Work in Canada after studies

One very attractive reason why so many international students choose to study in Canada is the opportunity to work in Canada after graduation under the Post-graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

“What is PGWPP?” You might ask.

PGWPP is a work permit for international students who have graduated from accredited education institutions and wish to stay on in Canada to work.

So, as an international student studying in Canada, you could qualify for an open work permit under this PGWPP if you have studied full-time in a program that is

  • at least eight months in length, and
  • successfully graduated from one of the following institutions:-
    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP (public colleges in Quebec), or
    • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rule and regulations as public institutions, or
    • in programs of study leading to a degree as authorized by the respective province offered by a Canadian private institution authorized by the respective provincial statue to confer degrees, or
    • a private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec* offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP).

* Special note about studying in Quebec – if you have graduated from a vocational or professional training program at a public or private secondary institution in Quebec, regulated by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), you may be eligible to apply for the open work permit under the PGWPP if you fulfill the following requirements:-

  • be at least 18 years old at the time of application,
  • have a valid study permit at the time of application,
  • completed a full-time program of 900 hours or longer leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP),
  • apply for the open work permit under the PGWPP within 90 days of receiving written confirmation such as transcript or official letter issued by the institution you studied in indicating the successful completion of program,
  • have a supporting letter from the institution you studied indicating the duration of studies and program code.

Did you know?

With your skilled Canadian work experience gained through this PGWPP, your Canadian post-secondary education as well as your familiarity with the Canadian society, you could be eligible to stay and work in Canada as a permanent resident under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

What you need to know about PGWP?

  • PGWP is not longer than your official length of your program of study in Canada.
  • The length of PGWP is between 8 months and 3 years depending the official length of your program of study.
  • You must apply for this work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation such as transcript or official letter from your institution you studied in indicating your successful completion your program and are eligible to obtain your degree, diploma or certificate.
  • You must have a valid study permit when you apply for this open work permit.

How does the PGWPP works?

  • If your official length of study program is at least 8 months (i.e. 2 full-time semesters),
    • you may be eligible for a PGWP with a validity of 8 months.
  • If your official length of study program is less than 2 years but more than 8 months,
    • you may be eligible for a PGWP with a validity of no longer than the length of your study program.
    • For example, if you study for 12 months (i.e. 3 full-time semesters), you may be eligible for a PGWP with a validity of we months.
  • If your official length of study program is 2 years or more,
    • you may be eligible for a PGWP with a validity of the maximum 3 years.

Under what circumstances would an international student not be eligible for PGWP?

  • You have studied in a program that is less than eight months long.
  • You are a participant in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).
  • You are a participant in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFATD.
  • You have received funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
  • You are a participant in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile.
  • You are a participant in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program.
  • You are a participant in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program.
  • You are a participant in a distance learning program either from abroad or from within Canada.
  • You have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit following any other program of study.

Think Study Canada Team
All information herein is provided to the best of knowledge at time of research and serves only as reference.