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  • Writer's pictureHeather MacIntyre

Stay in Canada after Graduation with PGWP!

Are you graduating from college or university in Canada and looking for a way to stay and work? Consider the Post Graduation Open Work Permit (PGWP)!

Once in a lifetime opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience, or qualify for immigration!

Each year around half a million international students are educated in Canada, contributing billions to the Canadian economy. IRCC is keen to retain these talented individuals after graduation to help them enter the workforce and continue to grow the economy.

Take advantage of the opportunity to put your Canadian earned education and skills to practice! The Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) presents graduates from eligible programs at Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) the opportunity to work in Canada for up to 3 years!

To qualify for PGWP you must meet the eligibility requirements:

  • You completed a study program:

    • at a DLI

    • that was at least 8 months long, and

    • that led to a degree, diploma, or certificate

  • You were a full time student

  • You apply within 180 days of completing your studies

  • You have/had a study permit within 180 days of completing studies

Work in any job, location, or company - even be self-employed!

In comparison to other types of work permits, the PGWP does not require a job offer or Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). It is an 'open' work permit, meaning you can work in any job, location, or company - even be self-employed!

The PGWP can be issued for a period of 8 months, up to 3 years. The validity period coincides with the duration of studies. For example, an 8 month program of study will be issued a 8 month work permit. Programs of 2 years or longer will be issued a 3 year work permit.

You can only receive a PGWP once in your lifetime. So, make sure to start collecting your documents early. Applications for the PGWP must be made within 180 days of completing your studies. (Note that your graduation date and date of completion may be different).

Applications may be submitted from inside Canada, or from abroad. Accompanying family members may also qualify for work or study permits at the same time!

Apply within 180 days after completing your studies.

Due to the impact of Covid-19 on the delivery of post-secondary programs, many students could not travel to Canada in 2020 and 2021 and instead completed their studies online. Fortunately, IRCC recently announced an extension of the amount of time spent studying online that can still be counted toward the duration of PGWP. Currently, all of the time spent studying online from outside Canada between spring 2020 and August 31, 2022 counts toward the length of a PGWP. This means that within this period, you can complete 100% of your studies online and still qualify!

Having a PGWP can also help you qualify for Permanent Residence!

Having a PGWP can also help you qualify for Permanent Residence. If you gain one year of full time skilled work experience in Canada, you may become eligible for immigration via Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs!

Current Immigration is here to help you transition from student to worker. Reach out to us for more information about the PGWP, eligibility, and application process +1 437 747 6177 or

Remember to follow the current on social media for the latest IRCC updates, news, and announcements!

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