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Post Graduation Work Permit

The Post Graduation Work Permit Program enables graduates from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to acquire an Open Work Permit, providing them with valuable Canadian work experience.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must:

  • Have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program (please see note below) and must have graduated from one of the following:

  • A public post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP)

  • A private post-secondary educational institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and receives at least 50 percent of its financing for operations from government grants Canadian private educational institutions authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees


  • ​Have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate

  • Apply for a work permit while holding a valid study permit, or held a valid study permit previously within 180 days of applying for the PGWP. *You must have valid status, otherwise must restore your status and apply for PGWP.

Important to note:  If your postgraduate work permit was refused, you will need to restore your status within 90 days of receiving the refusal. You must also stop working. If you are outside of the 90-day restoration period, our firm may still be able to help you in certain circumstances using case law from the Federal Court.  Contact our office to discuss further and learn how we can help in this situation.

Note for Potential Candidates

To qualify for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program, the program of study needs to be a minimum of two years to obtain a three-year work permit. However, if the program duration is between eight months and less than two years, the graduate can acquire a work permit matching the length of the study program. Under specific conditions, a student with a one-year degree or diploma from an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution, completed within two years after another degree or diploma, may be eligible for a three-year open work permit.

In general, a student should have been studying full-time in the eight months leading up to the application for an open work permit. However, an exception exists if a student has met all requirements for the permit, barring full-time study in the last session of their program. For instance, a student needing only two final courses to complete the program, with all prior study being full-time, can still apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.

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