Validity of the PGWPA post-graduation work permit may be issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years. When determining the length of a post-graduation work permit, officers may consider the duration of the program of study in Canada and confirm it with supporting documents. Regularly scheduled breaks (for example, scheduled winter and summer breaks) should be included in the time accumulated toward the length of the post-graduation work permit. Distance learning can be considered online learning. Students who complete a program of study exclusively by distance learning (outside or within Canada) are not eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
- If more than 50% of the program of study’s total courses are completed by distance learning, the program may reasonably be considered a distance-learning program, and the applicant is ineligible for a post-graduation work permit.
- If less than 50% of the program of study’s total courses are completed by distance learning, a post-graduation work permit may be issued. The validity should be based on the length of the program, as confirmed by the eligible DLI, including credits earned from both in-class and distance-learning courses.
EligibilitiesTo be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must have:
- Completed studies in an academic, vocational or professional training program that is at least eight months long at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List.
- Study program must lead to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- Held full-time student status in Canada during every academic session of the program or programs of study completed and included as part of their post-graduation work permit application;
- Note: Canada has waived this requirement during the coronavirus pandemic for certain international students. Exemptions may apply to those who have begun or will begin a program between spring 2020 and summer 2022, or those whose program was already in progress in March 2020. In addition, exceptions may apply for those who took a leave from their studies in their final academic session.
- Received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study;
- The transcript and official letter must be included in a post-graduation work permit application.
- Graduated from:
- a public post-secondary institution, such as
- a college
- a trade or technical school
- a university
- CEGEP (in Quebec)
- a private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec;
- a private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer and results in the issuance of a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP); or
- Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree) but only if the student was enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.
PGWP Application deadlineThe deadline to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit is within 180 days (six months) of obtaining a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study have been met. If the study permit is set to expire before the marks have come in, candidates have two options:
- apply for a visitor record to stay in Canada longer; or
- leave Canada and apply for the PGWP