Post-study work permit in Canada for International Students

Canada has been attracting several overseas students for higher education in its top-class institutions. Not only that, but the country is also generating enough skilled jobs for such students to work in Canada right after graduation.

Canada allows foreign students from participating in Universities/Colleges to work temporarily in Canada on a post graduation work permit. However, a work permit after graduation is limited to students from certain participating Universities or colleges in Canada.  

Validity of post graduation work permit

The duration of a study course determines the validity of a post graduation work permit in Canada. It cannot be any longer than the full length of the study course. The following table summarises its validity criteria:

Less than 8 months Ineligible for post graduation work permit
More than 8 months but less than 2 years Work permit after graduation is valid up to the same length as the study program.
2 years or more Post graduation work permit is issued for 3 years.


Also, the work permit remains in force only until the passport remains valid. The post graduation work permit extension is only possible on the prior instructions from the immigration authorities.

Steps to apply for a Canada work permit after graduation

One has the convenience of applying for a post graduation work permit from inside Canada or even overseas. The following documents are necessary to apply for a Canada work permit after graduation.  

  • An official completion certification from participating institutions.
  • An official transcript, or copy of a transcript from the institution’s website.
  • Biometrics like fingerprints are required in some cases while applying.
  • A medical certificate from designated authority needs to be submitted.

An online application for a Post graduation work permit will have a processing time of about 96 days while the paper-mode application will take up to 121 days.

Furthermore, you can fill in this free assessment form to check your eligibility for pursuing higher studies in Canada. 

Scenario after applying for Post graduation work permit

It is illegal to work without a work permit in Canada. But it allows some applicants to work even while the application for a work permit is in progress. It happens only in cases when:

  • The applicant had submitted a valid study permit.
  • One had completed the study program and falls within that 180 days window.
  • If one had not utilized the allotted off-campus work hours while studying.

 Also, spouses or common-law partners are eligible for an open work permit on successful approval of post graduation work permit of the primary applicant.

Post graduation work permit checklist

The given summarised work permit checklist ensures the eligibility to apply for a post graduation work permit in Canada.

  • You must be on a Canada study permit as it gives an additional 180 days after the completion of the study course to apply for a post graduation work permit (PGWP).
  • The degree, diploma or certificate courses must be completed from participating institutions. 
  • Should have maintained a full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of the study program.


There is every possibility of post graduation work permit being rejected due to one or more reasons. Some of them are listed below: 

  • The applicants may have already received a post graduation work permit
  • The applicant would have undergone distance learning for a major duration of the study program.
  • The applicant would have got graduated from a non-Canadian institution located in Canada.
  • The applicants studied English or French as a second language and not primary.
  • Poor academic attendance record may lead to rejection of post graduation work permit in Canada.
  • Would have participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada.
  •  Also, taking self-improvement courses may lead to the rejection of post graduation work permit.


 However, in certain cases as listed below: 

  • If the applicant is able to prove merit by completing the study program in lesser time than the normal length of the program, one may be eligible to get a post graduation work permit.
  • While distance learning may lead to rejection of work permit, there may still be possible provided it does not consume more than 50% of the duration of your study program.


It is very well established that a post graduation work permit allows overseas students to gain valuable work experience in Canada right after the completion of the study program. Eventually, it may lead to foreign graduates eligible to apply for Permanent Resident Visa through Express Entry & Provincial Nominee Program streams in Canada. 

It is advised to visit an ICCRC certified Canada immigration consultant to avoid rejections of your Canada visa and hence quicken your immigration process to Canada.