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Canada Explained: A complete guide to Post-Graduation Work Permit

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A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) lets international students who have completed their studies at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada to stay and work in Canada temporarily after their graduation, giving them the chance to gain practical work experience in their field of study.Not all graduates automatically qualify. It’s crucial to check if the institution and the specific program are eligible.

Does your online studies count toward a PGWP?

Studies outside Canada
All time spent studying online at a PGWP-eligible designated learning institution (DLI) from outside Canada between March 2020 and August 31, 2022, counts towards the length of a PGWP. This policy was updated on September 1, 2022. The following periods will not count towards the length of a PGWP:

  • Time spent studying outside of Canada after December 31, 2023.
  • Time spent studying before applying for a study permit.


Studies in Canada

Until August 31, 2024, you must complete at least 50% of your program either online or in class in Canada. Starting September 1, 2024, you must complete at least 50% of your program in class in Canada.

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How long will your PGWP be valid for?

From February 15, 2024, students who graduate from master’s degree programs that are less than 2 years (minimum 8 months) may be eligible for a 3-year PGWP. The duration of a PGWP also depends on the length of the study program and the expiry date of the student’s passport.

  1. Master’s Degree Programs: If the program is less than 8 months (or 900 hours for Quebec credentials), the student is not eligible. For programs of at least 8 months, graduates can apply for a 3-year PGWP, even if the program is less than 2 years, provided all other criteria are met. This does not apply to certificate or diploma programs.
  2. Other Programs: If the program is less than 8 months, the student is not eligible. For programs of at least 8 months but less than 2 years, the PGWP may be valid for the same length as the study program. For programs of 2 years or more, a 3-year PGWP may be granted.
  3. Multiple Programs: Graduates of multiple programs can combine the lengths of each program for a single PGWP, provided each program is PGWP-eligible and at least 8 months long.

What happens if your passport expires before your PGWP?

Ensure your passport is valid for the entire duration you are eligible for the PGWP. If your passport expires before the PGWP validity, you will receive a permit valid until your passport’s expiry date. You will be informed if you need to extend your PGWP to achieve full validity. Normally, extending a PGWP requires applying on paper if instructed to do so.

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