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) is a document that gives you permission to remain in Canada as a worker 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 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 an International Student Advisor 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.

What if I don’t apply?

If you don’t intend to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit or intend to pursue further studies in Canada, be sure to visit the off-campus work page for additional requirements on how to maintain your eligibility to work and the prepare to leave UBC page for information on options after completing studies.

Work eligibility

Before you apply

If you are eligible to work, 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.

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

After you’ve applied

You may immediately begin working full-time while you are waiting for a decision from IRCC if at the time you submit your application you:

  • Have a valid study permit and apply within the first 90 days of when your letter of completion first became available, AND
  • Have completed your program of study, AND
  • Were eligible to work off campus without a permit as an international student, 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 work permit.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a PGWP, you must:

  • Must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months and led to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Have 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 of when your Letter of Completion first becomes available AND have a valid study permit at the time of application, OR
  • Apply within 180 days of when your Letter of Completion first becomes available, 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
    • Apply 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 an International Student Advising before submitting your application.

How to apply

Application period

You must apply within 180 days of completing your program requirements.

This 180-day period begins when your Letter of Completion first becomes available. Normally this will be available on your SSC (under ‘Grades and Records’) or via your program. NOT the date of your convocation ceremony

If you have questions about how and when letters of completion become available for your program, please ask your academic advisor or program staff.

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 before the 90 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available, consider applying to extend your study permit for an additional 90-day bridging period 3-4 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.

Go to Post-graduation work permit tutorial

After you’ve applied

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

It is best to stay in Canada until you receive your permit; however, visit Travel Scenarios for more information.

After receiving your PGWP:

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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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Helpful IRCC websites

Tips for communicating with the IRCC