Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility requirements

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.

Applicants can receive only 1 post-graduation work permit in their lifetime.

To obtain a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must currently hold valid temporary status or have left Canada. They must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI). They must also submit clear evidence that they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have completed an academic, vocational or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least 8 months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • They have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application. Exceptions can be made only for the following:
  • They have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their program of study.

    Note: The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.

Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • They hold a valid study permit.
  • They held a study permit.
  • They were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

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Ineligible applicants

Students are ineligible if they

  • have previously been issued a post-graduation work permit
  • received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC
  • obtained the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada–Chile
  • participated in the Canada–China Scholars’ Exchange Program
  • participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • completed the majority of the credits toward the completion of their program of study by distance learning
  • completed a program of study delivered by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada, regardless of their length of stay in Canada

Supporting documents

The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the information provided is accurate.

Letter confirming completion of the program of study

The letter confirming completion of the program of study is used to assess the requirements referred to above. Officers may request additional documents to complete the assessment of the application.

Transcript

The applicant may provide an official transcript issued by their DLI if available. Alternatively, the applicant may also provide a transcript copy from their DLI’s website. The transcript, along with the letter of completion of studies, is used to assess the requirements referred to above. Officers may request additional documents to complete the assessment of the application.

Leave from studies

If the applicant remained in Canada while a student and took leave from their studies during their program, the officer must determine if the applicant was compliant with the conditions of their study permit, as outlined in Assessing study permit conditions. Officers may request additional documents to complete their assessment. Per paragraph R220.1(1)(b), students must

  • be enrolled at a DLI
  • remain enrolled
  • be actively pursuing their course or program of study

If the officer determines that the student actively pursued studies during their leave, the student may still be eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

If it is determined that the student has not met the conditions of their study permit, they may be banned from applying for a post-graduation work permit for 6 months from the date they stopped their unauthorized study or work, per subparagraph R200(3)(e)(i).

For information about labour disruptions and strikes, see Applicants impacted by a designated learning institution (DLI) strike.

Part-time status for final academic session

Students must maintain their full-time student status during each academic session of the program or programs of study they complete and submit as part of their post-graduation work permit application. However, if a student meets all the eligibility requirements, with the exception of full-time status during their final academic session (that is, they have part-time status only in their final academic session), they are still considered eligible for the PGWPP.

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