Tutorial: How to apply for your post-graduation work permit from within Canada

Step-by-step instructions, required documents, and other important information about applying for a post-graduation work permit from within Canada

3. Gather your required documents

Documents all students need

Letter of Completion

You must provide a letter stating that you have completed all the requirements of your UBC program.

Download your Letter of Completion

  • Download your completion letter from the SSC (if available on your SSC), OR
  • Request a letter from:
    • Undergraduate students: Your academic advisor 
    • Graduate students: Your department or program

Your document must state that:

  • You have successfully completed all of the requirements of your program, OR
  • Your degree requirements have been met

Masters or Diploma students: Your completion letter should state the length of your program. Contact your program to request this information be included in your letter of completion.  

Documents NOT accepted:

A letter stating that you will soon complete your requirements is not acceptable for a post-graduation work permit application (e.g. you are expected to complete requirements pending final grades for the term). You must wait until after you have completed your requirements before you can apply. Submitting this document with your application will result in a refusal of your application.

Important: once your letter of completion becomes available you are no longer eligible to work on or off campus and must stop work immediately. To ensure there is no gap in your eligibility to work, apply for your PGWP when your Letter of Completion becomes available (as long as you meet all eligibility criteria).


A copy of your official transcript must be submitted in your application. You must wait until all final grades are available before requesting it.

Order an official transcript

Once you receive your transcript, open the envelope and scan all the pages. Include one scanned copy of the “Explanation of student academic record” page that is on the back of every page.

If applying online, combine the copy of your transcript with the UBC Definition of Full-time Studies for Immigration Purposes Letter and upload them together under the 'Recent Education Transcript' field of your document checklist.

If you studied at more than one institution in Canada, consult with International Student Advising for extra documents you will need to include. 


You must provide a scanned copy of your passport merged into one PDF document that includes:

  • a copy of the bio-data page (the page with your name and photo)
  • a copy of every page in your passport that has stamps, signatures, visas, or any other markings from Canada or other countries

If your passport will expire soon: Consider extending it before applying for a post-graduation work permit, because your post-graduation work permit cannot be issued past your passport's expiry date. However, do not wait too long for a new passport - you have only 180 days after program completion to apply for the work permit. Contact International Student Advising for guidance on timing your application.

Need help scanning your documents? Go to the Irving K. Barber Chapman Learning Commons.

Digital photo

Make sure your photo meets IRCC's specifications.

UBC’s Definition of Full-time Studies for Immigration Purposes Letter

All students are advised to include in their Post-Graduation Work Permit application this Letter acknowledging UBC’s Definition of Full-time Studies for Immigration Purposes.

If applying online, combine the copy of your transcript with the UBC Definition of Full-time Studies for Immigration Purposes Letter and upload them together under the 'Recent Education Transcript' field of your document checklist.

Documents you might need

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need one or more of the following documents. Review the Post-Graduation Work Permit List of Additional Documents to get started.

Letter of Explanation

A letter of explanation is a good way to describe your unique situation or include additional documents, including:

  1. The purpose of your application
  2. Issues you would like to make clear or that the officer might find useful
  3. Supporting documents, screenshots or any other proof to support your explanation
  4. Additional employment history if you have run out of space in the "Employment" section of your application
  5. To request that restrictions to work in an occupation that requires a medical exam be removed to allow you to work in that occupation (see next section on medical exams.

    Medical exam report (e-medical)

    You require a medical exam report if you:

    • Have lived in a designated country or territory for more than 6 months in the past 12 months, OR
    • Plan to work in a job in which a worker's illness could endanger the public, such as public health, health sciences, school teaching, or agriculture-related fields. Visit IRCC to find out if you require a medical exam.

    If the above applies to you, you will need a medical exam conducted by an IRCC-approved Panel Physician. The doctor will send the full results to IRCC automatically. Ask the doctor for a copy of your medical exam report (referred to as your ‘e-medical’) and submit it with your work permit application.

    Important: If there is any chance you will work in these occupations, consider completing a medical exam and submitting your e-medical when applying. Include a letter of explanation asking specifically for your work permit to indicate that you may work in these occupations. Contact International Student Advising for guidance. You cannot start the position until you have received a work permit with appropriate conditions.

    Schedule 1: Application for Temporary Residence [IMM5257B]

    Most students will not require this form.

    This document is required only if you answer “Yes” to questions: 3, 4, 5 or 6 in the "Background Information" section of your application form.

    Important: If you answered "Yes" to any question in the "Background information" section other than 2(c), please speak to International Student Advising

    UBC Acknowledgment Letter

    Students who have taken any gaps in their UBC studies (authorized or not) for any length of time are advised to include in their Post-Graduation Work Permit application this Letter acknowledging UBC’s policy towards time taken away.


    If you have not previously provided biometrics (fingerprints and a photo), you will be required to submit them in-person at a designated Service Canada location. 

    The time it takes to submit your biometrics is not included in the processing time for your PGWP and your application will not be processed until biometrics are received. You only need to give biometrics once every 10 years.

    U.S. citizens and people who have provided biometrics in the past 10 years and certain other individuals are exempt from providing biometrics. 

    1. Pay the biometrics fee at the same time you submit your PGWP application for faster processing.
    2. Receive your biometrics instruction letter. If you applied online you will receive an electronic biometrics instruction letter within 24 hours.  
    3. Book an appointment as soon as possible at a designated Service Canada location
    4. Submit your biometrics within 30 days of receiving your biometrics instruction letter