All about Post Study Work Permit in Canada

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 9, 2022 16:37 IST

Latest update: New measures taken by the Canadian government regarding post-graduation work permit eligibility due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, many international students who want to pursue their higher studies in Canada may not be able to come to Canada to start their programs. Also, there are travel restrictions in many countries due to the pandemic because of which students cannot come to Canada to start their programs. Considering this, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada have introduced certain changes to the eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students who want to start their Canadian study program online from their home country.

Getting a Post-Graduation Work Permit while studying in Canada (PGWP Canada) depends a lot on your course and its duration. A work permit under the PGWP is usually issued for the length of the study program. The maximum length of the PGWP in Canada is of three years. It means if your post-graduate course’s duration is two years, you get a three-year PGWP visa. A post-graduation work permit cannot be valid for longer than the student’s study program. The course duration must be a minimum of eight months to get post graduate work permit in Canada.

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows international students who completed their higher education in Canada from designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit and remain and work in Canada. The post-graduation work permit in Canada allows students to stay there and gain work experience after completing their graduation. However, students must be graduated from a recognized Canadian institution. This gives students the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience. Gaining skilled Canadian work experience through PGWP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through Canadian experience class within Express Entry.

Graduating from a DLI does not mean that you are automatically eligible to get a PGWP. After getting your final marks, a candidate has 180 days to apply for a PGWP. Also, make sure your study permit does not expire before you get your final marks.

The PGWP allows international students graduating from a participating post-secondary college/university to gain Canadian work experience. In the long run, Canadian work experience gained through PGWP helps international graduates qualify for PR (permanent residence) in Canada through Express Entry.

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Eligibility criteria for PGWP

Here are some points to note while applying for a work permit after study in Canada:

  • You must have studied full time in Canada and your course duration should be at least eight months.
  • You must apply for a work permit within 180 days of completing your course. You must have written proof from the college/university indicating the same. For example, a transcript or an official letter.
  • You must have a valid student visa when you apply for the PGWP.

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Duration of Post graduate work permit (PGWP) Canada

If the official length of your program of study is:

  • Less than eight months: you are not eligible for the PGWP program
  • Less than two years but more than eight months: you will get a work permit for a period equal to your course duration
  • Two years or more: you will be granted a work permit three years

Changes introduced by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

  • International students can study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, and no time will be deducted from their post-graduation work permit, however, they need to complete 50% of their program of study in Canada.
  • International students who have enrolled in a program with a length 8 to 12 months starting from May to September 2020 can complete their entire program online from abroad and they are still eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Students enrolled in a program starting between May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and graduate from more than one program can combine the length of their programs while applying for a post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their studies must have been completed in Canada.

In order to be eligible for these newly announced measures, students must have submitted their study permit application before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or January 2021 semester.

Useful Links

Study in Canada

Top Universities in Canada

Canada Student Visa Guide

Student Guide to Canada

SDS: New Student Visa Program of Canada

SPP Colleges in Canada with Province and Cities

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio



Hi Puneet
Thanx for the insight. If I take up a course for an year, do I get study permit for 1 year plus 3 months? And during these last 3 months, when i get my transcripts, i can apply for work permit for another year. So, in effect, does it mean that total, I get to stay for 2 years and 3 months.

Reply to sameer vasishta

Also, before my work permit for 1 years finishes, can my employer sponsor me and give mean extension?

Hello i m enrolled in a 8 months straight course. Started from January - September. And i want to add another course. How i can olan my course to take if i want to have 3 yr work permit

Reply to rutvik parsania

Sir I have applied for 2 year pg course which is of 16 months duration without breaks, will I am be eligible for 3 year work permit after completing my studies.



Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Puneet, if you study for straight 16-months without any break then you will be eligible for a 16-month PGWP. The course need to have enough scheduled breaks to get a total length of up to two years if you want a three-year PGWP.




Hi i want to ask if I do mba from British Columbia can I move to torronto after completion of my degree and getting post study work permit

Reply to anmol


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Anmol, you can move anywhere in Canada during work permit.

If I take 3 sem program from 1 college and within the same college which program will give me 3 years work permit. 3sem or 2sem.
i.e. in 1st scenario there will be 20 months of study and in 2nd there will be 24months of study.And also how many months gap is allowed to enroll from 1to2nd course

Reply to Hitesh Sundriyal

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