International students who complete an eligible post-secondary program of study at a Canadian designated learning institution may apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
This permit is an Open Work Permit allowing international students to work with any employer and in any job in Canada. There is no requirement for a LMIA, or a confirmation of job offer to apply for a PGWP.
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must have:
- Completed studies in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that is at least eight months long at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List.
- Study program must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
- Held full-time student status in Canada during every academic session of the program or programs of study completed and included as part of their post-graduation work permit application*
- Received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study
- Graduated from:
- A public post-secondary institution, such as
- A college
- A trade or technical school
- A university
- CEGEP (in Quebec)
- A private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec
- A private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer and results in the issuance of a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)
- Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree) but only if the student was enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.
* Canada has waived this requirement during the coronavirus pandemic for certain international students. Exemptions may apply to those who have begun or will begin a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, or those whose program was already in progress in March 2020. In addition, exceptions may apply for those who took a leave from their studies in their final academic session.
When to Apply?
Graduates have 180 days after receiving their official letter of completion or transcripts from their designated learning institution, to apply for a PGWP.
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 are not eligible for a PGWP.
If your program was more than 8 months but less than 2 years
You may receive a PGWP that is valid for up to the same length as your study program.
If your program was 2 years or more
You may receive a PGWP that is valid for 3 years.
If you completed more than 1 program
You may be able to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program.
Each of the programs you completed must be
- PGWP-eligible and
- At least 8 months in length
Contact US for more information about the Post Graduation Work Permit or for assistance applying.