Post-graduation work permit

On February 14, 2019 IRCC published new changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. If you have ever taken a gap in studies (e.g. not enrolled), a leave of absence or studied part-time, see an International Student Advisor before submitting your application.

What is it?

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) 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.

To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have continuously studied full time in Canada and you must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months. See full eligibility details.

If you have ever taken a leave of absence or studied part time, we recommend you consult with an International Student Advisor before submitting your application.

Apply for a post-graduation work permit

Documents you might need

All students are advised to include in their Post-Graduation Work Permit this Letter acknowledging UBC’s Definition of Full-time Studies for Immigration Purposes.

UBC Letter of Defining Full-Time Studies (PDF)

Students who have taken any gaps in their UBC studies (approved or not) for any length of time are advised to include in their Post-Graduation Work Permit this Letter acknowledging UBC’s policy towards time taken away.

UBC Study Gap Acknowledgement Letter (PDF)

Why do I need it?

A PGWP is an excellent way to gain Canadian work experience which you might need to qualify for permanent residence.

When do i need it?

You must apply for your PGWP within 180 days after a letter from UBC becomes available that states you have successfully completed all requirements for your program of study (“letter of completion”). If you have questions about the exact date of program completion, ask your academic advisor.

Transitioning from a study permit to a post-graduation work permit

Once you officially complete your academic program requirements you need a work permit before you can work on- or off-campus.

Students who have applied for a post-graduation work permit when their study permit was still valid can work full-time (on- or off-campus) while waiting for their post-graduation work permit application to be processed.

Working while you wait

You may work full time (on- or off-campus) while waiting for your work permit application to be processed if you:

  • applied for a work permit within 180 days after a letter of completion became available from UBC, and
  • you had a valid study permit at the time you applied for the work permit, and
  • you were eligible to work off-campus in your final term

If you are completing your program at UBC, intend to pursue further studies, and do not intend to apply for a post-graduation work permit, be sure to visit the off-campus work page for additional requirements on how to maintain your eligibility to work in Canada.

Traveling after applying for your post-graduation work permit

We recommend that students wishing to travel outside Canada after applying for their PGWP come and see an International Student Advisor before booking any travel or leaving Canada.

The information on this page may change


The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) 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 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information.