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Apply for a Post-Grad Work Permit

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

How to Apply for a Post Graduate Open Work Permit (PGWP)

International students who complete their studies and graduate from a Canadian education program may be eligible to obtain a work permit to stay and practice professionally in Canada. This work permit is referred to as a Post Graduate Open Work Permit or PGWP.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has created programs designed to retain international students by making available post graduate work permits that are valid for up to 3 years. Using this permit, an international student, upon graduation, can work for any Canadian employer without an employer specific job offer (LMIA). The Post Graduate Work Permit is LMIA exempt and falls under code C50. Keep in mind that this does not mean that you have a "valid" job offer where your express entry profile is concerned. In order to obtain 50 points towards your profile you must still have an LMIA supported job offer from a Canadian employer.

It is essential to plan for and to make full use of the PGWP opportunity since each international student is only eligible for this perk of studying once.

Eligibility To Obtain a Post Graduate Work Permit

To obtain a Post Graduate Open Work Permit (PGWP), the student must meet the following criteria:

  • The candidate must have completed studies in an academic, professional, or vocational training program.

  • The education program must be at least eight months long

  • The education program must be from an eligible institution from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI). See the list of DLIs here

  • The completed study program must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate

  • The candidate must have held every session of the academic program as a full-time student, except for the final session which may be part time.

  • There should be no gaps in the student's period of study except for minor exceptions involving leave from study or final academic session.

  • The candidate must have graduated from their program of study

  • The candidate must have an official letter, and a transcript from the eligible DLI for confirmation of the applicant’s requirements for the study program

If the student has achieved all of the above they may then apply for their Post Graduate Work Permit. Students have 180 days to apply for their work permit. During that time they should hold a valid study permit or have held a valid study permit.

Any work experience obtained in a national occupation code skill type 0, A or B will qualify as Canadian work experience and will improve the student's overall Express Entry Score, which may eventually lead to an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. This also opens up eligibility into the Canadian Experience Class of Express Entry. We recommend you keep this in mind while you are studying and are looking for work so that you are able to take full advantage of this extremely beneficial program.

If you require assistance with your work permit or would like to learn more about the Post Graduate Open Work Permit program, contact us at or visit


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help?

We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with an expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications.

Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.