Fellowship Program
  • If you are enrolled in a distance learning program inside Canada or from a different country
  • If you have received a Post-Graduate Work Permit before on completion of a different program

If you determine that you are eligible to apply for this program, obtain the application package and pay all applicable fees. Note that you will have to pay the $100 Open Work Permit Holder’s fee, as well as the $155 work permit processing fee.

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