Work in Canada after you graduate: After you apply

Processing time

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Processing time is the average for how long it takes from when an application is received to when we make a decision. Learn more about processing times.

Working while we process your application

You can work full-time until we make a decision on your work permit application if you

  • had a valid study permit when you submitted your application
  • completed your study program
  • were eligible to work off campus without a work permit while studying and you didn’t work more hours than you were allowed to

If these conditions apply to you and you need to prove to an employer that you’re eligible to work, provide them with a copy of all the required documents.

If these conditions don’t apply to you, you must wait until your work permit arrives to begin your new job. It’s illegal to work in Canada without authorization.

If we refuse your work permit, you must stop working the day we notify you.

Do you need to apply for a visitor visa or eTA, too?

If you apply from outside of Canada

We’ll issue you a new visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) when we approve your post graduation work permit application.

If you apply from inside Canada

If you need a visitor visa to enter Canada, we won’t issue you a new one when we approve your post‑graduation work permit application. You’ll need to apply for a new visitor visa separately, if your current one is expired and you want to travel outside of Canada.

If you need an eTA to enter Canada by plane, we’ll issue you one when we approve your post-graduation work permit application.

Travelling outside of Canada

If you’re in Canada and want to travel outside of Canada, you must have a valid visitor visa or eTA. If you don’t have a valid visitor visa or eTA when you return to Canada, you may not be let back into the country (even if you have a valid post-graduation work permit).

If you leave and re-enter Canada after applying for your post-graduation work permit, you can still work full-time while you wait for a decision. Leaving and re-entering Canada does not stop you from being able to work full-time while you wait.

Spouses or common-law partners

If we approve your application for a post-graduation work permit, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit. Answer a few questions to find out what kind of work permit they may be eligible for.

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