The PGWPP permits students who have graduated from qualified Canadian designated learning institutions to acquire an open work permit to obtain important Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupational code A, O or B that is earned via the PGWPP facilitates graduates to be eligible for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class, inside Express Entry.

Post-graduation work permits are exempted from Labour Market Impact Assessments. 

With a post-graduation work permit, just like all open work permits, graduates can

  • work full time
  • work part-time
  • be self-employed

Post-graduation work permit Validity 

A post-graduation work permit might be given depending on the length of the study program for at least 8 months up to 3 years.

In finding out the duration of a post-graduation work permit, it may consider the length of the program of study in Canada and verify it with supporting papers. Consistently slated breaks (for example, scheduled winter and summer breaks) must be incorporated in the time accrued for the length of the post-graduation work permit.

The duration of the post-graduation work permit

The legality time of the post-graduation work permit might not go further than the candidate’s passport legitimacy date. If the candidate’s passport ends prior to the legitimacy period of the post-graduation work permit, an officer will note this reason in the “Notes” box, in the Global Case Management System. The post-graduation work permit candidate then must submit an application for a work permit extension upon the renewal of their passport to obtain the full legitimacy of their post-graduation work permit.

Post-graduation work permits can be extended only when the duration of the permit could not be given at the time of the application, owing to the expiry date of the candidate’s passport.

Length of the program or programs of study, including Quebec vocational programs with a diploma of college studies (DCS) and attestation of college studies (ACS)Length of Quebec vocational programs with a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)Length of the post-graduation work permit that can be issued
The program of study is a minimum of 8 months and less than 2 years.The vocational program of study is at a minimum of 900 hours and less than 1,800 hours.The length of the work permit must correspond with the length of the program, as verified by the qualified DLI in the written confirmation of program accomplishment (such as an official letter of completion or transcript).Recurrently arranged breaks (for example, regularly scheduled winter and summer breaks) would not be deducted from the length of the post-graduation work permit.For a graduate with a DVS or AVS, a pro-rated computation could be completed to ascertain the length.
The program of study is 2 years or longer.The vocational program of study is 1,800 hours or longer.If the length of the program is verified by the qualified DLI in the written confirmation of program accomplishment (such as an official letter or transcript), the length of the work permit must be 3 years.
The student finished more than one program from a qualified DLI within 2 years.Note: Each program of study should meet all PGWPP admissibility conditions and be at least 8 months in length.The student finished more than one DVS or AVS program from a qualified DLI within 2 years.Note: Each program of study should meet all PGWPP admissibility conditions and be at least 900 hours in length.The length of the work permit should bring together the length of each program.If the shared length of the programs is 2 years or longer (or 1,800 hours or longer for DVS and AVS programs in Quebec), the work permit may be acceptable for up to 3 years.


Accelerated studies

If a student concludes their studies in less time than the usual length of the program (that is, they have accelerated their studies), the post-graduation work permit must be evaluated on the length of the program of study.

For instance, if the student is enrolled in a program of study that is usually 1 year, but the student fulfills the obligations for the program of study within 8 months, they may be qualified for a post-graduation work permit that is valid for 1 year.

Distance learning

Distance learning can be deemed as online learning. Students who completed a program of study entirely by distance learning (outside or within Canada) are not qualified for a post-graduation work permit.

These are the guidelines in assessing a candidate’s post-graduation work permit admissibility when the candidate has taken distance learning in Canada at a qualified DLI:

  • If more than 50% of the program of study’s total courses are accomplished by distance learning, the program may fairly be deemed a distance-learning program, and the candidate is not qualified for a post-graduation work permit.
  • If less than 50% of the program of study’s total courses are accomplished by distance learning, a post-graduation work permit may be made. The legitimacy must be based on the length of the program, as verified by the qualified DLI, plus credits received from both in-class and distance-learning courses.

Making an application

Candidates should submit an application for a work permit within 180 days of accepting written confirmation (such as an official letter or transcript) from the educational institution showing that they have met the conditions for finishing their program of study. An estimate of 180 days begins the day the student’s final marks are released or the day proper written notification of program accomplishment is obtained, whichever comes first. The burden is on the candidate to deliver evidence of the date the transcript is obtained. 

The candidate can submit an application for a post-graduation work permit from inside Canada if their study permit is still legitimate. If the candidate’s study permit is no longer legitimate, and they wish to stay in Canada, they should submit an application for visitor status prior to their study permit ends.

Previous international students who switch their status to visitor status prior to their study permit ends, while waiting for their notification of graduation from their institution, might also submit an application for a post-graduation work permit from within Canada.

Work authorization after submitting a post-graduation work permit application

Those graduates who applied for a work permit, such as a post-graduation work permit, before the expiry of their study permit are qualified to work full time with no work permit while anticipating for a decision on their application if all of the following apply:

  • They are or were the holders of a legitimate study permit at the time of the post-graduation work permit application.
  • The program study is completed.
  • The requirements are met for working off-campus short of a work permit if they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program of at least 6 months in duration that led to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • If they did not exceed the permissible hours of work

Candidates should cease working as quickly as they are informed by IRCC) that their application for a work permit is rejected.

Spouses and common-law partners of post-graduation work permit holders

Spouses and common-law partners of post-graduation work permit holders could be qualified to apply for an open work permit

Qualified institutions

The candidate should give proof that the program or programs of study were taken in Canada at one of the subsequent qualified Canadian selected learning institutions (DLIs):

  • a public post-secondary institution, such as
    • a college
    • a trade or technical school
    • a university
    • CEGEP (in Quebec)
  • a private post-secondary institution that works under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec
  • a private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec presenting succeeding programs of 900 hours or longer leading to
    • a diploma of vocational studies (DVS)
    • an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)
  • a Canadian, private institution sanctioned by provincial decree to confer degrees, such as an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, however only if the student is enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree, as sanctioned by the province, which might not comprise all programs of study presented by the private institution

Eligible candidates

Candidates who have graduated from Quebec vocational institutions with a DVS or AVS should satisfy all of the subsequent conditions:

  • That they are 18 years or older at the moment of the application.
  • A completed a full-time vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Quebec.
  • They should have been in a program of study that was a minimum of 900 hours (comparable to 8 months).
  • They should have presented an official letter from the institution summarizing the length of the program of study (in hours or months) to expedite the administering and issuance of the post-graduation work permit and to guarantee the precise length of work authorization.
  • They should contain one of the subsequent in the work permit application:
    • the credential
    • an official attestation of program completion
    • an official transcript from a Quebec school board or private institution recognized by the MEES in support of the work permit application