How to Get a Work Permit in Canada After Graduation

Studying in Canada can be a life-changer. Not only do thousands of international students travel to Canada to gain a world-class education but the student life is incredible. You’ll be able to network and meet people from all over the world as well as prepare yourself for an exciting new career in Canada.

Canada is currently experiencing a shortage in the labour force and is determined to hire the highest caliber of workers. This includes those receiving a Canadian post-secondary education.

There are various work visa and immigration programs available to international graduates in Canada that will not only help them gain work experience could make them eligible to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency (PR).

4 Ways to Stay and Work in Canada After Graduation

1. Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is probably the most popular way to stay and work in Canada after graduation. It allows international students who have graduated and completed an eligible program from a specific Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to work temporarily on a Canadian work permit.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Work Permit in Canada?

At the moment the processing time is just under 3 months, so be sure to apply before your study permit is set to expire.

2. Provincial Nominee Program

map of Canada | working in Canada

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offers various graduate programs that allow international students to stay and work in Canada after completing their qualifications. Below are some of the PNP options for international graduates:


Provincial Programs for International Graduates
ProvinceProgram
AlbertaInternational Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream
British ColumbiaExpress Entry International Graduate Programs
Express Entry Postgraduate Program
ManitobaInternational Education Stream
Nova ScotiaInternational Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
International Graduates In-Demand Stream
Newfoundland & LabradorInternational Graduate Category
International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
OntarioInternational Student Stream
Masters Graduate Stream
Ph.D. Graduates Stream
Prince Edward IslandInternational Graduate Stream
SaskatchewanWork Experience: Student Stream

3. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot

lighthouse in Atlantic Canada | work permit in Canada

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is designed to help skilled and semi-skilled workers, as well as graduates, find their way to Canadian permanent residency in one of four Atlantic provinces:

  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

There are three programs under the AIP:

  • Atlantic High Skilled Program
  • Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program; and
  • Atlantic International Graduate Program

The Atlantic International Graduate Program

This program was created to help international students who have students in one of the above-mentioned Atlantic provinces, get Canadian PR. To qualify your will need:

  • have lived in an Atlantic province for at least 16 months in the 2 years before getting your degree, diploma, or credential
  • Meet the education requirements;
  • Have qualifying English or French test results;
  • Have enough money to support yourself and your family when arriving in Canada and
  • Have a valid full-time non-seasonal job offer in Atlantic Canada in a highly skilled or semi-skilled occupation (NOC0, A, B, or C)

The best part about this program is that you don’t need any work experience to qualify!

4. Recent Hong Kong Graduate Program

beautiful asian student in park | working in Canada

This program was recently introduced to help Hong Kong recent graduates apply for an open work permit in Canada. These work permit sare open which means that you can work anywhere in Canada for any employer for up to three years!

To qualify you will need to:

  • hold a valid passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the United Kingdom to a British National Overseas
    • Your work permit will be valid for up to 3 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
      • For example, if your passport is valid for 6 months, then you will be issued an open work permit for 6 months.
      • To maximize the duration of the open work permit, make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 years from the date of approval.
      • Tell us how long you want your work permit to be valid.
    • meet the education requirements for post-secondary, graduate, or post-graduate studies

Education requirements: Post-secondary studies

You must have graduated no more than 5 years before you apply for this open work permit, with one of the following:

  • A degree from a post-secondary learning institution in Canada or abroad
  • a diploma for a minimum 2-year program from a designated post-secondary learning institution in Canada or abroad.

Education requirements: Graduate and Post-graduate studies

You must hold a graduate or post-graduate credential (for example, a post-graduate diploma) that you received no more than 5 years before you apply for this open work permit.

The credential program must:

  • Be a minimum of 1 year
  • that requires a post-secondary degree or diploma, which you completed no more than 5 years before you started the post-graduate program at a designated learning institution in Canada or an institution abroad

Ready to find your new job in Canada as an international graduate and jumpstart your new career abroad?

Studying in Canada definitely has its benefits. Besides receiving a world-class education, it will open up doors to getting a work permit in Canada after graduation. Whether you study in Canada or have received your qualification abroad there is an option for you to move to Canada.

To find out if you qualify for a Canadian work permit, simply fill in your details and we’ll help guide you on the best pathway to a brand new career in Canada, and who knows maybe making Canada your home permanently.