The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a Canadian initiative designed to attract and retain international students, allowing them to work in Canada post-studies. With the flexibility to work for any Canadian employer without a job offer, the PGWP can be valid for a period ranging from 8 months to 3 years. This experience can further bolster applications for permanent residency in Canada through various immigration programs.

PGWP Eligibility Criteria

For PGWP eligibility, international students should:

  • Finish an 8-month (or longer) program at an eligible DLI leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Maintain full-time student status in Canada throughout their academic program.
  • Submit a transcript and a confirmation letter from the DLI.
  • Graduate from qualifying institutions and programs, which include public post-secondary schools, CEGEP in Quebec, qualifying private schools, and Canadian private schools with degree-granting authority.
  • Some Quebec vocational and professional training graduates may have additional criteria to meet.

Duration of PGWP

  • Programs under 8 months: Not eligible.
  • Programs between 8 months to less than 2 years: PGWP is valid for the program’s duration.
  • Programs of 2 years or more: 3-year PGWP.
  • If you complete multiple programs at DLIs (each longer than 8 months), they can be combined to determine PGWP length.

PGWP Application Timeline

Prospective PGWP applicants have 180 days post-acquisition of their transcript and official DLI letter to apply for the permit. If one’s study permit expires before they receive their marks, they can either stay in Canada by applying for a visitor record or leave and apply for the PGWP from abroad. It’s imperative that applicants, at the time of application, show they held a valid study permit, had a study permit, or were authorized to study in Canada without the need for a study permit.

Documentation for PGWP Application

Two primary documents required during the application include an official transcript and a letter from the DLI confirming program completion. However, program officers might request additional documentation.