Post-graduation work permit applicants and travel

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 page details what post-graduation work permit holders need if they leave Canada and wish to return.

On this page

Temporary resident visas (TRVs) for post-graduation work permit applicants

The following applies to applicants from countries whose nationals require a visa:

  • For post-graduation work permit applications submitted from outside Canada, a TRV is issued upon approval of the post-graduation work permit.
  • For post-graduation work permit applications submitted from within Canada, a TRV is not issued upon approval of the application. The applicant must submit a separate TRV application if their TRV has expired, and they would like to travel outside Canada and return.

    Note: Applicants should not apply for a TRV until they have received their post-graduation work permit, as the TRV is issued only for the length of the applicant’s current status document or travel document, whichever has the earlier expiry date.

Electronic travel authorizations (eTAs) for post-graduation work permit applicants

eTAs for post-graduation work permit applicants from countries whose nationals do not require a visa are issued upon approval of the post-graduation work permit application. Clients who are eligible for an eTA through eTA expansion are also issued an eTA upon the issuance of the post-graduation work permit.

If an eTA is issued with a post-graduation work permit for an eTA expansion client, and the client holds a valid TRV, the officer should not cancel the existing TRV. Until it expires, the client can continue to use the TRV to travel to Canada by

  • air
  • land
  • sea

Note: An eTA should not be issued in the following cases:

  • The foreign national has an unenforced removal order.
  • The foreign national has been issued a work permit that “does not confer temporary resident status”.
  • The foreign national has overstayed their authorized period of stay.
  • The foreign national is a temporary resident permit holder.
  • The foreign national is inadmissible to Canada.

In all of the above cases, officers must cancel any valid eTAs, including those issued through the expansion of eTA.

Note: Post-graduation work permit holders from countries whose nationals are visa-exempt who received their post-graduation work permit before May 1, 2017, must submit a separate eTA application if their previous eTA has expired, and they would like to travel outside Canada and return by air during the validity of their post-graduation work permit.

Travel before a decision is made on a post-graduation work permit application

Post-graduation work permit applicants who leave and seek to re-enter Canada before a decision is made on their application must be in possession of either a valid

  • TRV, when they are from a country whose nationals require a visa
  • eTA, when they are from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt, and they are travelling to Canada by air

Applicants may also work in Canada while waiting for a decision on their post-graduation work permit application.

Travel for permit holders

Post-graduation work permit holders seeking to re-enter Canada from another country during the validity of their work permit must also be in possession of either a valid

  • TRV, when they are from a country whose nationals require a visa
  • eTA, when they are from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt, and they are travelling to Canada by air
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: