Post-Graduate Work Permit / PGWP

Post-Graduate Work Permit / PGWP



The Post Graduattion Work Permit, often referred to as PGWP. After studying in Canada, international students can apply for a graduation work permit of 1-3 years according to their length of study. The post graduation work permit requires applicants to submit the application within 180 days after graduation. After graduation, they can work in a specific position for one year before becoming eligible for immigration applications (for example: express entry; provincial nomination). The applicant must be graduated from an institution recognized by the Canadian government and studied in Canada for more than 8 months. The time limit given on the graduation work permit is based on the time the applicant has studied in Canada. A three-year work visa can be obtained after graduation from a program of 2 years or more. International students can work for any employer, and they don’t have to leave Canada if they don’t find a job within 90 days after graduation.


  • Be over 18 at the time of application
  • International students can apply for a work permit for 1-3 years after graduation according to their study time in Canada
  • PGWP is an open work visa, international students can work for any employer
  • Working in specific positions for one year meets the basic conditions of Canadian experience immigration
  • The applicant has to be an international student who have completed an academic, vocational or professional training program, and graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI) that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.. After graduation, the time given on the work permit is generally the same as the time of the study program. After graduation from a program of 2 years or more, you can get 3 Annual work visa
  • They have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their program of study.
  • The work permit application must be submitted within 180 days after the date the school gives out the graduation certificate
  • Applicants can receive only 1 post-graduation work permit in their lifetime
  • Applicants must maintain full-time student status during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application, except for the last semester.
  • When applying for a graduation work permit, the applicant must currently hold valid temporary status (study permit).

Submit Method

  • Usually submitted online, all supporting documents only need to be scanned, and the permit will be sent directly from the immigration office to the address designated by the applicant
  • PGWP can also be submitted from outside of Canada
  • PGWP can also be processed directly at the border

Documents Checklist

  • Complete the questionnaire form ‘Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a worker’ (IMM 5710)
  • Scanned copy of the passport, including the biometric page and all pages with any stamps
  • Scanned copy of study permit
  • Digital Photo, Click to view official photo requirements and specifications
  • Scanned copy of the front and back of the national ID card
  • Proof of graduation from a Canadian institution, including: Degree, or final official transcript scan, and Graduation certificate issued by the school (signed or stamped)


Q: Does studying at all Designated Learning Institutions make me eligible for a PGWP?

A: Only public institutions, private institutions in Quebec, or degree programs from private institutions that issue degrees are eligible for a post-graduation work permit. Although some private institutions are designated institutions, they cannot apply for post-graduation work permits

Q: How long can the graduation work permit be approved?

A: Usually it takes 2-3 months to apply online, please refer to the Canada Immigration Or Citizenship Application Processing Time Canada.

Q: Can I apply for a Canadian graduate work permit if I graduate in China?

A: No, you can apply for a Canadian graduate work permit only if you graduate in Canada.

Q: How many years are the performance approval for a graduation work permit?

A: The graduation work permit can generally be granted for 8 months and up to 3 years. If your studies are more than two years, a 3-year graduation work permit is usually given. However, if your passport will expire within 3 years, the validity period of the visa will not exceed that of the passport.
(Referenced from CIC website)

Q: Can I work full-time before getting my graduation work permit?

A: The IRCC website does not provide detailed instructions. However, based on the Immigration Law IRPR 186, if the following requirements are met, you can work full-time until the results of the graduation work permit are out. If you are still unsure of whether it will affect future immigration and other factors, it is recommended to prepare your resume, interview and IELTS results while waiting for the graduation work permit, and then start your formal work after you get the graduation work permit.
186 A foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit
(v) if they are the holder of a study permit and
(i) they are a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution as defined in section 211.1,
(ii) the program in which they are enrolled is a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program, or a vocational training program at the secondary level offered in Quebec, in each case, of a duration of six months or more that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, and
(iii) although they are permitted to engage in full-time work during a regularly scheduled break between academic sessions, they work no more than 20 hours per week during a regular academic session;
(w) if they are or were the holder of a study permit who has completed their program of study and
(i) they met the requirements set out in paragraph (v), and
(ii) they applied for a work permit before the expiry of that study permit and a decision has not yet been made in respect of their application;

Q: When applying for a graduation work permit, can the school’s sealed transcript be opened? Will it still work after disassembly?

A: When applying for a graduation work permit online, the sealed transcript provided by the school can be disassembled and scanned and uploaded to the immigration application system. When submitting paper or applying for a graduation work permit at the border, be sure to provide a sealed transcript. The opened transcript will not be considered official. If you need to apply the graduation certificate or other related documents, you need to request another sealed transcript from the school.

Q: What date is considered as graduation date?

A: It is the date when the final course grade comes out or when the graduation confirmation letter from the school is obtained, not the time when the graduation certificate or graduation ceremony takes place.

Q: Online application vs border application?

A: Online work permit application will always get approved as long as the conditions are met and the information is complete. Your work permit’s validity period will match your school time, and the success rate is high when applied through experienced and licensed immigration consultants. All applications can be completed on the CIC website. However it is slow, and usually it takes 2-3 months for the application to complete online (please refer to Canada Immigration Or Citizenship Application Processing Time Canada)

The biggest advantage of border application is fast. Usually you can get your graduation work permit on the same day you apply. It should also be noted that the amount of applications that can be handled at the border every day is very limited. It is very likely that you wait in the queue for hours, but cannot have your application processed that day.

Q: I’m an international student. Can I continue to work after I’ve finished my study program?

A: Generally, no. You must stop working once you’ve received your final grades.
You can continue to work after you finished your studies only if:
i) you’ve already applied for a work permit, or
ii) you’re starting a new study program


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Processing Time

Program Categories Online
Canadian visa application processing time
Temporary Resident Visa
50 Days
Visitor Record
84 Days
Super Visa 79 Days
Study Permit Made Outside Canada
12 Weeks
Study Permit Made Intside Canada
14 Weeks
Study Permit Extension 53 Days
Post Graduation Work Permit Made Outside Canada 17 Weeks
Post Graduation Work Permit Made Inside Canada 97 Days
Briding Open Work Permit
97 Days
Canadian immigration application processing time
Express Entry
5 Months
Provincial Nominee Program
11 Months
Self-employed Immigration
50 Months
Federal Skilled Worker Program
5 Months
Start-up Visa
38 Months
Spouse/CommonLaw Sponsorship
10 Months
(Grand) Parents Sponsorship
24 Months
Canadian Citizenship/PR Card processing time
8 Months
PR Card
77 Days
PR Card Renewal
71 Days

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