Work in Canada after you graduate: How to apply

You can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or overseas, as long as you meet the eligibility.

You have up to 180 days after you receive confirmation from your school that you’ve completed your study program to apply for a work permit. This confirmation could be a degree, diploma, transcript or official letter from your school.

If you plan on staying in Canada and your study permit will expire before you apply for a PGWP, you should change your status to a visitor. You have up to 90 days after your study permit expires to restore your status or you’ll have to leave the country.

Get your documents ready

Before you can apply for a PGWP, you’ll need:

  • an official letter from your school that confirms you’ve completed your study program
  • an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript from your school’s website

We may request other documents once we receive your application.

You need to give your biometrics

In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where biometrics fits in the application process.

How you can apply for a PGWP depends on where you’re applying from. In most cases, you must apply online for a post-graduation work permit.

If you need to extend or change the conditions on your PGWP

You must apply on paper if you’re extending or changing the conditions on your PGWP. You can only extend your PGWP if your passport expired earlier than your PGWP validity should have been. You may need to change the conditions on your PGWP if you need to provide an additional document, like a medical exam, after you already applied.

You can only extend a PGWP if we tell you to.

How applying online helps you

  • No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.
  • Your application may be processed more quickly.
  • It helps you make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • You can quickly submit more documents online (if we ask you to).
  • You get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.

Get the instructions

Answer a few questions to get your instructions.

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Apply online from outside Canada

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • biometrics

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

If you need to use any of these services, you’ll pay these fees directly to the third party.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

Step 5: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

  • pay your fees
  • submit your application
  • check your status
Create an account or sign in

Apply on paper from outside Canada

Step 1: Get the application package

The application package includes an instruction guide and all the forms you need.

Read the instruction guide before you complete your application. We won’t refund your application fee, so make sure you’re eligible for a PGWP before you apply.

Get the application package.

Step 2: Complete your application and attach your documents

Make sure you include all the documents we ask for. Your application may be delayed if information or documents are missing. The document checklist in the application package lists all the documents to include.

Answer all questions carefully, completely and truthfully.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

If you need to use any of these services, you’ll pay these fees directly to the third party.

Step 3: Pay your applications fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • biometrics

You’ll need to pay your fees online before you submit your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee. To do this:

  1. Go to pay your fees online.
  2. Select Temporary Residence for a list of fee options.
  3. Select both the work permit fee and the open work permit holder fee.
  4. Follow the instructions to complete your payment. Save a copy of your receipt to your computer.
  5. Print and attach a copy of your receipt to your completed application.

Our instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you and show you how to pay them.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you pay your application fees. If you don’t, you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

Step 4: Submit your application

Submit your completed application to the address given in the application package. Make sure you include the fee receipt and all the necessary documents.

Apply online from inside Canada

Applying online from inside Canada

In most cases you must apply online to get or extend a work permit from inside Canada. When you apply online, we get your application instantly, which can help us process your application faster. If you already applied on paper, you don’t have to resubmit your application online.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application.

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application. Make sure you pay both the open work permit holder fee and the work permit fee.

Step 5: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

  • pay your fees
  • submit your application
  • check your status
Create an account or sign in

If you can’t apply online

You can submit a paper if either:

What to do if you can’t apply online

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