PGWP (Post Graduation Work Permit)

A Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is one of the categories of open work permits.

A Post Graduation Open Work Permit is given to international students who complete an eligible Canadian post-secondary program.

A PGWP is an open work permit so it allows the holder to work for any employer, for as many hours as they want, and anywhere in Canada.

This article will explain what PGWP is and how to apply for it.

What is PGWP

A Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

A PGWP helps international students obtain Canadian work experience that international graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class within Express Entry.

How long is a PGWP valid?

A PGWP is issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.

If the length of the study program is between 8 months to 2 years, the PGWP will be valid for the same length as the study program.

If the length of the study program is more than 2 years, the PGWP will be valid for 3 years.

Online Classes might not be eligible for PGWP

Because of the temporary COVID-19 policy, up to 100% of online studies from outside Canada were eligible for PGWP. However, this policy was lifted on August 31, 2022.

Now, to be eligible for a PGWP, you must complete at least 50% of your program in-class inside Canada.

Only the time spent studying inside Canada is counted for the length of the PGWP.

PGWP is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

You can obtain a PGWP only once in your lifetime.

So if you plan to take another program before working full-time, or if the program you finished is not eligible for a 3-year PGWP, it might be better not to apply for a PGWP.

You have to be strategic. A PGWP is a strong tool for obtaining Canadian permanent resident status.

Who is eligible for PGWP?

To be eligible for PGWP, you must meet all the requirements.

Requirements for the completed study program

You must finish a program at a public post-secondary institution or Canadian private institution that is authorized to award degrees under provincial law (for example, a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree).

In short, if the degree you are awarded is or higher than a Bachelor’s degree, your school can be any Canadian post-secondary institution.

If the degree is a certificate or diploma, the school must be a public post-secondary institution.

You can check if a school is eligible for PGWP with DLI (designated learning institutions) list website.

Maintained full-time status as a student

You must keep full-time student status for all the semesters of your study program. Usually, keeping full-time student status means taking at least 9 credits per semester.

Submit the application within 180 days of graduation

You must submit your application within 180 days of graduation.

The date of graduation is the date you receive an official letter from your school, final transcript, or degree or diploma, which comes earlier.

How to apply for a PGWP?

You can apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit from inside Canada or from another country.

If you apply from inside Canada, you have to have a valid study visa or another temporary resident status at the point of application.

Required documents for a PGWP application

The following documents are required:

  • An official graduation letter from your school
  • your final transcript

You can work while waiting for the decision

Great news!!

You can work legally in Canada full-time, for any employer while you are waiting for the decision on your PGWP application.

The application must be submitted before the expiry of your study permit.

Interim proof of work-Acknowledgement of receipt

When you submit your PGWP application, you will receive an auto-generated letter through your online account.

This letter allows you to work legally in Canada for up to 120 days.

Why is a PGWP a strong tool for immigration?

With a PGWP, you are allowed to work for any employer in Canada. So you can earn work experience that is valid for the immigration pathway you choose.

If your skill level is higher than the required skill level of the immigration pathway you chose, you can apply for permanent residence.

In most cases, the job offer must be full-time (more than 30 hours per week), permanent, and skill level TEER 3 or higher.

Use a PGWP strategically

As mentioned above, you can obtain a PGWP only once in your lifetime, so you must use it strategically.

The best strategy is that you identify what immigration pathway you are going to use when you apply for a post-secondary program.

However, there are more than 100 pathways to immigrate to Canada. Depending on your situation (age, work experience, education, etc), the best immigration pathway varies.

You should ask for a professional’s help.

Get Free Immigration Consultation


Canada Shaws Consulting will suggest options for schools and programs, job offers, and immigration pathways. We help you step by step until you immigrate to Canada.


A PGWP is a great tool to earn Canadian skilled work experience that leads you to immigrate to Canada.

Canada has confidence in its post-secondary education system. Graduates from PGWP eligible programs are considered great assets for the growth of the Canadian economy.

Please contact Canada Shaws Consulting. You can use LINE and WhatsApp to contact us.

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