Post-Graduation Work Permits

What is a post-graduation work permit?

International students who graduate from post-secondary educational institutions in Canada have the option to stay in Canada to gain some valuable work experience related to their studies. They can do this by applying for a post-graduation work permit that allows them to work for any employer in Canada. Unlike most Canadian work permits, the existence of a job offer is not a prerequisite to this program.

What are the eligibility criteria for a post-graduation work permit?

You may be eligible to apply for post-graduation work permit if you meet the following criteria:


  • You have been engaged in full-time continuous study for at least eight months prior to completing your study program, unless you only needed part-time enrollment to complete your studies, after having been enrolled full-time for the bulk of your studies
  • You have graduated from an eligible Designated Learning Institution
  • You have received written confirmation that you have successfully completed your study program, and you apply for the work permit within 90 days of receiving this confirmation
  • You are in possession of a valid study permit, and you have adhered to the terms and conditions that apply to international students in Canada

Which educational institutions are eligible?

In order to receive a post-graduation work permit, you must complete your study program at one of the following kinds of institutions:

    • A public institution such as a university, college, trade school or technical college, or if you are in Quebec, a CEGEP
    • A private institution that adheres to the rules and regulations governing public institutions

A private institution in Quebec that offers programs resulting in a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)

  • A private institution that has been provincially authorized to confer degrees, as long as the study program is one that leads to a degree authorized by the province


How long is the post-graduation work permit valid for?

If your study program lasted for two years or more, your post-graduation work permit will be valid for three years. If your study program was longer than eight months but less than two years long, your work permit will be valid for the same duration as your study program. If you completed a one-year program after completion of a previous program, you may be eligible for a three-year work permit.

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