Post-Graduate work permit PGWP
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Post Graduate Work Permit: Application, Processing Time, Extension

International students who have completed their studies in Canada can apply for Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a work permit that allows holders to work in Canada after graduating from a designated post-secondary school in Canada.

This article will discuss the eligibility criteria for PGWP, the PGWP application process, PGWP processing time, and PGWP extension.

Highlights of PGWP in Canada

  • 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 to three years.
  • The validity period for Post Graduate Work Permits cannot exceed the length of the 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 meet the eligibility criteria.
  • PGWP holders can apply for permanent residence 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, meaning the graduate does not need a job offer to apply.
  • A foreign graduate must submit a PGWP application within 90-180 days of receiving written confirmation from their school that they have completed their program requirements.

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 entitled to issue PGWP include academic programs of at least two years and vocational programs of at least one-year duration.
  • These schools have but are not limited to universities, colleges, and 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 show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family 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 a post-graduate work permit (PGWP)

To apply for Post Graduate Work Permit, you will need the following;

  • 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 completed your program (this letter must include 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 CAD 255 ($100 for an open work permit and an 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“). 

Note: See how to make school payments in Canada.

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

Duration of Post Graduate Work Permit

The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is issued for 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 were less than two years, Post Graduate Work Permit would be valid for the same length as your study period in Canada. However, suppose you complete a Post-Graduate Degree (BSc, Master’s, MA, MBA, or Ph.D.); in that case, the Post Graduation Work Permit will be automatically extended for an additional 12 months so that you can find a job.

Processing time for PGWP

The processing time for a post-graduate work visa could be between 80 and 180 days. As long as you applied before your student permit expires, you may work while you wait for your PGWP.

You have 180 days from the day you finish the program to submit your PGWP application after meeting all the requirements of your course of study. You can now apply for a PGWP from another nation if you graduate and leave Canada.

Formerly, PGWP applications could only be made from within Canada. Depending on the visa application center handling the application, additional papers may be required if a PGWP application is submitted outside Canada.

How to extend Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

In Canada, a Post-Graduate Work Permit extension is possible if you were approved for 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 a 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 your 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 their stay in Canada as temporary workers in Canada.

Number of times to apply for PGWP

There is no limit on how many times you can apply for a Post-graduate 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 some 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.


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, up to three years.

Can I work full-time after applying for PGWP?

Most times – after applying for PGWP and receiving proof of application submission from IRCC, international graduates can take up full-time employment until 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 recommended for those without TRVs to apply 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 essential to note that the PostGrad Work Permit is a much easier process.

What is the PGWP Processing time in 2023?

Post Graduate Work Permit processing time is usually between 60-120 days. However, according to IRCC updates, the processing time for PGWP in 2023 is expected to be 30 days.


A PGWP is a fantastic way to learn and see more of Canada. Such employment history is advantageous when PGWP holders later apply for immigration to Canada. Although we have covered all the essential details of this program, you are still welcome to ask us any questions about the program.

Students who began or will begin a program between spring 2022 and summer 2023 or previously enrolled in a program in March 2022 may be eligible for exemptions. A special circumstance can apply to students who took a sabbatical from their studies during their final academic session.

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