What is a Post-Graduation Work Permit or PGWP?

The Post Graduation Work Permit or PGWP is a program by the Canada government, which allows international students who have graduated from eligible Canadian learning institutions to obtain valuable Canadian work experience. The training and experience gained through this program enable international students to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.

PGWP Eligibility Requirements

Applicants can only receive 1 Post-Graduation Work Permit in their lifetime. The first and most important requirement for a PGWP is that the applicant must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI).  Also, the applicant must currently hold a valid temporary status.

Students must also submit clear evidence that they meet all of the below-mentioned criteria:

  • The applicant is required to complete academic, vocational, or professional training at an eligible institution in Canada that lasts for a minimum of 8 months and results in a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • The applicant must 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 to the following: leave from studies or Final academic session.
  • The applicant must have received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that they have met the requirements to complete their study. The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.

Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

PGWPs can be extended depending on work permit eligibility.

 International student graduates who meet the eligibility requirements for work permits other than the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can maintain their legal status and continue working in Canada by applying for a different type of work permit before their PGWP expires.

You may be able to work full-time as your PGWP is processed. International student graduates who submit their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) application before their study permit expires are eligible to work full-time while their application is being processed. if:

  • The student has finished their course of study.
  • They meet the criteria for off-campus work without a work permit, which includes being enrolled as a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in a post-secondary academic, vocational, or professional training program for at least 8 months, resulting in a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • They stayed within the limits of the allowed working hours.

  Open Work Permit for a spouse or partner of PGWP holder

Spouses and common-law partners of PGWP holders will be eligible for open work permits under the C41 exemption. In order to be eligible for the work permit without proof of a job offer or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

  • Authorized to work in Canada for a minimum of 6 months after a spouse or common-law partner’s open work permit application is received
  • employed in a highly skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, B)
  • Currently living in or intending to live in Canada while being employed.

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