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Post-Graduate Work Permit

PGWPs are open work permits granting foreign nationals the freedom to work for different employers in different locations and does not LMIA. PGWPs also allow recent graduates to gain Canadian work experience. With enough Canadian work experience, many graduates become eligible for PR programs, including one of the following pathways:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

  • Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)

  • Quebec Immigration Programs

Eligibility Criteria

A foreign national must be at least 18 years old and have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a program of at least 8 months. The study program must have been completed at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and the foreign national must apply within 180 days of the completion of their study program.

If an applicant is applying from within Canada, they must have valid status at the time of application. If their study permit has expired or will expire they may apply for status as a visitor before applying for the PGWP. However, applicants who apply for a PGWP prior to the expiration of their study permit are eligible to begin working full time immediately, while their application is processing. Applicants may apply for a PGWP from overseas.

Eligible Levels of Study

The following levels of study and programs are eligible for PGWPs:

  • Public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec; or

  • Private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (only applies to certain institutions in Quebec); or

  • Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP); or

  • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law only for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province.


Students receiving funding through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and some foreign financial aid programs may be ineligible for PGWP. A PGWP is valid for any length of time between 8 months and 3 years and will not be issued for longer than the applicant’s duration of study in Canada.

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