How to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit

Overview of the application process

When to apply Within 90 days of completing your degree requirements (i.e. starting when your final grades are available or your final graduate thesis is accepted, NOT the date of your convocation ceremony), ideally before leaving Canada
Cost $255
Processing time Check for a weekly update of how long it will take
How to apply
  • Online - this is the recommended method, especially if you have ever taken a leave of absence or studied part-time; or
  • By paper - fill out the form and send to IRCC Case Processing Centre (Vegreville, Alberta)
  • Note: It may be possible to apply in person at a Canadian border by "flag-poling," but we do not recommend this option unless you have consulted with a UBC International Student Advisor first, due to some associated risks.
Application form

Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]

Note: Make sure you use the newest form. If applying online, log in to the IRCC website before starting your application.

Supporting documents
  • A letter of completion from UBC (downloadable on the SSC or provided by your department), unless you are in a Master’s program of two years or more, in which case we suggest also including proof of the program length in the form of a letter from your department
  • A copy of your passport (include the bio-data page plus any pages with stamps, visas or markings)
  • Passport-style photo (if applying online)

Additional documents may be needed

    Understanding the form

    What is a UCI?

    UCI field on the application form

    UCI stands for “Unique Client Identifier,” also known as “Client ID.” It appears on official documents such as study and work permits. (Example: 0000-0000).

    What type of work permit should I select?

    Field where users select their permit options

    Most students should select “a work permit with a new employer.”

    How do I fill out my mailing address?

    Mailing address field

    A “street no.” is the main number on the outside of a building. Some “street names” also contain numbers.

    What is a document number?

    A document number appears on official immigration documents, e.g. study permits. It is usually printed in black ink as a letter (an "F" for study permits) followed by 9 numbers.

    Document number field

    How do I fill out the Details of my prospective employer section if I don’t have a job?

    Details of employment field

    Although you do not need a job offer to apply for a post-graduation work permit, you still must complete this section in full. You do not need to attach an offer of employment.

    How do I answer Duration of expected employment?

    Duration of employment field

    Write “from” today’s date and “to” up to three years of your desired post-graduation work permit.

    How do I fill out the Employment section?

    Employment field

    If you do not have a job, you may write “student.” Be sure to include all periods of study and work going back 10 years. If there is not enough room on the form, create a word document with the additional information and upload it as part of the ‘letter of explanation”.

    How to answer question 2(c) "Background information: Have you previously applied to enter or remain in Canada?"

    Background info screenshot

    If you have applied for a study permit, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or a work permit, you must report that to IRCC. Check the box "Yes" and write down when you applied for each type of document in the box provided for details.

    Do I need to upload proof of a medical exam?

    Most students in Canada do not need proof of a medical exam unless:
    (1) you lived in certain countries for more than 6 months in the past 12 months, or
    (2) you want to work in certain health-related occupations; see this page. You can click “modify my answers” at the top of the document upload screen to review/change answers.

    How can I sign the form if I apply online?

    You cannot sign the form if applying online; upload the form without signing. After uploading all your documents, you will later be asked to electronically sign your application by typing your name.

    Take screenshots as you apply

    Sometimes applications are refused because the online tools and systems may not have uploaded required documents completely. You may be able to convince IRCC to change the decision if you have proof showing that your required documents were submitted as part of your application.

    Take screenshots at these 3 stages of your application

    1. The Document Checklist page after all documents have been successfully uploaded
    2. The Final Submission page after the application has been submitted
    3. After uploading/submitting anyafter-the-fact’ documents that an IRCC officer has requested after the original application has been submitted

    Save the images to a safe and accessible place on your computer, or cloud-based storage.

    How to take screenshots


    • If you see a “Please wait…” message when trying to download an IRCC form, click on the download arrow at the top right to save the file onto your computer. Then open it with Adobe Reader. (If you don’t see the arrow, move your cursor to the top part of the screen and it will appear.)
    PDF download screenshot
    • You must have a valid study permit when you submit your application. If needed, apply in advance to extend your study permit (known as a “bridge extension”) before you complete your program – this extends your study permit for 90 days after your anticipated program completion date. This is the same application form used for an extension of a study permit: IMM5709.
    • After completing your studies, you can work full-time while waiting for a decision on your post-graduation work permit application if, at the time you submitted your application, you:
      • had a valid study permit,
      • had completed your program of study,
      • were eligible to work off campus without a permit, and
      • did not work off campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions.
    • If you plan to leave Canada while your PGWP is processing, come talk to an International Student Advisor at International House before leaving as there are risks associated with doing this.
    • You can obtain only one post-graduation work permit in your lifetime.
    • You do not need a job offer to apply.
    • Normally, your post-graduation work permit will not be issued beyond the expiry date of your passport. If you are eligible for a longer work permit than your passport will allow, you must apply for the remaining time by paper (accompanied by a letter of explanation) after renewing your passport.
    • If you are a Masters or Diploma student and your completion letter does not clearly explain the length of your program, include your final transcripts and/or obtain a separate letter from your department to prove the length of your program.
    • Need help scanning your documents? Go to the Irving K. Barber Chapman Learning Commons.
    • Press the “Validate” button to ensure your application is complete. The validate button does not send any information to IRCC, so you may edit and validate as many times as you need.

    After you get your permit

    1. Renew your Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage.
    2. Renew (or apply for) your Social Insurance Number (SIN). You need a SIN to work in Canada.
    3. Apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada (if your country of citizenship requires one).
    4. Every time you enter Canada, be prepared to prove at the border that you can support yourself financially (i.e. carry an updated bank statement). If you don’t have a job, bring proof that you are actively looking for work (your resume, list of jobs you apply for, etc.)