Post-graduation work permit

You may be eligible to live and work in Canada after you complete your studies.

About post-graduate work permits

What is a post-graduation work permit?

post-graduation work permit (PGWP) gives you permission to remain in Canada and work full time for up to three years after you graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution. The length of the work permit depends on the length of your program. You do not require a job offer to apply and do not need to work in a specific field.

PGWPs are issued only once in a lifetime, therefore, if you have plans to pursue further studies in Canada, you may wish to consult International Student Advising to discuss when to apply.

Why should I apply?

A PGWP is an excellent way to practically apply what you have learned at UBC, advance your professional goals and gain Canadian work experience, which you might need to qualify for permanent residence. In general, it can be difficult to qualify for a Canadian work permit without the PGWP.

What if I don’t apply?

If you don’t intend to apply for a PGWP, be sure to visit the prepare to leave UBC page for information on options after completing studies.

Work eligibility

Working before you apply

If you are eligible to work in your final term, you can continue working up to 20 hours a week off campus and/or full time on campus until your Letter of Completion becomes available.

Normally your Letter of Completion will be available on your SSC (under ‘Grades and Records’) or via your program NOT at your convocation ceremony. If you have questions about how and when letters of completion become available for your program, ask your academic advisor or program staff.

Once your Letter of Completion becomes available, you are no longer eligible to work and must stop immediately.

Working after you’ve applied

You may immediately begin working full-time while you are waiting for a decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if:

  • At the time you submit your application you:
    • Have a valid study permit and apply within the first 90 days after your Letter of Completion first became available, AND
    • Have completed your program of study, AND
  • Were eligible to work off campus without a work permit during your studies, AND
  • Did not work off campus for more than 20 hours per week during academic sessions.

If you apply after your first 90 days, you will not be able to work in Canada until you receive a valid PGWP.

Am I eligible?

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
  • Studied full-time each academic session (excludes scheduled breaks), with two exceptions:
    • You studied part-time in your final academic session only
    • You took an authorized gap in studies for less than 150 days

In addition, you must:

  • Apply within 90 days after your Letter of Completion first becomes available AND have a valid study permit at the time of application, OR
  • Apply within 180 days after your Letter of Completion first becomes available, AND have previously held a valid study permit, and one of the following:
    • Applied for visitor status before your study permit became invalid
    • Applied to restore your temporary resident status
    • Applied from outside of Canada

See full eligibility details.

Visit UBC’s definitions for immigration purposes to learn what is considered full-time studies at UBC.

If you have ever taken time away from studies or studied part-time, we recommend you consult with International Student Advising before submitting your application.

How to apply

Before you apply

Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after your Letter of Completion is available, or the study permit expiration date, whichever comes first.

If your study permit expires within the 90 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available, consider applying to extend your study permit for an additional 90-day bridging period three to four months before your study permit expires.

Having a valid study permit at the time of application is one of the requirements to be eligible to work full-time after submitting your PGWP application online.

If you must provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo), apply for your work permit earlier to allow for this extra step. 

See the tutorial

After you’ve applied

Check if you are eligible to begin working full-time while you are waiting for a decision from IRCC.

If you have travel plans, visit Travel Scenarios for more information.

If your contact information changes after submitting your application, be sure to update it via IRCC’s webform.

After receiving your PGWP:

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide

If you have questions

International Student Advising

Talk to an advisor

International Student Advisors are Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) who can help.

When emailing us, include the following information in the email:

  1. Your student number in the subject line
  2. Your name
  3. Your citizenship(s)
  4. All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)
  5. Currently in Canada (YES or NO)
  6. If you request specific assistance, please provide detailed information including applicable documents, such as a rejection letter
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