Post-graduation work permits are valid for about eight months to three years and are an excellent way to gain valuable work experience in Canada. Understand the step-by-step procedure to apply for post-study work permit in Canada.
Students who graduate from a Canadian program of study are eligible to apply for post study work permit in Canada. With a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), the holder can work for any employer, anywhere in Canada for as many hours as they desire.
Having work experience in Canada opens up a variety of possibilities for an applicant to become a permanent resident. If you wish to apply for a PGWP in Canada, read through this article to learn about the eligibility requirements, documents required, the application process, and much more.
Table of Contents
- Eligibility Requirements for PGWP
- Work Permit Duration
- Application Deadline for PGWP
- Steps to Apply for Post Study Work Permit in Canada
- Is it Possible to Work After Graduation Before Applying for a PGWP?
- Can I Apply for a PGWP More than Once?
Eligibility Requirements for PGWP
To be eligible to apply for a post-study work permit, international students must meet the following requirements:
- A student must have completed at least 8 months of full-time studies in Canada at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
- The study program should result in a degree, diploma or certificate.
- A work permit must be applied for within 180 days after completing your course. You must have written confirmation of the same from your college/university. This can be in the form of a transcript or an official letter.
- Applicants for the PGWP must hold a valid student visa and study permit.
Work Permit Duration
The validity of a PGWP varies from 8 months to 3 years. The length of the study program determines the validity of the post-graduation work permit. The table below shows the duration of the work permit according to the length of the study program:
|Duration of Study Program||Duration of Work Permit|
|Less than 8 months||Ineligible|
|Between 8 and 24 months||The validity period is the same as the duration of the study program|
|24 months or longer||Up to 3 years|
|More than 1 course||Upon completion of more than 1 eligible study program, it may be valid for up to 3 years|
Application Deadline for PGWP
Within 180 days (six months) of obtaining an official transcript and letter of confirmation from the eligible DLI that the program requirements have been met, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit. You have two options if your study permit expires before you get your final grades:
- Obtain a visitor record to stay longer in Canada; or
- Leave Canada and then apply for a post-study work permit
Steps to Apply for Post Study Work Permit in Canada
A majority of students apply online for obtaining a post-study work permit. If you are unable to apply online due to a disability or technical problem with the online application, you can apply on paper. Given below is the step-by-step procedure to apply online for a PGWP in Canada:
- Prepare your Documents
- Fill Out the Application Forms
- Pay the Fees and Submit Your Application
- Wait for the Decision
Prepare your Documents
The first step is to prepare all the necessary documents for PGWP well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. The following documents are required for obtaining a work permit in Canada:
- Photocopies of your passport pages (must include your identification page and stamp from your recent entry to Canada)
- A copy of your current immigration document (if you have one)
- Two passport-size photographs
- A final transcript
- An official graduation letter or formal notice from the institution
- Financial documents proving your ability to sustain your stay in the country
- All certificates of educational qualifications
- Proof of work experience and certifications of vocational training, if applicable
- Medical reports obtained from registered medical establishments
- Receipt of the payment of the application charges
Complete the Application Forms
Once all the required documents have been gathered, you need to carefully fill out the application form. Following are the application forms that need to be filled out by students:
- IMM 5710 - Application to change condition, extend my stay or remain in Canada as a worker
- IMM 5409 - Statutory declaration for common-law union (if applicable)
- IMM 5476 - Use of a representative (if applicable)
- IMM 5475 - Authority to release personal information to a designated individual (if applicable)
Pay the Fees and Submit your Application
While submitting your online application, you will have to pay a processing fee for PGWP. You need to pay an open work permit holder fee of CDN$100.00 along with a work permit processing fee of CDN $155.00. Ensure that you have filled out the application correctly and have not missed any details.
Wait for the Decision
Once you have submitted your application, it's time to wait for the decision. Your application will be reviewed by the Case Processing Centre to determine if it is complete. Your application will be returned if it is not signed or the required fee is not paid. You will have to reapply for the post-study work permit in such a case. Sometimes, the case processing centre also forwards the application to a local IRCC centre for further evaluation.
Is it Possible to Work After Graduation Before Applying for a PGWP?
Students who apply for a PGWP before the expiration of their study permit can legally begin working in Canada. These candidates do not require a Canadian work permit while awaiting a decision on their PGWP application. In case your student permit has already expired, you may be able to restore your status and apply if the period of time you have not been in status is less than 90 days.
Can I Apply for a PGWP More than Once?
A PGWP can only be applied once. If you plan to pursue another program of study that is a continuation of your first program or are looking at taking a longer degree program in Canada, you must apply for your PGWP strategically. Your PGWP will have a longer validity period if you apply after the longest period of study, up to a maximum of three years.
In the past, applicants could only apply for a PGWP from Canada. Now, students who leave Canada after their studies are completed can apply from overseas. If you are applying from outside Canada, the PGWP application may require additional documentation depending on the visa office processing the application.