Post Graduate Work Permit: Application, Processing Time, Extension

The PGWP is a work permit that allows international students to gain Canadian work experience after graduation.

International students who have completed their study in Canada are eligible to apply for Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a work permit that allows it’s holders to work in Canada after they have graduated from a designated post-secondary school in Canada. In this article, we will discuss the eligibility criteria for PGWP, PGWP application process, PGWP processing time and PGWP extension.

In this article

Highlights of PGWP in Canada

  • In order to be eligible for Post Graduation Work Permit, the graduate must have: Completed a post-secondary program at a Canadian school; and been studying full-time on a valid study permit.
  • Once issued, Canada PGWP can be valid from 8 months up to three years.
  • Validity period for Post Graduate Work Permits cannot exceed length of study.
  • Graduates are eligible for PGWP if at least 50% of their program was completed in Canada.
  • There is no limit on the number of times you can apply for PGWP, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • PGWP holders can apply for permanent residence from within Canada, usually under TR to PR options such as CEC.
  • Students taking their programs online may still qualify for Post Graduation Work Permit provided that at least 50% of their program was completed in Canada.
  • The PGWP is an open work permit, which means that the graduate does not need a job offer to apply for it.
  • A foreign graduate must submit PGWP application within 90-180 days of receiving written confirmation from their school that they have met the requirements for completing their program.

Who is eligible for Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)?

To be eligible for Post-Graduate Work Permit in Canada:

– You must have graduated from an eligible designated post-secondary educational institute in Canada. Post-secondary schools that are entitled to issue PGWP includes academic programs of at least two years and vocational programs of at least one year duration. These schools include, but are not limited to universities, colleges, trade/technical schools (or CEGEP in Quebec).

– You must have a valid study permit when you apply for PGWP.

– Your program of study must have been at least eight months long.

– You must have completed your program of study within the past three years.

– You must be able to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family members in Canada. The amount of funds required is $11,354 per person for the 12 months following your arrival in Canada.

– You must have a valid passport and meet all other requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Regulations .

How to apply for post graduate work permit (PGWP)

To apply for Post Graduate Work Permit, you will need:

– A completed and signed application form;

– Valid passport ;

– Two recent passport size photos (must be taken within six months);

– Letter of Confirmation from the designated educational institution that you have successfully completed your program of study. This letter must include the following: The date you completed your study program; and the length of time you were a full-time student in Canada.

– Original documents showing that you meet all Post Graduate Work Permit requirements.

– Application Processing fee of $255 CAD (that is $100 for open work permit and additional $155 to cover the cost of work permit processing. You can pay with Interac, Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. Alternatively, use the Post Office Money Order payable to “Citizenship and Immigration Canada”). See how to make school payments in Canada.

The entire Post Graduate Work Permit application process should take about three weeks. However, it is possible that some applications may require additional documentation and therefore the processing time could be longer.

Duration of Post Graduate Work Permit

The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is issued for a maximum of three years. Post Graduation Work Permits cannot exceed the length of study and are usually valid for eight months up to three years.

If your program was less than two years, Post Graduate Work Permit will be valid for the same length as your study period in Canada. If you successfully complete a Post-Graduate Degree (such as BSc, Masters, MA, MBA, or PhD), the Post Graduation Work Permit will be automatically extended for an additional 12 months so that you can find a job.

How to extend Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

In Canada, Post-Graduate Work Permit extension is possible if you were approved a lesser duration than you are eligible for, this happens for example when your passport expiry date is closer than your supposed PGWP duration. You can also apply for Post-graduate Work Permit extension if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and meet other criteria.

You must submit your application to extend Post Graduate Work Permit before your current permit expires.

Foreign graduates can apply for Post Graduation work permit extension simultaneously with their application to extend stay in Canada as a temporary worker in Canada.

Number of times to apply for PGWP

There is no limit on the number of times you can apply for Postgraduate Work Permit. However, you must meet all the requirements each time you apply.

How to immigrate to Canada with Post Graduate Work Permit

After working in Canada for a period of time, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class. This is a process that allows people who have been working in Canada as temporary residents to become permanent residents.

The Post Graduation Work experience program can help you gain the work experience needed to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class. For more information on how to immigrate to Canada with Post Graduate Work Permit, please check our CEC guide.

Can I work full time after applying for PGWP?

Most times – after you have applied for PGWP and received proof of application submission from IRCC, international graduates can take up a full time employment pending till their permit is issued.

How can I apply for TRV after PGWP?

There are two ways an international graduate can apply for TRV after PGWP.

Submit a separate application for TRV from within Canada; or apply while still in your home country and before coming to Canada (This is the recommended way for those without TRVs and applying from outside Canada).

What if I don’t get PGWP?

If you do not receive a PostGrad Work Permit, you can still apply for a work permit through the regular process. However, it is important to note that the PostGrad Work Permit is a much easier process to go through.

What is PGWP Processing time in 2022?

Processing time for Post Graduate Work Permit is usually between 60-120 days. According to IRCC updates, processing time for PGWP in 2022 is expected to be 30 days.

What is PGWP?

The Canadian Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is a work permit that allows international students to gain Canadian work experience after they graduate from an eligible Post Secondary School and may eventually lead to permanent residence. Once issued, it usually lasts for the same duration as your study program was, up to a maximum of three years.