How to work in Canada after graduation

Learn about working in Canada after graduation with a Post Graduation Work Permit (PSWP).

In this article:

What is a Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada?

The Canadian government offers Post Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) to international students to help them stay back and gain work experience after finishing their course. The length of your PGWP will mainly depend on the length of your course. 

If your course is:

  • More than eight months but less than two years – the length of your PGWP will be the same as your course length.
  • Two years or more – the length of your PGWP will be three years.

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for a PGWP in Canada?

  • You hold a valid Canadian student visa while applying for your PGWP.
  • You’ve successfully completed your course from a recognised Canadian institution. 
  • The length of your course is eight months or more.

When to apply for PGWP

You need to apply for your PSWP within 180 days after completing your course. You also need to submit official documents like university/college transcripts as proof. 

Who is exempt from applying for a PGWP?

You cannot apply for a PGWP if: 

  • You’ve already received a PGWP in the past.
  • You studied a self-improvement course.
  • You studied English/French as a second language.
  • You participated in any one of the following - Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada, Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program, Organization of American States Fellowships Program)
  • You studied in a non-Canadian institution located in Canada.
  • You took unauthorized leave from your course.
  • You did the majority of your education online through distance learning. 

How to apply for a Canadian PGWP

Step 1

Gather the following documents: 

  • A letter from your college/university confirming that you've completed your course.
  • Official transcript from your Designated Learning Institute. 

Your visa processing officer might also ask for additional documents if required.  

Step 2

Create an IRCC account on the Government of Canada website. 

Step 3

Fill out the Application to ‘Change condition, extend my stay or remain in Canada as a worker’. After completing the form, click on the validate button. 

Step 4

Attach a scanned copy of all the required documents.

Step 5

Pay the PSWP processing fee ($155) online using your credit card and complete your application process

What to do if your study permit expires before your final marks are given

You need to have a valid visa while applying for a PGWP. If you think that your study permit might expire before your university releases your final marks, you can do one of the following:

  • Apply to extend your student visa before it expires.
  • Apply for a visitor record.
  • Go back to your home country and apply online.