How an international student can remain staying in Canada after graduation

What a PGWP is

A PGWP (Post-Graduate Work Permit) is an open work permit that allows the students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to stay and work in Canada for a period of up to three years after their studies are completed. Skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupational code A, O or B that is gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class, within Express Entry.

Graduates are not required to have a Canadian job offer at the time of applying for the PGWP. As an open work permit, international graduates can work in any occupation anywhere in Canada and change employers at any time.

Who are eligible to apply for a PGWP?

  • Applicants can receive only 1 post-graduation work permit in their lifetime.
  • Applicants must:
    • Be 18 or older;
    • Have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a study program at least eight months long;
    • Have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible Designated learning institutions (DLI) confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their program of study. (transcript, official letter, certificate, etc.). The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application;
    • Have graduated from a:
      • public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec or
      • private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec) or
      • private secondary or post- secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) or
      • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree) but only if you are enrolled in a study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province.
  • Apply for a work permit within 180 days of when it was confirmed that you completed your program; and
  • Hold a valid study permit, OR
  • Held a valid study permit at some point during the 180 days before applying.

How long is a PGWP valid?

Depending on the length of the study program:

  • If the program was more than 8 months but less than 2 years, the PGWP may be valid for up to the same length as your study program (for example, if you completed a 9-month program, a work permit may be issued for up to 9 months)
  • If the program was 2 years or more, the PGWP may be issued for 3 years

Required documents for the application

A PGWP applicant should consult the document checklist provided by IRCC. Some always required documents are:

  1. Letter confirming completion of the program of study
  2. Transcript
  3. Copy of passport
  4. Copy of study permit

Visit Student Guide to Apply for a Work Permit to know step by step.

Any questions or concerns of immigrating and studying please join us at Q&A – DU HỌC, ĐỊNH CƯ CANADA (by Culture Magazin)

Do you know when you hold a PGWP and a full-time job offer in Ontario for at least 6 months, you will be covered by OHIP?

Please read How Do Foreign Workers Apply For OHIP? to learn more.

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt


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