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Post graduate Work Permit – All you need to know

  1. What is a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

The Post-Graduation Work Permit is a one-time Open Work Permit that allows international students to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. To be eligible, the student must have graduated from eligible Canadian Designated Learning institutions (DLIs).

With a post-graduation work permit, graduates can work full time or part time or be self-employed.

Students who have completed their program of study are allowed to work while they are waiting for a decision on their post-graduation work permit application, provided they meet all of the required criteria

2. What is the validity of the Post Graduation Work Permit?

The PGWP is issued based on the duration of the study program, usually, for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.

3. My Student Permit expired, and I returned to my Country after completion of my studies.  Would I still be able to apply for PGWP?

Yes, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit from overseas. However, you must apply for a PGWP within 180 days of obtaining written confirmation (e.g. official letter or transcript,) from the designated learning institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing their program of study.

4. How long does post graduate work permit take to process? And what is the application fee?

The current processing time for applications made from within Canada is 87 days for online and paper-based applications.

The application fee is as follows: PGWP: $255 CAN, Restoration of student status and PGWP: $605 CAN

5. Can I work while waiting for my post graduate work permit?

Yes, you do not need to wait until IRCC makes a decision on your work permit application. You can work full-time while waiting for a decision on your post-graduation work permit application if, at the time you submitted your application, you:

  • had a valid study permit,
  • had completed your program of study,
  • were eligible to work off-campus without a permit, and
  • did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions

If you leave and re-enter Canada after applying for your post-graduation work permit, you can still work full-time while you wait for a decision. Leaving and re-entering Canada does not stop you from being able to work full-time while you wait.

6. Are there any employment restrictions in PGWP?

No. since PGWP is an Open Work permit, it is not bound with any employment related restrictions. You are free to work with any employer and in any job profile.

7. My application for PGWP was rejected. Can I continue to work till I can figure out the next steps?

If your application for a post-graduation work permit is rejected or refused, you need to stop working as soon as IRCC notifies you of the decision. If you do not stop working, any future work or study permits may not be approved, and you may be asked to leave the country.

8. I am working full time and my employer is keen to retain me. Will having this job offer mean that I will get additional points in my Express Entry application?

 Not really. In most cases, in order to secure additional points, the job offer must be supported by a positive Labour Market Assessment (LMIA), obtained by the employer.

9. How can I extend my Post Graduate Work Permit?

You cannot extend your Post Graduate Work Permit. The PGWP is issued only once in a lifetime and cannot be extended under any circumstances. The only possible scenario where you would be allowed to extend it would be if your passport expires before the length of time you should be eligible for PGWP. In this case once you renew your passport, you may able to apply for extension till the full period for which you are eligible.

***Latest update***

Due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply for a one-time open work permit of up to 18 months if you apply online by July 27, 2021

To be eligible for this open work permit, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) expired on or after January 30, 2020, or will expire within 4 months from the date you apply for this open work permit.
  2. You were in Canada as of January 27, 2021, when the public policy took effect, and have stayed in Canada since then.
  3. You either have temporary resident status or lost your temporary resident status, but you’ve already applied to restore itor lost your temporary resident status, but you’ll apply to restore it at the same time as you apply for this open work permit.
  4. You include in your application that you’re applying for an open work permit under this public policy.
  5. You have a valid passport.

Refer IRCC website for more details.

10. I would like to settle permanently in Canada. As a PGWP holder, what are my options?

There are several programs offered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Provincial Governments. Each of the program has its own eligibility criteria and different application steps. If you are looking for options to live in Canada permanently, our team will evaluate your eligibility and will prepare customized strategy for you to achieve your immigration goals.   

Disclaimer : Information provided in this blog article cannot be deemed as legal advice.



July 5, 2020 Reply

This page is very helpful ! Thank you for putting this together.

July 5, 2020 Reply

Thank you Mark for the kind words!

July 22, 2020 Reply

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