5 Facts About Canada’s Post Graduation Work Permit for International Students

5 Facts About Canada's Post-graduation Work Permit for International Students


Canada is a popular destination for international students pursuing higher education and gaining valuable work experience. If you are an international student who has recently graduated from a Canadian educational institution, you may be wondering what your options are to stay and work in Canada. One of the most popular options is to apply for a post graduation work permit (PGWP), which allows you to work in Canada for up to three years after completing your studies.

A PGWP can also help you gain valuable Canadian work experience, boosting your chances of becoming a permanent resident. However, not all international graduates are eligible for a PGWP, and there are some important rules and policies that you need to know before applying. In this blog post, we will share five facts about Canada’s post graduation work permit for international students that will help you understand the program better and avoid common mistakes.

Fact #1: You must have studied at an eligible designated learning institution (DLI).

Not all Canadian schools can issue PGWPs to their international graduates. You need to apply within 180 days of completing your study program. To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have completed a full-time study program of at least eight months at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. A DLI is a school that the provincial or territorial government has approved to host international students. You can check the list of DLIs on the Government of Canada website to see if your school qualifies. If you graduated from a private school that is not on the list or a school that only offers distance learning programs, you are not eligible for a PGWP. You also need to have a valid study permit or have been authorized to study without one. You must apply for the PGWP within 180 days of receiving your final grades or official confirmation of program completion, whichever comes first.

Fact #2: You can apply online or at a port of entry

The easiest and fastest way to apply for a PGWP is online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. You will need to create an account, fill out an application form, upload supporting documents, and pay the application fee of CAD 255. Alternatively, you can apply at a port of entry (such as an airport or land border) if you are from a visa-exempt country and you have a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a temporary resident visa (TRV). However, this option is not available if you are already in Canada. You will need to have a valid passport, proof of program completion, and proof of funds to support yourself in Canada.

Fact #3: You can work for any employer in any occupation

One of the main benefits of the PGWP is that it gives you the flexibility to work for any employer in any field in Canada. You do not need a job offer or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to apply for or work under the PGWP. This means that you can work for any employer in any occupation and location in Canada as long as it is not prohibited by law. You can also change employers as often as you like, as long as your work permit is valid. However, you can only work as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or veterinarian if you meet additional requirements.

Fact #4: You can use your PGWP to gain Canadian work experience and apply for permanent residence

Another advantage of the PGWP is that it allows you to gain valuable Canadian work experience that can help you qualify for permanent residence programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). To be eligible for these programs, you need to have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years. Skilled work experience means working under skill level 0, A, or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). By working on a PGWP, you can meet this requirement and increase your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

Fact #5: You cannot renew or extend your PGWP

A PGWP is a one-time opportunity for international graduates to work in Canada after completing their studies. You cannot renew or extend your PGWP once it expires unless the validity of your passport limits it. In that case, you may be able to apply on paper to get the full validity of your PGWP based on the length of your program of study. However, suppose you want to stay and work in Canada longer than your PGWP allows. In that case, you may be able to apply for another type of work permit or permanent residence program that suits your situation and qualifications.


In some cases, you may be able to extend or renew your PGWP if it expires before you are eligible to apply for permanent residence. For example, if your PGWP was issued for less than 18 months due to passport validity, you can apply for an extension before it expires. If your PGWP was affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions, you may be eligible for a one-time open work permit of up to 18 months if you meet specific criteria. You can check the IRCC website for more information on these options.


We hope this blog post has given you some helpful information about the PGWP and how it can help you achieve your goals in Canada. You should know these facts about the PGWP if you are an international student who wants to stay and work in Canada after graduation. However, it is not a guarantee of permanent residence or citizenship. A post-graduation work permit is an excellent option for international students who want to gain Canadian work experience and explore their immigration possibilities after graduating from a Canadian school. However, applying for a PGWP is not as simple as it may seem. You need to meet the eligibility criteria and application requirements of the immigration program you choose. If you need more information or guidance on how to apply for the PGWP or permanent residence, you can consult an immigration lawyer or a regulated immigration consultant.