The Post-Graduation Work Permit (“PGWP“) allows students who have graduated from most Canadian public post-secondary institutions to stay and work in Canada upon graduation. As someone who remembers when I was in undergrad the frustration of international students who had to leave Canada upon graduating even though they would have jumped at the opportunity to stay, work, and pay taxes in Canada, it is certainly a welcome program.
PGWPs are open work permits. This means that international graduates who possess them can work for any employer. There is no restriction on the type of work that can be performed. Having said that, if a student wishes to work in health care or in education they will need to first obtain a medical exam. And, as with all work permits, PGWP holders are prohibited from working in the sex industry.
There is no requirement for a job offer prior to applying.
Outside of Quebec, in order for an international graduate to obtain a PGWP after graduating, an international student must:
- have a valid study permit when applying for their PGWP;
- have continuously studied full time in Canada, except for the final academic session, where part-time studies are permitted;
- have completed and passed a program of study that is at least eight months in duration at either a public post-secondary institution, a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, or at a Canadian private institution if the student was enrolled in a program of study which led to a degree; and
- apply for the work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from their educational institution that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study.