How to Apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in 2024

Recently graduated from Canada and want to stay in the country? You could be eligible to apply for a work permit. You can work temporarily in Canada with this permission. While the length of the visa varies depending on how long you’ve studied in Canada, the permit can be valid for up to three years and allows you to work full-time or part-time in any field. If you’re ready to continue your adventure in Canada, here’s how to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in 2023.

What is a PGWP?

What is a PGWP

A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is an open work permit that allows international students who have graduated from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to gain valuable Canadian work experience. PGWPs are valid for between eight months to three years and do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Eligible programs of study include certificates, diplomas, and degrees. Applicants must apply for the PGWP within a certain time period.

3 Steps For Applying for a PGWP

3 Steps For Applying for a PGWP

With the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), you can stay in Canada after your studies and continue to work and gain valuable experience. In this section, I will be covering the three steps for applying for a PGWP, including checking your eligibility, applying within the time frame, and providing the correct documentation. By following these steps, you can stay and work in Canada even after you finish your studies.

Step 1: Check Your PGWP Eligibility

You may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit if you graduated from an eligible program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and want to stay in Canada temporarily to work. Getting a work permit allows you to work full-time in Canada after graduation, which helps you gain valuable Canadian experience and explore job opportunities in your field of study.

If you didn’t graduate, you aren’t eligible for this permit. You must also have studied at that school full-time for at least eight months and have had your tuition fees completely paid. Your PGWP Eligibility has to be the first thing you check because you cannot apply for this program unless you meet the requirements.

Step 2: Apply Within The Timeframe

You must apply within 180 days of graduating and before your study visa expires. Because the permit will take a while to arrive, you’ll be granted implied status while you await the results of your application for a PGWP. This allows you to stay in Canada even after your study permit expires. You may continue to work in accordance with the conditions of the study permit you held until you receive your result. The PGWP processing time varies as well, so try to apply as soon as you graduate. It could take up to 180 days to process in the worst scenarios.

Step 3: Provide The Correct Documentation

You must submit the following documentation with your application, such as proof of completion of the study and the name of your program.

Documentation for PGWP
What you need to proveSupporting documentation
Completed your program of study and graduatedDegree or Diploma
Information about the name of your study programTranscript
Information about the length of your study Official letter from your institution

PGWP Policy Update 2024

Starting in September 2024, international students embarking on a study program governed by a curriculum licensing agreement will no longer qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) upon completion.

Under curriculum licensing agreements, students enroll in a private college authorized to deliver the curriculum associated with a public college.

If a public college has established licensing agreements with a private college, and a student is enrolled in the private college, they will be ineligible for a PGWP.

IRCC has also announced that individuals completing master's and other short graduate-level programs will soon have the opportunity to apply for a three-year work permit.

Under the existing criteria, the length of a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is determined by the duration of an individual's study program. As master's programs typically have shorter durations compared to undergraduate programs, the current criteria place limitations on the period during which master's or shorter-term graduate students can work in Canada.

This modification will make master's students eligible for a more extended work permit, providing them with increased time to accumulate valuable Canadian work experience. This often facilitates the process of transitioning to permanent residency for these individuals.

How Long Does it Take to Get a PGWP?

PGWP processing time isn’t defined; it can take anything from 80 to 180 days. The good news is that you can work while you wait. You don’t need to have your PGWP before you apply for your job, and your employer doesn’t need to get your PGWP approved before you start working. If you apply within 180 days of graduating from a DLI, you should be able to get an answer quickly. Since it takes longer if there are more applicants or if the government asks for more information, plan ahead and apply early.

PGWP Validity Period

How long your PGWP is valid depends on the length of your study program. If you completed a program that lasted at least eight months but less than two years, your work permit would be valid for 12 months from its date. If you studied for at least two years, the Post-Graduation Work Permit would be valid for up to three years after the end of your studies. In all cases, these periods don’t include any time when you may have left Canada while on other types of permits. For example, if you leave and re-enter Canada on one of these permits during its validity period, those days won’t count toward its expiry date.



What if my study visa expires before I get my marks?

In order to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit, you need to submit a degree and transcript. If you haven't received your marks, you won't be in possession of these documents. If your study permit expires before you receive your results, you can apply for a visitor record, allowing you to stay in the country for longer.

What is an eligible University?

  • An eligible university has been recognized as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
  • It provides training that leads to a degree conferred by it (e.g., bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree)
  • It provides courses at either a diploma level or above
  • It is publicly funded
  • It has received accreditation from a provincial ministry of education (or equivalent) within 5 years before submitting its application

What type of job can I apply for?

The PGWP is an open work permit which allows you to work for anyone, anywhere in Canada (within the legal limitations). You can apply for jobs before or after you receive your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Applying before is recommended if you have found a job in advance.

However, not everyone has control over their employment situation and may need to start applying for jobs after receiving their work permit. That’s fine too! The main thing is that you do it as soon as possible as the PGWP processing time varies. Early application will allow employers time to get back to you and your period of being on an implied status isn’t lengthy.

Can I apply for a longer work permit after a PGWP?

You can apply for a standard Canadian work permit before your PGWP expires. You can apply for a permit to work at a job that requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a job that doesn't need one. However, we recommend that you apply for Canadian permanent residency (PR) before your PGWP expires instead of a further work permit. With valuable Canadian work experience, you can apply for PR status through the Express Entry System by submitting your application online via the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) route.

The CEC allows you to apply for permanent residency in Canada if you have at least one year of full-time work experience. Your work experience in Canada must be skill level 0, A or B. If you have attended a college or university and worked on a PGWP then you should have what’s required to apply for a CEC.

How Can We Help You?

How Can We Help You?

Getting a work permit in Canada is simple with the PGWP, but you must submit all the correct documents within the allotted time. Contact us today to check your PGWP eligibility and get a full guide on how to stay in Canada after you’ve completed your studies. At CanadianVisa we’re committed to providing you with the best possible professional immigration advice and assistance. That's why we’ve teamed up with several Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to ensure your process of applying for a Canadian visa is smooth.