A Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is an open work permit granted to international students who graduate from eligible Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). With the open work permit students can gain Canadian experience in skill type 0, A or B as defined by IRCC’s National Occupational Classification (NOC). After that candidates can apply for Canada’s Permanent Residency.
Due to the frequent changes in the PGWP program, there are many misconceptions and rumors about the Post Graduate work permit. Hence, we have made a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about the Post Graduate Work Permit.
1. How to be eligible for a PGWP?
To be eligible for PGWP, a person must be/have the following:
- 18 years or older;
- A graduate from a DLI affiliated college and studied full-time in Canada for at least 8 months.
- A valid document from your school (transcript, official letter, certificate, etc.) that confirms you passed all your program requirements in a Canadian college;
- Graduated from a:
- Public or private post-secondary school (including Quebec)
- Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
- Applied for a work permit within 180 days of when it was confirmed that you completed your program; and
- A valid study permit at some point during the 180 days before applying.
2. Who is not eligible for a PGWP?
- Studied in a program that was less than eight months long;
- Was a part in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC);
- Had funding from GAC;
- Participated in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship;
- Completed a study program by distance learning either from abroad or from within Canada; and/or
- Already were a PGWP holder by completing another program of study.
- Studied at a non-designated learning institute in Canada
3. How long is a PGWP valid for?
- Less than 8 months – Not Eligible
- More than one program less than 2 years – PGWP applicable upto the combined length of the program
- More than 2 years – PGWP applicable for upto 3 years
4. When can an application be submitted?
- Passed study program
- Have received a notification of eligibility
- Has a transcript or official letter
- submitted application within 180 days
5. How is the application for a PGWP submitted?
A PGWP application can be submitted online or by mail to IRCC.
6. What is the processing time for an application for a PGWP?
7. What are the application fees?
8. What educational credentials are eligible for the PGWP program? What type of post-secondary institutions are recognized for the program?
They should hold a diploma/ degree from the following type of educational institutions:
- A public post-secondary institution
- A private post-secondary institution
- A private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec
- A Canadian, private institution authorized by provincial statute
9. What documents are required for the application?
A PGWP applicant should refer to the document checklist provided by IRCC.
10. Does a graduate with a PGWP have to remain in Canada?
No. A student can apply for the PGWP both inside and outside Canada.
11. Can a PGWP be renewed?
No, PGWP cannot be renewed. When a PGWP is about to expire, the holder must apply for a different permit or visa if he or she wishes to continue working in Canada.
12. If a candidate obtained a PGWP on the basis of a previous degree, and then he or she completes another degree in Canada, can he or she apply for another PGWP?
Individuals can receive only one PGWP, irrespective of any number of Canadian diplomas, degrees or certificates they obtain.
13. Does the holder of a PGWP have to hold a skilled job?
There is no specification on where you can work once you are in your PGWP.
14. Can a candidate submit an application for permanent residence while applying for a PGWP?
15. If a candidate studied part-time in his or her last semester only, can he or she still apply for a PGWP?
In some cases, a student at the end of his or her degree may only have one or two courses remaining in his or her program. And therefore will study part-time in the final semester to fulfill the credit requirements of a study program. In this situation, a student is not considered to have failed the requirement to study full-time and his or her eligibility for the PGWP is not affected.
16. If a student transfers to a Canadian institution from another country, can he or she still obtain a PGWP after graduation from a Canadian institution?
In such a scenario, the PGWP may only be issued for a period which equals the study duration in Canada.
17. Can an accompanying spouse or common-law partner be included on the application for PGWP?
If the spouse wishes to obtain an open work permit, he or she must submit a separate application.
18. Can children be included in the application?
Children can also apply for a visitor record or a study permit at the same time the graduate applies for a PGWP. Additional fees and documents are required.
19. If accompanying family members were included in the study permit, can they remain in Canada for the duration of the graduate’s PGWP?
The family members need to submit an application for an appropriate permit in order to remain in Canada with the holder of the PGWP.
20. Is the PGWP available to international graduates of educational institutions in Quebec?
The same eligibility criteria applies to international graduates of Quebec institutions. The PGWP program recognizes programs unique to Quebec education system, as long as the program completed is at least 900 hours in length (which is the equivalent to 8 months).
21. After submitting an application for a PGWP, can I travel outside Canada and come back with my student permit?
A study or work permit is not a visa and doesn’t allow you to travel back to Canada. If your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or eTA is still valid and your study permit has not expired you may be able to return to Canada.
22. Does a distance learning program qualify for a PGWP?
If you complete a study program by distance learning either from abroad or from within Canada, you are considered ineligible for the PGWP.
23. What is a bridging open work permit?
A bridging open work permit (BOWP) lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application.
24. Can my PGWP remain valid if my passport expires?
PGWPs are only valid for up to the expiry date of a passport. It is always a good practice to extend your passport expiry date before applying for PGWP if you’re expecting the PGWP which will be granted to you to be longer than the duration of your passport expiry.
25. When must my PGWP application be submitted?
It is important to apply for PGWP within 180 days of receiving a written confirmation that you have completed the requirements of your study program.
26. What is implied status? How does that impact my PGWP application?
It is when a student or worker applies to extend their status before it expires, so that they can stay in Canada until a decision is made on a new permit application.
If you have applied for a work permit extension before your work permit expired, you can keep working until a decision is made on your application.
You must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of your original work permit.
27. If I'm doing two consecutive one year courses, how much gap is permissible?
In some scenarios it may be possible to take an authorized leave of up to 150 days from your study program and still meet the conditions of your study permit.