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Find out how you could obtain PR without any prior Work Experience in Canada. A PGWP allows you to work and gain Canadian experience in any employer of your choice in Canada and possibly obtain PR Status.
What is Post-Graduate Work Permit and How do I extend my PGWP?
International students who complete an eligible Canadian post-secondary program may apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
A PGWP allows you to work for any employer of your choice in Canada. You can go on to use this professional work experience to help you with an application for Canadian permanent residence.
What are the PGWP's Eligibility Requirements?
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must have:
- Completed studies in an academic, vocational or professional training program that is at least eight months long at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List.
Study program must lead to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- Held full-time student status in Canada during every academic session of the program or programs of study completed and included as part of their post-graduation work permit application;
Note: Canada has waived this requirement during the coronavirus pandemic for certain international students. Exemptions may apply to those who have begun or will begin a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, or those whose program was already in progress in March 2020. In addition, exceptions may apply for those who took a leave from their studies in their final academic session.
Received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study;
The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.
- Graduated from:
a public post-secondary institution, such as
*a trade or technical school
*CEGEP (in Quebec)
*a private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec;
*a private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer and results in the issuance of a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP); or
*Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree) but only if the student was enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.
- Note: Graduates of vocational and professional training programs in Quebec must meet additional PGWP criteria outlined by IRCC depending on the type of diploma issued.
Start your Process Today by Completing the Online Assessment Form.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has a special policy in place during the coronavirus pandemic that allows international students to complete their Canadian program while living overseas and still be eligible to obtain a PGWP when they move to Canada. In order to benefit from this policy you must:
- enroll at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution. DLIs are colleges and universities that are accredited by the Canadian government to welcome international students.
- have started or will start a program between spring 2020 and summer 2022, or your program was already in progress in March 2020.
- have a study permit, OR approval for a study permit, OR apply for a study permit prior to starting your program and are eventually approved.
- meet all other PGWP criteria.
A PGWP is valid for anywhere between 8 months to 3 years. The actual length depends on the length of your program at a Canadian DLI. IRCC provides the following guidelines on its website:
- Completed program under 8 months: Not eligible for a PGWP
- Completed program between 8 months and less than 2 years: The PGWP will be valid for the same length of your study program (e.g., a 10-month program will result in a 10-month PGWP)
- Completed program of 2 years or more: PGWP will be valid for 3 years
- Completed more than one program: You may be able to combine your Canadian educational programs to get a PGWP as long as the programs are DLI eligible and each over 8 months in duration. The total length of the PGWP will correspond to the durations above.
The deadline to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit is within 180 days (six months) of obtaining a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study have been met.
If the study permit is set to expire before the marks have come in, candidates have two options:
- apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer; or
- leave Canada and apply for the PGWP
When applying, applicants must demonstrate that they either hold a valid study permit, held a study permit, or were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
While program officers may request additional documents, two important documents required at the time of applying are a letter confirming the completion of the program of study and an official transcript by their DLI.