Study Destination

Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada: How to Obtain Work Permit in Canada After Masters?

Yocket Editorial Team

Canada is one of those countries that offer a favorable post study stay back option which is definitely good news for international students. In fact the education system of Canada encourages students to apply for jobs and remain in the country after graduation which is facilitated by the post study work visa Canada. With a PGWP in Canada, you will have the opportunity to stay back up to 3 years and further extend it to permanent residence status. The world-class quality of education that Canada offers paves the way for good jobs, better pay and a high standard of living. So if you are a graduate from a Canadian institution and planning to apply for a work permit after study in Canada then this blog will help you with all the information you need to get started.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why Apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada?
  2. Types of Work Permit in Canada
  3. What is Post Graduation Work Permit Canada and Who is Eligibility for It?
  4. How to Apply for PGWP in Canada?
  5. Validity & Processing Time of Post Graduation Work Permit Canada
  6. COVID-19 Update on PGWP

Why Apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada?

Before we get into the details of what is PGWP, Canada stay back period, types of work permit, etc., let us understand why do international students apply for a post study work visa Canada:

  • Canada is featured by a low rate of unemploymentaround 6% only which makes it an ideal place for job seekers and graduates entering the job market.
  • There is no limit to growth when you are in Canada- one of the top economies in the world. The country has a wide scope in multiple fields such as Engineering, Business, Healthcare, Education that will help you advance your professional goals.
  • Canada is home to several top companiesthat offer lucrative packages such as Cisco Systems, Google, Microsoft, Nike, FedEx, GlaxoSmithKline, Sephora, Intel, etc.
  • One of the major advantages of applying for a PGWP Canada is that it opens doors to permanent residency.
  • PGWP in Canada is a great way to obtainvaluable work experience and apply classroom knowledge to real world situations.

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Let us take a look at the types of work permits that you may need to work in Canada.


Types of Work Permit in Canada

Work permits allow international students live and work in Canada and the two types of work permit in Canada after masters are:

  • Employer-Specific Work Permits
  • Open Work Permits

Employer-Specific Work Permits

With this type of work permit, you will be allowed to work according to the conditions already predefined on your work permit including:

  • Name of your employer
  • How long you can work for
  • Location where you can work

In case of such permits, a foreign national is only allowed to work with the specific employer and in one position.

Open Work Permits

This work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada except employers who are listed as ineligible due to failure to comply with the conditions or whose services include striptease, erotic dance, erotic services or erotic massages.

An international student who has graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) and is eligible for the work permit in Canada after masters can opt for a Open Work Permit. The PGWP is an example of an open work permit.  

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What is Post Graduation Work Permit Canada and Who is Eligibility for It?

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) allows you to live and work full-time in Canada after graduating from a designated learning institution (DLI) with a certificate, diploma or degree. It thus grants you permission to work anywhere in Canada in any occupation of your choice, even the ones unrelated to your program of study. An applicant can receive  only one Work permit in Canada in their lifetime after completing their  study in Canada. 

You don’t need a job offer to apply for a PGWP in Canada but you need to fulfill certain conditions. To be eligible for post graduation work permit Canada, students must have:

  • Applied within up to 180 daysafter receiving their  degree or diploma, transcript or official letter from school
  • Graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) which includes:
    • a public post-secondary institution which may include a college or university, trade or technical institution or CEGEP (in Quebec).
    • a private post-secondary institution in Quebec that operates similar to public institutions in Quebec.
    • a private/ public secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec with a qualifying program of 900 hours or longer which leads to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS) that can be less than 900 hours if combined with a DVS.
    • a Canadian private institution that is authorized to award Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degrees under provincial law.
  • Completed an academic, vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution that is at least 8 monthsin duration and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Maintainedfull-time student status while studying in Canada during each academic session of the program.
  • Received a transcriptand an official letter from the DLI confirming that you have fulfilled the program requirements.

Applying for PWGP from outside Canada:

International students can apply for a PGWP from outside Canada as well.  If you go back to your home country after completing your studies you can still apply for a work permit from your home country or any other country.In such cases, additional documents may be requested depending on the visa office that processes the application.


