Post-graduation work permit

You may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit within 90 days of completing your degree, allowing you to stay in Canada to live and work.

About post-graduation work permits

What is it?

post-graduation work permit is a document that gives you permission to remain in Canada as a worker and work full-time for up to three years after you graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution. See fulleligibility details.

Why do I need it?

A post-graduation work permit is an excellent way to stay in Canada after you graduate, get Canadian work experience, or prepare to apply for Permanent Residence.

When do I need it?

As soon as your final marks are available or you receive notice of completion of your studies, you have 90 days in which to apply for your post-graduation work permit. The date of your graduation ceremony does not affect the application period. You do not need a job offer to apply for the post-graduation work permit.

Working while you wait


If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives your application for a PGWP within 90 days of completing the requirements of your UBC degree (see “When do I need it?” section), you may work full-time while you wait for a decision on your PGWP application as long as you meet this criteria, as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations ss186(w) and (v).

How to apply for a post-graduation work permit

Please Note: The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Citizenship + Immigration Canada for the most up-to-date information.


When to apply: Within 90 days of completing your degree requirements (i.e. starting when your final grades are available or your final graduate thesis is accepted, NOT the date of your convocation ceremony), ideally BEFORE leaving Canada
Cost: $255
Processing time: Check for a weekly update of how long it will take
Application form: Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]
Supporting  documents (additional documents may be needed):  ONE of the following support documents from UBC as proof you completed all of the requirements for your program of study:
  • A final transcript, or
  • A letter from UBC, such as the downloadable completion letter from SSCor
  • Formal notification of graduation
  • Copy of your passport (include the bio-data page plus any pages with stamps, visas or markings)
  • Passport-style photo (if applying online)





Frequently asked questions

What is a UCI?

UCI stands for “Unique Client Identifier,” also known as “Client ID.” It appears on official documents such as study and work permits. (Example: 0000-0000).

UCI field on the application form

What type of work permit should I select

Most students should select “a work permit with a new employer.”

Field where users select their permit options


How do I fill out my mailing address?

A “street no.” is the location of a building on a street. Some “street names” also contain numbers.

Mailing address field

What is a document number?

A document number appears on official immigration documents, eg. study permits. It is usually printed in black ink as a letter (an "F" for study permits) followed by 9 numbers.

Document number field


How do I fill out the “details of my prospective employer” section if I don’t have a job?

Although you do not need a job offer to apply for a post- graduation work permit, you still must complete this section. You do not need to attach an offer of employment.

Details of employment field


How do I answer “Duration of expected employment”?

Write “from” today’s date and “to” up to three years of your desired post- graduation work permit.

Duration of employment field


How do I fill out the “Employment” section?

If you do not have a job, you may write “student.”

Employment field

Do I need to upload proof of a medical exam?


Most students in Canada do NOT need proof of a medical exam unless (1) you lived in certain countries for more than 6 months in the past 12 months, or (2) you want to work in certain health- related occupations. You can click “modify my answers” at the top of the document upload screen to review/change answers.

How can I sign the form if I apply online?

You cannot sign the form if applying online; upload the form without signing. After uploading all your documents, you will later be asked to electronically sign your application by typing your name.


  • You must have a valid study permit when you submit your application. If needed, apply in advance to extend your study permit (known as a “bridge extension”) before you complete your program – this extends your study permit for 90 days after your anticipated program completion date. This is the same application form used for an extension of a study permit: IMM5709.
  • After completing your studies, you can work full-time while waiting for a decision on your post-graduation work permit application if, at the time you submitted your application, you:
    • had a valid study permit,
    • had completed your program of study,
    • were eligible to work off-campus without a permit, and
    • did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions.
  • If you plan to leave Canada while your PGWP is processing, come talk to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Advisor (RCIC) at International House before leaving as there are risk associated with doing this.
  • You can obtain only one post-graduation work permit in your lifetime.
  • You do not need a job offer to apply.
  • Normally, your post-graduation work permit will not be issued beyond the expiry date of your passport. If you are eligible for a longer work permit than your passport will allow, you must apply for the remaining time by paper (accompanied by a letter of explanation) after renewing your passport.
  • If you are a Masters or Diploma student and your completion letter does not clearly explain the length of your program, include your final transcripts and/or obtain a separate letter from your department to prove the length of your program..
  • Press the “Validate” button to ensure your application is complete. The validate button does not send any information to IRCC, so you may edit and validate as many times as you need.


How to submit online MyCIC applications

After you receive your post-graduation work permit

  • Extend your Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage
  • Apply for (or extend) your Social Insurance Number (SIN) (if you have one). You need a SIN to work in Canada.
  • Apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada (if your country of citizenship requires one) 
  • Be prepared to prove at the border every time you enter Canada that you can support yourself financially. If you don’t have a job, bring proof that you are actively looking for work (your resume, list of jobs you apply for, etc.) Learn more about travelling outside of Canada.


Last reviewed shim1/4/2017 12:01:36 PM