Canada Work Permit for International Students


If you are an international student who has completed a program of study at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI), you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

What is Canadian DLI?

A Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.

All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs, but not all post-secondary schools are.

To apply for a study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a DLI. You also need to check if your DLI offers programs that will make you eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you want to work in Canada after your studies.

What is PGWP?

A PGWP is an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer in Canada in any occupation for up to 3 years, depending on the length of your program.

A PGWP can help you gain valuable Canadian work experience that can lead to permanent residence through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.

How many years of PGWP?

The length of your PGWP depends on the length of your program of study.


  1. if your program was between 8 months and 2 years, you may get a PGWP for the same length as your program.
  2. If your program was longer than 2 years, you may get a PGWP for up to 3 years.

However, there are some exceptions and conditions that may affect your eligibility and validity period:

For example, if you completed more than one program within 2 years, you may be able to combine the length of your programs to get a longer PGWP.

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How to Apply a PWGP?

To apply for a PGWP, you must meet the following eligibility requirements :

  • You must have completed a full-time program of at least eight months in duration at a DLI.
  • You must have maintained a valid study permit throughout your program.
  • You must apply within 180 days of receiving your final marks or official letter confirming that you have met the requirements to complete your program.
  • You must have a valid passport or travel document when you apply.

You can apply for a PGWP online or from outside Canada. You will need to provide proof of completion of your program, such as your degree or diploma, your transcript, or an official letter from your school. You will also need to pay the application fee.

If you want to work in a field that requires a medical exam, such as health care or teaching, you should get an upfront medical exam before you apply for a PGWP. This will ensure that your PGWP does not have any restrictions on the types of jobs you can work in.

A PGWP is a great opportunity to stay and work in Canada after graduation and build your career and future here. For more information on how to apply for a PGWP and what documents you need, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website or contact your school's international student advisor.

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