Postgraduate Work Permit

6 minute read
Postgraduate Work Permit

A postgraduate work permit allows students to work in Canada and gain valuable work experience after completing their undergraduate degree from a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI). Students are allowed to work even while waiting for the decision on their work permit. After completing their graduation the students can apply for Postgraduate Work Permit that allows them to work in Canada for up to three years. Gaining work experience from your postgraduate work permit might also help in boosting your application when applying for permanent residency (PR).  

Important Guidelines for Postgraduate Work Permit

While applying for your postgraduate work permit, a student must consider the following points:

  • You should stay updated with the latest immigration rules and regulations which can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) website.
  • One should keep records of the location by keeping the receipts to track the process. 
  • Students should check the criteria and terms for a “full-time student” including the no. of courses per semester and if possible should ask for an official statement from their university
  • Applying for a work permit can be a complex process and would take days to be completed. After completing their graduation a student has a period of 180 days to apply for the Postgraduate work permit (PGWP) and must submit the required documents including their degree certificate, transcripts, and an official letter from their university to make an application for PGWP

Validity and Application

A postgraduate work permit is quite flexible that allows students to work either full-time, part-time or self-employed. A PGWP can be issued to students to spend the length of the degree program. The range of a postgraduate work permit ranges from a minimum of 8 months to a maximum of 3 years. The validity of a postgraduate work permit should not exceed the validity of a student’s passport validity. However, if in case it does, the officer must record this in the “Notes” box of the Global Case Management System. Then the applicant can apply for an extension of their postgraduate work permit after the renewal of their passport.  

A student must apply for their post-graduate work permit within 180 days of the completion of their undergraduate degree. An applicant can apply for a PGWP from within Canada if the study permit is still valid.  If the study permit is not valid at that period, a student will have to leave Canada and apply for a work permit from overseas. A student should apply to restore their status as a student by applying to a PGWP with the correct fees of CND 225 or INR 13,407 and paying the fees of CND 350 or INR 20,855 to restore the status as a student.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant can have only one postgraduate work permit throughout their life. To obtain the PGWP a student must meet all the following requirements:

  • A student must have completed or graduated in an academic, vocational, or training program having a minimum study duration of 8 months from the designated learning institution of Canada
  • A student should have maintained the status of a “full-time” student throughout their academic program
  • It is necessary to have the required documents including the transcripts of their study program and the official letter from the university stating that the student has met all the requirements. 

Eligible Designated Learning Institutions

Applying for a postgraduate work permit is allowed for only certain courses and institutions which does not include a program in English as a second language or French as a second language course, a general or self-improvement course, and a course or program from a private career college.  

The applicant must provide proof that he/she has completed a study program in Canada in one of the following eligible DLIs:

  • It must be a public post-secondary institution like a college, a trade or technical school, or a university.
  • A private institution operating under the same rules and regulations as a public institution in Quebec
  • A private, public secondary, or post-secondary institution in Quebec that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or more
  • A provincial statute authorized private institutes of Canada that confers degree including an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, or a doctoral degree but only for programs leading to a degree.

Post Study Work Permit in USA

The USA is among the most popular study-abroad destination. It is desired for most students to stay longer and pursue their professional careers. The USA offers a chance for students to kick-start their global careers. To apply for a work permit in the USA, first, one will need to have an F1 VISA issued. This allows you to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a VISA extension for a year after the course completion.

Requirements for USA Work Permit

To obtain a post-study work permit in the USA you must first apply to have your F1 VISA which allows you to apply for an OPT VISA extension. To successfully apply for your F1 VISA you must meet the following requirements:

  • Before applying to your desired school, college, university, or institution, you must check to ensure that the institution has the approval of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • You must have enrolled as a full-time student in your specific course or degree
  • You must provide evidence of your English language proficiency via a proficiency test including IELTS, TOEFL
  • You will have to show proof of funds to support their education and living expenses in the USA


Q. What is the paying fee to restore student status in the study permit?

A student can apply to restore status as a student by applying for a postgraduate work permit with a correct fee of 225 CND or INR 13,407 and paying the fees of 350 CND or INR 20,855.

Q. When can I apply for my postgraduate work permit in Canada?

A student must apply for a postgraduate work permit within 180 days of the completion of their undergraduate degree or program.

Q. What is the validity of a work permit?

A postgraduate work permit is valid for a maximum of three years.

 Q. How many times can I apply for a Postgraduate work permit?

You can apply only once for your postgraduate work permit. You must strategically plan before applying for your PGWP if you wish to take another program in the continuation of your current course or if you are considering taking a longer degree program in Canada. PGWP is valid for a maximum of 3 years.

Q. Can I work after my graduation before applying for the PGWP?

You can legally work in Canada before applying for the work permit if your study permit is still within its validity period. You may not need a Canadian work permit while waiting for the decision on your PGWP application. And if your study permit has expired, you can restore your status and apply for the PGWP if it has been 90 days or less since you have been out of status. 

Q. Q. How long does it take to get a PGWP?

It takes between 80 – 180 days for PGWP to process. You can legally work in Canada while waiting for the decision on your PGWP application provided that your study permit is within its validity period. 

Well, we hope that this blog has enlightened you with the relevant information on postgraduate work permits. So, if you are planning to study abroad in Canada, the USA, or any other country, contact Leverage Edu for total assistance or call us at 1800-572-000 and book your 30 minutes free session today!

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