Post-Graduation Work Permit

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).

To gain valuable work experience and prepare to apply for permanent residency, you must apply for the PGWP within 90 days of completing the degree requirements.

Important facts

  • 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, anywhere in Canada.
  • You don’t need a job offer to apply for PGWP
  • You can apply for jobs before receiving your PGWP
  • You are eligible to work PT or FT from the day you submit your PGWP application if you have a valid study permit with the remark allowing you to work off campus. If your study permit doesn’t allow you to work, you have to amend your study permit before completing the program while you are still studying.  
  • You can change employers anytime you wish within the validity of the PGWP

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 a 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 consecutively)

Eligibility

• 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 90 days of receiving written confirmation (e.g. an official letter or transcript) from U of T* indicating that you have met the requirements** of completing the degree program.

* Once the final marks are posted on ROSI or final thesis/dissertation is accepted,
Undergraduate students should contact the Office of the Registrar and Graduate students should contact the School of Graduate studies to get the official letter confirming program completion. 
Official Transcript may be requested via ROSI.

**Please note that Program completion is prior to Convocation date. Calculation of the 90 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.

 

Hours and type of work:

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.

Apply for PGWP:

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.

Or

• 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.

It is highly recommended to graduating students to apply for their PGWP online from inside Canada and postpone their travel plans till they receive the PGWP.

Students cannot apply for a PGWP online if their country of residence is not Canada. However, if they are temporarily abroad and they meet the eligibility requirements for the PGWP, they should apply on paper through an overseas visa office or a visa application centre (VAC). Those foreign nationals who are eligible to apply for a work permit at a port of entry (POE) may also apply for a post-graduation work permit through that channel.

We suggest that you come to speak to ISC’s Immigration Advisor if you have to leave Canada before applying for your PGWP.

 

Important documents for PGWP application are:

- Proof of academic program completion (official final transcript or letter from registrar Office) 
- Valid passport and study permit
- Passport-size photo

In addition to the documents listed, depending on your nationality, travel history or if you want to work in certain health-related occupations, you may have to provide additional information/documents (such as proof of medical exam) when you apply for your PGWP.

Check the processing time for the work permit applications submitted inside Canada.
If your application is approved, you will receive your PGWP in mail at the address you provided on your application form.

Cost: $150.00

-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

If you are eligible to work off-campus, you may work full-time off-campus between the day you apply for your PGWP and the day your application is approved provided that you hold a valid study permit during this period and you have a valid SIN. 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. 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.

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, in addition to a PGWP, you should apply for SIN in person at the closest Service Canada Center.

In your last  semester, you should:

  • check the expiry of your Study Permit (it should be valid for another 2 to 3 months after your last exam)
  • renew/extend your Study Permit, if necessary
  • Think about whether you want to go to Graduate or professional school, as a PGWP is only available once in your lifetime.
  • Apply for your PGWP within 90 days of  receiving written confirmation of program completion (not convocation)
  • start working on your resume, cover letter, and interview skills and apply for jobs
  • 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.