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

Since February 14 2019, Canada has implemented new guidelines for the PGWP program. If your application was refused under the previous guidelines, you can re-apply under the new February 14 2019 guidelines.

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

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Overview of Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

The PGWP is an open permit granted to students who completed their study 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 forms part of the new classification to be implemented in late 2022. However, there are changes in the NOC codes and occupations levels. If you feel confused about the new NOC classification, you can consult our immigration advisors 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.

Colored post-it notes pinned on a gray wall -PGWP
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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 of 8 months and ended in the student obtaining either a degree, a diploma or certificate.
  2. Students must have kept the status of full-time student 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 non compliant, they could  prohibit you from applying for a PGWP for a duration of 6 months.

This begins the day that you stopped 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 to 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:

  • have previously gotten one as you can only get one PGWP in a lifetime
  • have received funds from the Global Affair Canada, also known as the GAC*
  • took part in the GAC-funded program called the GCAP (Government of Canada Awards Program)
  • have received the Chile-Canada scholarship, called the EOS (Equal Opportunity Scholarship)
  • have taken part in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • accomplished most of the credits toward finishing your study program by distance learning
  • finished a study program that was provided by a foreign institution located in Canada, irrespective of how long you stayed in Canada

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

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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 had 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 was 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

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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.

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Using PGWP to immigrate to Canada

It is definitely possible to use the PGWP to immigrate into 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 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 at Chitra and Associates are there to help you. We dedicate our time to help you in the application process to immigrate to Canada. 


Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program.
Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be outdated.
If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author. Please book a consultation if you would like to get answers to general immigration questions and advice specific to your situation.

About Chitra & Associates

Chitra & Associates Immigration Consultants Inc. is an Immigration Consulting company specialising in Canadian Immigration and Visa Services. We provide services in the area of Economic Immigration, permanent residency for Canada for Individuals, Business Immigration, work permits, visitor visas, study permits, and much more.

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