Work in Canada after you graduate: Who can apply

Eligibility

To get a post-graduation work permit, you must:

  • be 18 or older when you apply
  • have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a study program at least eight months long
  • have a document from your school (transcript, official letter, certificate, etc.) that confirms you completed and passed all your program requirements
  • have graduated from a:
    • public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec or
    • private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec) or
    • private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) or
    • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree) but only if you are enrolled in a study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province
  • apply for a work permit within 90 days of when it was confirmed that you completed your program and
  • have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.

You aren’t eligible to apply for a PGWP if you:

  • studied in a program that was less than eight months long
  • studied for more than eight months but not continuously (for example, you took a semester off)
  • took part in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • took part in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC
  • had funding from GAC
  • took part in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
  • took part in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
  • took part in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • completed the majority of a study program by distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
  • already had a post-graduation work permit following any other program of study.

Special cases

If you are in any of these groups, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit:

Accelerated programs

If you were enrolled in a study program that is normally eight months long but you finished in six months, you may be eligible.

Transfers between schools

If you transferred between designated learning institutions (DLIs), the combined length of your studies must have been at least eight months to be eligible.

Transferring from a school that is not a DLI to one that is: if you started studying at a school that wasn’t designated, and transferred and completed your program at a DLI, only the time studying at the DLI will be counted.

Studying part-time during the final academic session

If you meet all the requirements, but during your last academic session you studied part-time, you are still eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit.

Flight instructors

To be eligible, a flight instructor must:

  • have completed a flight training course at a Canadian training centre and now have a Canadian commercial pilot’s license or
  • have or be in the process of getting an instructor’s rating and a job offer as a flight instructor from a flight training centre.

Visit Transport Canada for a list of their regulated flight schools.

Graduates of certain Quebec schools

Quebec graduates of vocational and professional training programs must meet these conditions:

Institution

You must have graduated from a recognized:

  • public secondary school
  • private secondary school or a
  • private post-secondary school.

Learn about recognized schools in Quebec.

Degrees, diplomas and certificates

To be eligible, degrees, diplomas and certificates must be issued by the Quebec government. These include:

  • From public or private secondary schools
    • Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) (Diploma in Vocational Studies)
    • Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) (Attestation of Vocational Specialization)
  • From private post-secondary schools
    • Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC) (Diploma in College Studies)
    • Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) (Attestation of College Studies)

Program length

The program you attended and completed must have been full-time, and for at least eight months (or 900 hours).

Other requirements

You must:

  • hold a valid study permit or be allowed to study without a study permit and
  • be 18 or older when you apply

Supporting documents

You must include these documents with your PGWP application:

  • the certificate or official document that confirms you completed your program, or official transcript from a Quebec school board or recognized private school
  • an official letter from the school that confirms the length of the study program (in hours or months) and the program code

Restrictions

You aren’t eligible for a PGWP if you:

  • took distance learning programs or
  • have previously been issued a PGWP.
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