Special Eligibility Cases:

In certain special situations, students may be eligible for a PGWP even when they do not fulfill the conditions above. These include:

  • If they have completed a  study program in less time than the normal length of the program
  • Students have an authorized leave from the study program
  • Students get transferred from a non- DLI to a DLI and the total time spent at the DLI is at least 8 months.
  • If the study program has an overseas component but the students earn a credit from a Canadian school.


How to Apply for PGWP in Canada?

Applications to apply for a PGWP in Canada can be submitted online as well as offline.

Take a look at the general steps to be followed:

  1. Visit the official Government of Canada immigration and citizenship website.
  2. Create a new account and select the type of work permit that you want to apply for.
  3. Complete and submit the form by filling in correct information.
  4. Provide biometric details and pay the application and biometric fees.
  5. Prepare and attach the documents mentioned in the next section.
  6. You may have to appear for an interview with the officials and provide any additional information asked for.

On approval of your work permit, you will get a letter which will allow you to work in Canada.  If you are outside Canada when applying for a work permit you will have to show this letter to the officials to get your work permit.


Documents Required to Apply for PGWP in Canada

Here’s a checklist of PGWP Canada requirements to complete the application process:

  • Proof of identity such as a valid passport or travel document that guarantees you re-entry to the issuing country.
  • Two recent photographs of yourself and accompanying family members to fulfill the visa application photograph specification.
  • Proof of employment showing that you are eligible for the job.
  • Proof showing that you have completed your program of study which may include final transcript and a supporting letter from the institution or notice of graduation.
  • A copy of Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) if you plan to work in Quebec.
  • Proof of relationship for accompanying family members such as birth certificate, marriage certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409) depending on the situation.
  • Documents that are not issued in English or French must be accompanied with an English or French translation and a certified copy of the original document.
  • Appear to provide biometric information such as your fingerprints and photograph at a biometric collection service point.

It is advisable to be prepared to present any additional documents asked by the responsible visa officer.

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You are allowed to work full-time until your PWGP application is processed if you have one of the following:

  • A valid study permit and have applied for a PGWP Canada within the first 90 days after your Letter of Completion became available.
  • Completed your program of study.
  • Were eligible to work off campus without a work permit while studying in Canada.
  • You didn’t work more than 20 hours during academic sessions.


Validity & Processing Time of Post Graduation Work Permit Canada

You might be wondering how long is a post graduation work permit in Canada valid? Well, it depends on the duration of your study program. We have discussed the validity of your work permit after study in Canada:

  • If you were enrolled in a program that was at least 8 months but less than 2 years, your PGWP will be valid for the same length as your study program. For example, a work permit after 1 year study in Canada will be valid for 1 year.
  • Your work permit after 2 year study in Canada will be valid for 3 years.
  • If you have completed more than 1 program, your PGWP will combine the length of each program provided that they meet the PGWP eligibility and is at least 8 months in length.

The PGWP Canada processing time is around 108 days for paper as well as online applications.


What To Do If Passport Expires before PGWP?

One important thing to be kept in mind when applying for a PGWP in Canada is to have your passport valid for the entire duration of your PGWP. But what to do if your passport expires before PGWP? In such cases:

  1. You will be issued a PGWP that’s valid only until your passport expires.
  2. You will be told by the immigration authorities if your passport needs to be extended for full validity.


COVID-19 Update on PGWP

During these times of COVID-19 you must know about the changes on the post graduation work permit in Canada and how it may impact you. If you are currently a student in Canada who has graduated from a PGWP-eligible program but your classes were moved online, put on hold or made part-time because of the pandemic during the winter, spring or summer semesters in 2020, then you will still meet the PGWP Canada eligibility.

Canada is well-known for being culturally and linguistically diverse and providing equal opportunities when it comes to jobs. Top-ranked institutions in Canada promise high graduate employability rates which make it easier for students to secure job offers and unlock a bright future. Make the most of your time with a PGWP in Canada and plan your path for permanent residence in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions about Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada

Can I get a PGWP in Canada more than once?

What is the PGWP Canada duration?

When can I apply for a post graduation work permit in Canada?

What is the application fee for a PGWP in Canada?

When can I get a 2 year work permit Canada?

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