Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada

Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada

If you graduated from a Canadian college or university and want to stay in the country to work, you can apply for a work permit after you study.

If you graduated from a Canadian college or university, you can get a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).


In order to obtain a work permit, you must meet a number of conditions:

  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of application;
  • have studied in Canada on a full-time basis for at least 8 months;
  • have a document from your educational institution stating that you have completed all the requirements for completion of the study program;
  • graduate from one of the following institutions:
    • a public institution, such as a college, a trade/technical school, a university, or a special education institution (CEGEP) in Quebec;
    • a private university that operates under the same rules as public universities (only applies to some private universities in Quebec);
    • a private high school or university in Quebec that offers qualification programs of 900 hours or more with a diploma in professional education (diplôme d'études professionnelles, DEP) or a certificate of professional specialization (attestation de spécialisation professionnelle, ASP);
    • some private schools that can award degrees under provincial law (e.g., a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree);
  • apply for a work permit within 180 days of confirming that you have completed your study;
  • have a valid study permit at the time of application.

For a complete list of institutions after which a PGWP is issued, see the link.


You are not eligible to apply for a work permit if you

  • were enrolled in a program of fewer than 8 months;
  • studied English or French as a second language;
  • took general interest or self-improvement courses;
  • studied for more than 8 months, but not all the time (for example, going on academic leave);
  • participated in scholarship programs:
    • The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program;
    • Government of Canada Awards Program;
    • Global Affairs Canada's funding program;
    • Equal Opportunity Scholarship or Canada-Chile Leadership Exchange Scholarship;
    • Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program;
    • Organization of American States Fellowships Program;
  • have completed the curriculum remotely;
  • have been educated at a non-Canadian college or university located in Canada;
  • have graduated from a university or college which is public-private partnership;
  • have already received a Pot-Graduation Work Permit.

How long is the work permit valid

The validity period depends on the length of your study program.

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