• Rising Phoenix Intl.

Beginner’s Guide to… the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

For international students who are approaching their highly-anticipated graduation, there is perhaps nothing more coveted than a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).

Recognized as the key to opening the doors of the Canadian labour market, the PGWP is a license that allows international students who graduate from eligible learning institutions to obtain valuable work experience in the country.

For students, the permit is an excellent way to practically apply the knowledge they acquire at their learning institution, all while gaining the work experience needed to qualify for permanent residence. Interested in applying? Rising Phoenix International has you covered with this advantageous guide to the basics of the PGWP.


According to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, to be eligible for the permit, international students must have:

  1. Completed their studies at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). A complete list of Canada’s DLIs can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

  2. Studied full-time during their stay in Canada.

  3. Graduated from a post-secondary institution (college, university, CEGEP, etc.)


As per Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the cost of applying for a PGWP is $255CAD. However, there may be additional fees involved, depending on the student’s status.


The length of the work permit is contingent on the length of the program.

  • If the program lasted for less than 8 months, then international students are NOT eligible for the PGWP.

  • If the program lasted for over 8 months but less than 2 years, students are given a PGWP that is valid for the same length as the program. For example, a 14-month program will result in a PGWP that is valid for 14 months.

  • If the program lasted for two years, international students are eligible for a PGWP that is valid for 3 years.


As explained on the CIC website, in their applications, students must include two very important documents; a transcript and an official letter from their learning institutions. These two documents certify that the applicant has graduated from the program, as well as fulfilled the institution’s learning requirements. Applicants must also demonstrate that they obtained a valid study permit, or that they were authorized to study in Canada without a study permit.

In most cases, international students must apply for a PGWP online on the official website of the Canadian government. This allows students to easily get updates on the status of their application.


After obtaining their final marks, students have 180 days (six months) to apply for the permit.


The CIC website makes it clear that students must ensure that their passports are valid for the entire length of the time they will be eligible for. If a student’s passport expires earlier, it is possible that the government will only issue a PGWP that is valid until the expiration of the passport.





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