A PGWP allows you to work for any employer of your choice in Canada. You can go on to use this professional work experience to help you with an application for Canadian permanent residence.
Canada offers the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) as part of its efforts to attract international students and retain them as immigrants. The PGWP is valid for up to three years (the actual length of each person's PGWP depends on the length of their Canadian educational program). The PGWP is an open work permit, which allows international graduates to work for any Canadian employer without needing a job offer. A major benefit of the PGWP is it enables international graduates to gain professional work experience in Canada. Such work experience is helpful when PGWP holders go on to apply for Canadian immigration. Many of Canada's over 100 different immigration programs reward candidates who have studied and/or worked in Canada. Generally speaking, a PGWP holder needs to gain one year of professional work experience in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, or B to then be eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent residence program.
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, international students must have:
Graduates of vocational and professional training programs in Quebec must meet additional PGWP criteria outlined by IRCC depending on the type of diploma issued.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has a special policy in place during the coronavirus pandemic that allows international students to complete their Canadian program while living overseas and still be eligible to obtain a PGWP when they move to Canada. In order to benefit from this policy you must:
A PGWP is valid for anywhere between 8 months to 3 years. The actual length depends on the length of your program at a Canadian DLI. IRCC provides the following guidelines on its website:
The deadline to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit is within 180 days (six months) of obtaining a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study have been met.