As an international student at the University of Toronto, you have the opportunity to stay and work in Canada up to 3 years after finishing your degree program with a post-graduate work permit (PGWP).
You must apply for the PGWP within 180 days of completing the program degree requirements.
- PGWP is a one-time opportunity for international students regardless of the number of programs they have completed in Canada.
- PGWP is an open work permit. You can work for any employer, in any occupation inside Canada.
- You don’t need a job offer to apply for PGWP
- You are eligible to work Full-time from the day you submit your PGWP application if you have a valid study permit (with the remark allowing you to work off campus) and a valid SIN.
- You can change employers anytime you wish within the validity of the PGWP
What You Need to Know - Post Graduation Work Permit
The length of PGWP depends on the official length of the program of study:
Less than 8-month: Not eligible for PGWP
More than 8 months but less than 2 years: Eligible for PGWP for the length of the program
(e.g. 1-year Masters or post-graduate certificates)
Two years or more: Eligible for a 3-year PGWP
(e.g. 4-year Bachelor or 2-year Masters or
4-year Bachelor + 1 year Masters completed within two years of the bachelor degree program)
• You have studied full time in Canada and you have completed all requirement of a post-secondary program that lasted at least eight months, leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
• Studies must have taken place and completed at a Canadian institution in Canada
• You have a valid study permit
• You apply within 180 days of receiving written confirmation (e.g. an official letter) from U of T* indicating that you have met the requirements** of completing the degree program.
* Once the final marks are posted on ACORN or final thesis/dissertation is accepted,
Undergraduate students should contact the Registrar Office and graduate students should contact the School of Graduate Studies to get the official letter confirming program completion.
**Please note that program completion happens prior to the Convocation date. Calculation of the 180 days begins the day when the student’s final marks are issued or when formal written notification of program completion is received, whichever comes first.
You are not eligible if:
• study in a program that is less than eight months long
• participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
• participate in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFATD
• receive funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
• participate in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
• participate in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
• participate in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
• participate in a distance learning program either from abroad or from within Canada or
• have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit following any other program of study.
The PGWP allows you to work part-time or full-time for any employer, in any occupation, anywhere in Canada or to be self-employed.
If you are interested to apply for Permanent Residency in future, please note that self-employment does not count towards your work experience for permanent residency application.
You may submit an application package by:
Applying online (offers faster processing time and more convenience);
If you apply online, you will answer a questionnaire, create a personal check list code, sign up/log into MYCIC account, and automatically see a list of the required application forms and documents you have to provide.
Applying on paper
If you are applying on paper, make sure you complete the document checklist and include it with your application form and supporting documents. The instruction guide provides assistance with how to fill out the form and submit supporting documents.
If you are traveling out of Canada after completing the program requirements, you may apply online from your home country for PGWP. You have to list your home country as your country of residence (not CANADA) when you apply abroad. If you apply from inside Canada, you should select Canada as your country of residence.
Important documents for PGWP application are:
- Proof of academic program completion (from Registrar Office or School of Graduate Studies )
- Valid passport and study permit
- Passport-size photo
In addition to the documents listed, depending on your nationality, travel history or whether you want to work in certain health-related occupations, you may have to provide additional information or documents (such as proof of medical exam) when you apply for your PGWP.
Check the average processing time online. Processing times can vary, depending on how many applications CIC offices receive.
It does not include document mailing time.
If you apply from inside Canada, when your application is approved, you will receive your PGWP in mail at the address you provided on your application form.
Please note that PGWP is not a travel document. If you are a citizen of a country which you need a visa to travel to Canada, you have to apply for your TRV after you receive your PGWP. Those visa-exempt foreign nationals who needs an eTA to travel to Canada, must ensure they have a valid eTA.
If you apply outside Canada, when your application is approved, you will be issued a TRV in your passport or an eTA (depending on your country of citizenship) and a Letter of Introduction. Your PGWP will be issued at the border when you arrive in Canada and present the letter of introduction.
$255 (Work permit fee $155 +open work permit holder fee $100)
- Valid passport: If your passport is expiring within the next 6 months, renew it far in advance of applying for a PGWP. Permits cannot be valid beyond the expiry date of the passport.
- Valid Study permit: If your study permit is expiring soon and will not be valid for your PGWP application, you should apply for extending your study permit before you complete the academic program. International students are eligible to have a study permit which is valid for 90 days after their anticipated program completion date.
- Application form: Application to change conditions, extend my stay or remain in Canada as a worker (IMM5710)
- UCI (if applicable): Also known as “Client ID” appears on your study and work permit if you already have one. If not, leave it blank.
- You do not need to have an employer or a Job offer to apply for PGWP.
- Details of my prospective employer:
Name of employer: Not Applicable
Address of employer: Not Applicable
Job title: Job seeker
Description of duties: Not Applicable
Duration of expected employment:
From: Application submission day
To: Three years after the submission day
In your final year of studies, consider the following recommendations:
- Check the expiry of your study permit and renew/extend your study permit, if necessary. Your study permit should be valid for 2 to 3 months after your final exams.
- Apply for your PGWP within 90 days of receiving written confirmation of program completion (not convocation) with a valid study permit.
- If your goal is to pursue a graduate/professional degree in Canada right after completing the 1st degree, we highly recommend you don’t apply for PGWP and save it for after you complete the 2nd program. Otherwise your PGWP will be wasted while you are studying in the 2nd program.
If you need assistance with post-graduation planning, please contact ISC and book an appointment to talk to our immigration advisor.
If you are eligible to work off-campus, you may work full-time provided that you hold a valid study permit (with authorization-to-work remark) and have applied for a post-graduation work permit. If you haven’t applied for your post-graduation work permit yet, you are only eligible to work off-campus part-time (up to 20 hours per week).
If your study permit doesn’t allow you to work, you have to change the conditions of your study permit before completing the program.
You must stop working if your post-graduation work permit application is refused.
PGWP is a one-time opportunity and cannot be extended unless you are eligible for a longer PGWP than your passport expiry date, the one you initially used to apply for PGWP. In this case, you must apply again for the PGWP after renewing your passport.
If you apply for extending PGWP before the expiry date, you have implied status as long as you remain in Canada. You may continue to work until you receive your renewed PGWP, even though the expiry date of your permit has passed while you are waiting to receive the new one.
PGWP holders should comply with the terms and condition of the work permit. They should stop working by the expiry day and leave Canada unless they apply to change their status in Canada prior to the expiry date or become a permanent resident.
Students who fail to comply with the terms and conditions of their work permits may be subject to enforcement actions taken by Canadian immigration authorities, or invalidation of the permit. It may also negatively affect future immigration applications.
To work and get paid after graduation, in addition to a PGWP, you need to have a SIN. You can apply for a SIN in person at the closest Service Canada Centre.
- You can apply for an extension of your UHIP coverage for up to 2 months after you graduate, after which you will need to consider private health insurance options.
- Post-Graduation Work permit holders and their spouses/dependents may be eligible for Ontario health insurance coverage provided they are employed full-time for an employer in Ontario for a minimum of six months and have a valid work permit during this time. Additional eligibility requirements are needed. Refer to OHIP Eligibility for more information.