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Post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

Grads throwing graduation caps in the air.To work in Canada after you graduate, you must apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This is an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer and does not require you to first have an offer of employment. PGWP is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can’t get a PGWP if you already had one after completing an earlier program of study. Consult with your International Student Advisor about your options. 

If you are intending to apply for permanent residency after you graduate, most of the categories you are or would be eligible for would require you to maintain your temporary resident status in Canada. The PGWP is a way for you to do this while you apply for your permanent residency.

You can apply for a post-graduate work permit through your MyCIC account on the IRCC website. You can apply from inside Canada or overseas, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. To view eligibility requirements, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Applying for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

  • How long is PGWP valid?

    The length that a PGWP is valid for depends on the length of your study program. If your program was:

    Less than 8 months:

    You are not eligible.

    More than eight months but less than two years:

    A PGWP may be issued for the same length as your program of study. For example, if your program on your Offer of Admissions says you were enrolled in a nine-month program, we may give you a work permit for up to nine months

    Two years or more:

    A PGWP may be issued for three years

    If you completed more than one program: 

    You may be able to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program. For example, if the combined length of the programs is two years, you may be eligible for a three-year PGWP.

    You can find more information on PGWP duration on the IRCC website.
  • Who can apply for the PGWP?
    To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have:
    • Successfully completed a program of study that was at least 8 months long that led to a degree, diploma or certificate.
    • Maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program.
      • This doesn’t include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies.
    • Received a transcript and an official letter from the university confirming that you have met the requirements to complete their program of study.
    • Either hold or have held a valid study permit within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit.
    To review your eligibility requirements in detail, visit the IRCC website.
  • What documents are needed to apply?

    Make sure your letter includes the following:

    • University of Ontario Institute of Technology's Designated Learning Institution Number (DLI): O19315945002.
    • The duration of your program of study (e.g. two-year program, four-year program).
    • Indication that you have met all program requirements.
  • When can I apply?

    You become eligible once you have successfully completed your program of study. 

    Apply for your PGWP within 180 days of when you receive written confirmation (for example, formal written notification of graduation) from the university that you have met your program requirements.

    If you plan on staying in Canada and your study permit will expire before you apply for a PGWP, change your status to a visitor before it expires.

Frequently asked questions