You can only apply after your Letter of Completion is available, which confirms that you have completed all program requirements. The date your Letter of Completion first becomes available is different from your degree conferral, diploma, and graduation ceremony.
PGWPs are issued only once in a lifetime. While it is possible to have both a PGWP and a study permit, if you have plans to continue studying in Canada, you may wish to apply after you have completed your second program to make full use of your work permit. If each program is eligible for the PGWP, you can apply based on the length of both programs, so long as you complete the second program within 2 years of completing your first program.
You must extend your study permit before it becomes invalid. If you are waiting for a letter of acceptance for your next program and need assistance with your timeline contact International Student Advising for support. You may be eligible to maintain status between programs as well as work off-campus between programs.
How do I get my Letter of Completion?
Depending on your faculty or program, you may need to apply for graduation, request your letter, or it may be issued automatically.
Usually your Letter of Completion will be available shortly after completing your last program requirement, such as receiving your final grade or submitting your thesis.
Typically, you can access it in the Student Services Centre (under ‘Grades and Records’ > “Program Completion Letter”) or it may be emailed to you from your program or faculty.
If you’re not sure when your Letter of Completion will first become available or how to request or get it, contact an Academic Advisor or Graduate Program Staff.
After you have completed program requirements, be sure to check every day to see if your Letter of Completion stating you have completed all program requirements has become available and save a copy when you first access it. You must stop working immediately as soon as your Letter of Completion first becomes available unless one of the following applies:
- You apply immediately for your PGWP, and do so within 90 days of program completion with a valid study permit (see “Can I work while I am applying for PGWP” below)
- You are beginning a new program of study and meet all criteria
After your Letter of Completion first becomes available, you may only apply for the PGWP within a certain time period.
Within 90 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available
Apply before your study permit expires.
If your study permit expires before your Letter of Completion will become available or within the 90 days after your letter first becomes available but you won’t have enough time to apply for your PGWP before it expires, apply to extend your study permit for an additional 90-day bridging period. Apply well in advance, ideally four months before your study permit expires. Include a letter of explanation stating you are extending your study permit to apply for the PGWP.
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.
Within 180 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available
Your study permit becomes invalid 90 days after your Letter of Completion first becomes available, even if the expiry date on your study permit is several months later.
If you don’t apply for the PGWP within 90 days of your Letter of Completion becoming available with a valid study permit, before the 90 day period is over or before your study permit expires (whichever comes first) you must:
You must submit your application for the PGWP within 180 days of your Letter of Completion first becoming available, inside or outside of Canada. Your study permit must have been valid within the 180 day period before you apply for the work permit, which could mean your timeline to apply for the PGWP may be sooner than the 180 day period after receiving your Letter of Completion.
If you haven’t submitted an immigration application or you did not leave Canada before your study permit became invalid, contact International Student Advising for support.