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How To Apply For a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Updated: May 14

Since February 14, 2019, Canada has implemented new guidelines for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. If your application was refused under the previous guidelines, you can re-apply under the new February 14, 2019 guidelines.

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How To Apply For a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

What are the new policies? Are you eligible? This post answers the questions below!

Overview of Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

The Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is an open permit granted to international students who completed their studies from Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). This permit enables you to get skilled Canadian working experience. The IRCC classed the working experience in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as skill type 0, A, and B. Skill 0, A and B are similar to TEER 0, 1, and 2 which form part of the new classification to be implemented in late 2022. However, there are changes in the NOC codes and occupation levels. If you feel confused about the new NOC classification, you can consult our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who will answer all your burning questions! Gaining skilled work experience will make you eligible for the Express Entry classes. It will allow you to qualify for Permanent Residence in Canada through Express Entry.

However, you may have several concerns to prepare yourself for the PGWP procedure. Do not panic! We will answer all of them down below.

Are You Eligible For The PGWP Application?

You are eligible for the PGWP if you either hold a valid temporary status or have left Canada. Applicants need to show clear proof that they actually meet the four requirements that follow:

  1. They must have finished either a vocational, professional or academic program at a registered and eligible institute in Canada. The program must have lasted for at least 8 months and ended in the student obtaining either a degree, a diploma or a certificate.

  2. Students must have kept the status of full-time students in Canada for all their semesters during their academic program. Either that or their study programs that they have finished and submitted for their PGWP application.

There are, however, 2 exceptions to that:

1. When You Take A leave From Your Studies

This means that the immigration office will determine if you were following the conditions of your student permit.

It is only applicable when you have taken a leave from your studies. If the officer finds you -compliant, they could prohibit you from applying for a PGWP for a duration of 6 months.

This begins the day that you stop your unauthorized study or work.

2. During The Final Academic Session

This is the only time that you are allowed to have a part-time status and still be eligible for PGWP. Applicants must have received a formal letter and a transcript from the DLI. These will confirm that you have met the conditions to finish your program of study.

Please note that the 2 items mentioned above, i.e. the official letter and the transcript, should be submitted with the PGWP application.

Within a 180-day period starting on the day you applied, you must either:

  • have with them a valid study permit, or

  • had one previously, or

  • could study with no study permit

You can find more information regarding studying with no permit in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations in paragraph 188 Section 1.

You can, however, be ineligible for the PGWP if you:

*N.B: This does not apply to those who have received the Study in Canada Scholarship who are eligible for the PGWP.

Application Process

Here are a few things you should know about the application:

  • Graduates should apply within a period of 180 days. This period starts either the day that the institutions issue students’ final scores or provides the day the formal written notification of the program’s completion. It will be your responsibility to show the proof of the date when you received the transcript.

  • Applicants can apply for the PGWP while in Canada so long as they have a valid Study Permit

  • If someone's Study Permit were to become invalid before they were to apply for PGWP, they would have to


  • leave Canada and apply from overseas


  • Apply to restore one's status as a student by applying for a PGWP with a correct fee of $255 and paying a fee of $350 to restore their status as a student.

Tip: You can submit your application form "outside" of Canada while still being there.  You have to keep your status as a visitor until you get your actual work permit.

However, all applicants should submit All in-Canada visitor extensions, work permits or student permits electronically. However, there are exceptions and you can see them here.

Working after graduation before applying for PGWP

A student can work in Canada after having graduated from their program of study so long as their Study permit remains valid. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to work in Canada. So it would be the wisest thing to go apply for PGWP as soon as you get the necessary documents.

Using PGWP to immigrate to Canada

It is definitely possible to use the PGWP to immigrate to Canada. After you have received your PGWP, if you apply from outside of Canada and you need a visa, you will get a TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) that allows you to come to Canada.

On the other hand, if you are applying from outside of Canada and are from a country that does not require a visa, then you will receive an ETA (electronic travel authorization, with which you will be able to come to Canada.

You will be able to leave and re-enter Canada, if necessary, during the period of time when your work permit is valid so long as you are able to produce a TRV or ETA that is valid.

After staying in Canada for 2 years out of a period of 5, you will be able to apply for permanent residence.

After reading the post, you are now ready to start your applications. This is why Chitra & Associates are there to help you. We dedicate our time to helping you in the application process to immigrate to Canada. 

A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.


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