A Post-Graduation Work Permit may be granted to international students who have completed their post-secondary education in Canada. This affords international students the opportunity to acquire Canadian work experience and form important employment networks.
If you have completed your studies at an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution, in an eligible program, you can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. Post-Graduation Work Permits enable international graduates to undertake paid employment in Canada for any employer.
A Post-Graduation Work Permit is not employer-specific (it is an “open” work permit), and provides greater employment flexibility for recent graduates than a work permit that must undergo labour market verification. A Post-Graduation Work Permit enables international graduates to work for any Canadian employer, in any industry, in any province or territory. International graduates may qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit with a maximum possible duration of three years, depending on the length of the corresponding academic program. Candidates seeking a Post-Graduation Work Permit are not required to have a Canadian job offer when the application is submitted.
The eligibility criteria for a Post-Graduation Work Permit includes:
- Completion of a full-time study program of at least eight months duration
- You must have graduated from:
- a post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP) that is PUBLIC; or
- a post-secondary educational institution operating under the same rules and regulations as public institutions but is PRIVATE; at least 50% of its operation financing must come from government grants; or
- an authorized Canadian private educational institution eligible to confer degrees.
- Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from your academic institution that you have met program requirements.
- Successful completion of study – written notification that you are eligible to obtain your degree, diploma, or certificate must be obtained.
- You must possess a valid study permit when you apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
It is important to note that in order to obtain a three-year Post-Graduation Work Permit your academic program must have a minimum duration of two years. If an academic program is more than eight months but less than two years, you may be eligible to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit for the same duration of your program of study.
If, within two years of having previously completed an accredited academic program, you receive a one-year degree or diploma from an accredited educational institution, you may qualify for a three-year open work permit.
An exception can be made if you fulfill all requirements, but your last semester of study was not full-time. In such cases, you may still apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is a well-known precursor to the Canadian Experience Class.