How to apply for a post-graduation work permit?

What is the post-graduation work permit?

The PGWP is a program that allows students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution to obtain beneficial work experience. It also helps students to continue in Canada and work full-time after terminating their program (degree or diploma) of at least 8 months. The post-graduation work permit has a duration of up to 3 years depending on the length of the program that the student completed in Canada.

When are you eligible to apply?

You have up to 180 days to apply after you have received your degree, diploma, transcript or official letter of completion from the post-secondary institution. Your study permit must be valid during this time as well in order to apply. Also, some of the requirements in order to be eligible to apply are: 

  • Have completed a study program of at least 8 months at a designated learning institution (DLIs) that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • Have maintained full-time status as a student during each semester of your program
  • Graduate from a public or private post-secondary institution that can award degrees under provincial law

Have in mind that there are some people that can be in the ‘special cases’ of the Canadian Government and might have exceptions depending on their situation. If you want more details on eligibility to apply, please go to the Canadian Government website.

How to apply to a post-graduation work permit?

1. Verify you have what you need to start the application

If you are going to apply online, you will need:

  • Camera or scanner to upload your documents in a digital form
  • Credit or debit card to pay the fees

2. Check the instructions guide

Read the instruction guide before submitting your application or in case you have any doubts while doing the process.

3. Prepare yourself to answer the online questions

Before submitting any documents for your application, you might need to answer some questions for the website to generate the right application based on your answers.

4. Pay your fees

You will need to pay the fees at the end of your application. You might need to pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee as stated with the respective prices below.

When you apply remember there are two fees that must be paid:

  • The post-graduation work permit fee is CND $155
  • The open work permit holder fee is CND $100

5. Create an IRCC account

You can register through GCKey which is the simplest way to access the IRCC online services with a username and password or Sign-In Partner which allows you to use your online Canadian banking information to register.

Is important that you apply before your study permit expires and within 90 days after your letter of completion gets available. You will be able to remain in Canada while waiting for the decision on the PGWP. Remember to continue following the requirements and conditions that you are under in your student permit.

In case your study permit expires before you are able to apply to the PGWP, you need to restore your status as a studentapply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer, or leave Canada and apply for the PGWP outside the country. Remember that you cannot work until your study permit and work permit are approved.

If you want to apply online outside of Canada, remember that you might need additional biometrics, medical exams, and certificates.