How to Work in Canada after You Graduate
All you need to know about Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program or PGWP is a program that allows graduates to work in Canada who are temporary residents.
To be eligible for this program, the applicant has to graduate from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) and fulfill some eligibility conditions. This blog sheds light on that information.
Who can apply for PGWP?
A student who has graduated from one of the Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) may be eligible to apply for a PGWP.
Does online class count for PGWP?
Yes, online studies can be counted for PGWP. However, depending on where you were during your studies, your eligibility might change.
If you were outside Canada between spring 2020 and August 31, 2022, and studied online, it will count toward the length of a PGWP. Time spent studying outside Canada after August 31, 2022, won’t count toward the length of a PGWP.
If you were inside Canada and your courses were moved online due to the pandemic, the time you spend studying online will count toward the length of your PGWP.
Can I add the time I spent studying before applying for a study permit?
Time spent studying before you applied for a study permit won’t be counted.
What is the Validity Period of a post-graduation work permit?
The validity period of your PGWP will depend on the validity of your study program duration. The table below notes the PGWP validity periods based on study programs of various lengths.
My passport is about to expire, what should I do?
If your passport is about to expire earlier than your possible PGWP validity period, you will get a valid PGWP until your passport expires.
If needed, you will be informed to extend your passport’s validity.
How to Apply for a post-graduation work permit: Eligibility criteria for PGWP
After you graduate, you have up to 180 days to apply for a PGWP. To be eligible, your study permit must have been valid at some point during these 180 days. When you apply, you must confirm that you attended and completed your program. You also need to include the name and length of your program.
To confirm these, you can submit any of the following:
- your degree or diploma
- your transcript or
- an official letter from your school
What to do if your study permit is about to expire before getting marks
If your study permit is about to expire before you get your marks, and you are about to lose your status in Canada, you have 2 options:
- applying for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer or
- leaving Canada and applying for your PGWP from outside Canada
What to do if your study permit already expires before getting marks
If your study permit expires and you don’t change your status to a visitor in Canada, you must apply to restore your status as a student. Otherwise, you can not apply for PGWP.
After your study permit expires, you have up to 90 days to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student. If you fail to apply within 90 days, you have to leave Canada.
There are additional fees that you have to pay to restore your status.
- $350 to restore your status as a student
- $250 for your PGWP
This is crucial because you can’t work until your study permit and work permit have been approved.
How long does it take to get a PGWP?
PGWP applications can be submitted online or on paper via mail. The processing time for online applications is 166 days and for paper applications, it’s 137 days.
Can I work while my PGWP application process is going on?
Until a decision is made on your work permit you can work full time. You can do so if you had a valid study permit when you submitted your application. Also, it is mandatory that you have already completed your study program and you are eligible to work off campus without a work permit while studying.
These are the conditions to work full-time while waiting for your PGWP. Otherwise, it is illegal to work in Canada if you haven’t completed these conditions.
If your work permit is refused you must stop working the day you get notified.
What to do if my PGWP is about to expire but I still want to work more?
You may be eligible for an open work permit of up to 18 months under a new public policy. Contact us to learn more.
Open Work Permit for Spouses or common-law partners
If your application for a post-graduation work permit gets approved, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit. Contact us for details.