ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 390 - February 24, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

New Work Permit Access for Graduates of Recognized Public/Private Secondary Schools and Private Post-Secondary Institutions in Québec


Effective immediately, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) has been expanded to include international students who have graduated from:

  • Approved vocational and professional programs of eight months or longer at recognized public and private secondary institutions in Québec; AND
  • Approved vocational and professional programs of eight months or longer at recognized private post-secondary institutions in Québec.


In Québec, vocational and professional training programs can be delivered at the secondary or post-secondary level. Within Québec’s vocational and professional training system, the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) (Department of Education, Recreation and Sports) issues several types of credentials, depending on the program and level of studies. The eligible credentials are:

Public/Private Secondary

  • Diploma in Vocational Studies (DVS)(Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP))
  • Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS)(Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP))

Private Post-Secondary

  • Diploma in College Studies (DCS) – (Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC))
  • Attestation of College Studies (ACS) – (Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC))

NOTE: To be eligible for a work permit (WP), the completed DVS, AVS, DSC, ACS program of study must be a minimum of eight months in duration OR 900 hours in length. Officers should note the credential may only be available in French.


All of the general eligibility criteria, conditions of the WP and processing procedures for the PGWPP will continue to apply in conjunction with the following guidelines:

A) Eligible Applicants

Applicants wishing to obtain a WP under the expanded program guidelines must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Must have attended and completed a fulltime vocational or professional training program in a eligible institution in Québec (See “Eligible Institutions” for details);
  • Must have been in a program of study that was a minimum of 900 hours in length (equivalent to eight months);
  • Must have included the credential, OR an official attestation of program completion, OR official transcript from a Quebec school board or private institution recognized by MELS in support of the WP application;
  • Must have furnished an official letter from the institution outlining the duration of the program of study (in hours or months) and the program code to facilitate the processing and issuance of WPs, and to ensure accurate duration of work authorization;
  • Must hold a valid study permit (SP) or be authorized to study without a SP under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and regulations, at the time of application;
  • Must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application; and
  • Must meet all other requirements under the IRPA and regulations.

B) Eligible Institutions

For public or private secondary schools:

  • Consult: Info-Route.
  • Website is operated by the MELS and Compétences Québec and available in both English/French.
  • Can be used to validate schools, programs, length in hours, and resulting credential.

For private, post-secondary schools:

  • Consult: Liste des programmes autorisés par établissement, sections privés subventionnés and privés sous permis.
  • Website operated by the MELS and available in French only.
  • Can be used to validate schools, programs, length in hours, and resulting credential.

C) Transfer between Institutions

Eligible applicants who have changed institutions during their training program must have a combined total of at least 900 hours (equivalent to eight months) of courses at eligible institutions located in Québec.

D) Restrictions

The following graduates are not eligible for a WP under this expansion of the PGWPP:

  • Those who undertook distance learning programs;
  • Those who have previously been issued a PGWP; and
  • All other standard restrictions applicable to the PGWPP.

E) Steps to Work Permit Issuance

  • Consult section 5.24 of Overseas Processing (OP) 12 Students Manual.
  • Use labour market opinion exemption code C-43.
  • Verify the eligibility of applicants pursuant to existing procedures to ensure that they meet the requirements of the expanded criteria, and the broader PGWPP.
  • To verify the eligibility of the institution and program of study by:
    1. Visit the websites: Info-Route OR Liste des programmes autorisés par établissement, sections privés subventionnés and privés sous permis, as applicable.
    2. Find the institution and the program of study that the applicant completed.
    3. Validate the program’s code, authorized status, duration (900 hours minimum), and credential (DVS, AVS, DSC or ACS).
    4. Issue an open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination requirements, if applicable) work to eligible applicants.

F) Validity and Duration

A WP issued under this expansion, like any other issued under the PGWPP, may be valid up to a maximum of three years depending on the duration of the program of study. For example:

  1. An eligible 900 hour program of study would correspond to an eight month WP;
  2. An eligible 1,350 hour program of study would correspond to a 12 month WP; and
  3. An eligible 1,800 hour program of study would correspond to a 3 year WP (as per the PGWP policy that completion of a two+ year program of study results in eligibility for a three year WP).

Note: Each additional 112 hours of an authorized program of study – above the 900 hour minimum – provides the applicant with an additional one (1) month of WP access. For example, a 1,000 hour program would result in the issuance of a 9 month WP (i.e., 1,000/112 = 8.9 months). Officers should round up to the next full month.

G) Pending Applications

Applications received prior to the finalization of these changes, but not yet processed, may be processed and approved if all of the above conditions and criteria are met.

H) Further Information

For additional information relating to the PGWPP, please refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at

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