immigration canada

A Guide to the PGWP Program


Extend Your Post-Graduation Work Permit and Keep Working While Studying: A Guide to the PGWP Program

Are you a recent graduate in Canada wondering how to extend your stay and continue working?

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program could be the solution you’re looking for. This guide will walk you through the process and eligibility requirements

What is the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program?

The PGWP is an open work permit that allows eligible international graduates to work in Canada for up to three years. 

This program is designed to help graduates gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can be a crucial stepping stone towards permanent residency.

To be eligible for the PGWP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI), and the program itself should be on the list approved for Post-graduation work permit
  • Have completed a program of study that was at least eight months long.
  • Have maintained full-time student status in Canada during your program of study.
  • Apply for the PGWP within 180 days of receiving your final marks.
  • If you apply from Canada, you should maintain your current status (i.e. student status expires after 90 days after completion of studies despite the validity of the Study permit)

Steps to take:

  • Check your eligibility: Ensure you meet all the criteria mentioned above.
  • Gather your documents: You will need your official transcripts, a letter of completion from your DLI; proof of your current Study permit or other valid status if you apply in Canada.
  • Apply online: Submit your application through the official government website.
  • Processing time: The processing time for PGWP applications can vary.

Looking for future Employer During Your Studies

During your academic program, you can start preparation for your future employment.

  • Part-time work: Many employers offer part-time positions that can be flexible around your class schedule.
  • Co-op programs or internships: These programs provide valuable work experience while you’re studying and can often be credited towards your academic requirements.
  • Discuss with your employer: Talk to your employer about your educational goals and see if they can accommodate your schedule or offer you relevant opportunities.

Benefits of the PGWP Program

  • Gain Canadian work experience: The PGWP provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the Canadian job market, which can enhance your resume and improve your chances of securing permanent residency.
  • Explore different career paths: With an open work permit, you have the flexibility to work in any occupation or industry, allowing you to explore various career options.
  • Increase your earning potential: Working in Canada can significantly increase your earning potential compared to many other countries.
  • Pathway to permanent residency: Canadian work experience is a significant factor in many immigration programs, including the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and a majority of provincial nominee programs.

Important Considerations

  • Application deadlines: Ensure you apply for the PGWP within the 180-day window after receiving your final marks.
  • If you had interruptions during your program, or a period, when you studied part-time, prepare a comprehensive explanation of your study journey in Canada.
  • Program restrictions: The PGWP is a one-time opportunity, and you cannot apply for it again once it expires.