Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) is a program that allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit. This permit enables them to gain valuable Canadian work experience. The skilled Canadian work experience that is gained through the PGWPP should fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0 or skill level A or B. This experience helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.

Post-graduation work permit eligibility requirements

To obtain a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must currently hold valid temporary status or have left Canada. They must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI). They must also submit clear evidence that they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have completed an academic, vocational, or professional training program at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least eight months in duration, leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • They have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted as part of their post-graduation work permit application. Exceptions can be made only for the following:
    • Leave from studies
    • Final academic session
  • They have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their program of study.

Programs and courses from the following are eligible for PGWPs:

  • 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 (only applies to certain 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 only for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province.

Express Entry candidates should have a university or college degree, skilled work experience, and proficiency in English and/or French.

The easiest way to find out if you are eligible is to use our free online assessment tool.

  • Have at least one year, in the last ten years of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled occupation.
  • Be able to demonstrate on an approved language test a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) seven in either English or French
  • Completed post-secondary education that is assessed against Canadian standards with an Education Credential Assessment

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