Breaking News: Canada Expands Post Graduation Work Permit Eligibility

Great news for international students in Canada! Starting today, if you’re studying in a master’s program at any Canadian DLI, even if it’s less than two years long, you can now get a three (3) year post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

This is a big change from before, where the length of your work permit depended on how long your study program was. The government recognizes that master’s students are valuable to the Canadian job market, so they’re making it easier for these students to stay and work longer after graduation.

Students in longer programs at certain schools can also get the three-year PGWP. And there’s news that rules for work permits for students’ spouses are going to change too, focusing on master’s and doctoral students’ spouses.

To get a PGWP, you need to:

  • Finish a program that’s at least eight months long at a school that’s allowed to have international students.
  • Have studied in a program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Have been a full-time student in Canada for most of your program.
  • Have proof from your school that you’ve finished your program.

This applies to graduates from public colleges, universities, and certain other schools. Just remember, from September 2024, some rules will change about which programs qualify.

So, for master’s students wanting to work in Canada after graduation, this is your chance. Make sure you understand the eligibility criteria and get ready to apply for your work permit once you graduate.

What is Canadian postgrad work permit and how to apply for it?

The Canadian Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a program that allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian higher education institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. This experience can help graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through Express Entry and other immigration pathways. Here are the key aspects of the PGWP:

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a PGWP, you must:

  • Have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months and led to a degree, diploma, or certificate at an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution.
  • Apply for the work permit within 180 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution that you have met the requirements of your program.
  • Have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study you have completed and submitted as part of your post-graduation work permit application, with certain exceptions for final academic sessions.


The duration of the PGWP varies depending on the length of your study program:

  • For programs of at least eight months but less than two years, the PGWP may be issued for up to the same duration as the program.
  • For programs of two years or more, the PGWP may be issued for three years.
  • If you have completed more than one eligible program, you may be able to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program, up to a maximum of three years.

Application Process

  1. Prepare Documents: You’ll need your passport, a copy of your academic transcripts and an official letter from your school confirming you’ve completed your program, among other documents.
  2. Determine Your Eligibility: Ensure you meet the criteria for applying for a PGWP.
  3. Apply Online or at a Port of Entry: Most candidates will apply online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. In some cases, you can apply at a Canadian port of entry.
  4. Pay Fees: The application fee for the PGWP as of my last update is CAD 255, which includes the open work permit holder fee.
  5. Submit Your Application: Complete the application forms and submit them along with your documents and the fee.
  6. Wait for a Decision: Processing times vary, so check the current times on the IRCC website

Zahira Bano

(Associate Editor) Zahira holds a PhD in Cosmetics Surgery and Pharma. She worked with Mashables and some other beauty and wellness blogs. She is also a well-known personality and educationist and has a large number of social following. She also writes on the female empowerment motivational topics in her leisure time. She is also a scholarship winner and mentor for students looking for studying abroad opportunities.

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