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 the employer 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 also need to apply for a visitor visa or eTA?

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

Quarantine, COVID-19 testing and other requirements

Before you travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive.

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.

You need to use ArriveCAN

Use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada.

Make sure you’re using the newest version of ArriveCAN. If you previously submitted your information using an older version of ArriveCan, you must download the latest version and resubmit your information.

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a border services officer, who will make sure you meet some basic requirements. To enter you Canada, you must

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • be in good health
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
  • convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit and
  • have enough money for your stay. (The amount of money you will need can vary)
  • have valid results for an immigration medical exam (if you needed one)
    • Your exam is valid for 12 months from the day you get it.
    • The results must be valid on the day you enter Canada.
    • If your exam results will expire before you enter Canada, you must get another medical exam.
      • This applies even if your port of entry letter of introduction is still valid.
  • prove that you’ll leave Canada at the end of your stay

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 type of work permit they may be eligible for.

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