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 the date of your degree conferral and graduation ceremony.
Your study permit validity and time frame to apply for the PGWP are based on when your Letter of Completion first becomes available, not your degree conferral or graduation ceremony.
Getting your Letter of Completion
Depending on your faculty or program, you may need to first apply for graduation and submit a request for 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. For example, if you finish your last exam in April, you might expect your Letter of Completion at the beginning of May.
Typically, you can access it in the Student Services Centre in “Program Completion Letter” under Grades and Records. A letter stating you will complete your requirements is not sufficient. The letter must state you have completed all program requirements. Some programs or faculties send your Letter of Completion by email.
If you’re not sure when your Letter of Completion will first become available or how to obtain one, contact an Academic Advisor or your Graduate Program Staff.
You cannot work after the day your letter of completion becomes available until you have submitted your application for a PGWP and meet the requirements to work. See below for details.
After you have completed your 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. Save a copy when you first access it.
If you have not been checking for your letter of completion and your degree has been conferred, your letter of completion might have been available before the degree conferral date indicated on the letter. Check with an Academic Advisor from your faculty to confirm when your letter of completion would have first become available.
You do not need to wait for a “final” transcript showing your degree is conferred. Your transcript should include your final grades for your PGWP application. A PDF transcript is acceptable.
Within 90 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available
You may only apply for the PGWP within a certain time period.
Study permits become automatically invalid in one of two ways, whichever comes first:
- The expiry date on the study permit
- 90 days after written confirmation of program completion first becomes available
To maintain status in Canada, you must submit your application before 11:59 pm Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), not local time, on the day your study permit becomes invalid and within 90 days after your letter of completion becomes available.
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 about 4 to 5 months before your study permit expires, depending on processing times. 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 90 days of completion.
Within 180 days after your Letter of Completion becomes available
Your study permit automatically 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 are in Canada and do not apply for the PGWP within 90 days of your Letter of Completion becoming available with a valid study permit, you must take action before the 90-day period is over or before your study permit expires (whichever comes first), otherwise you will be out of status.
You must complete one of the following:
You must submit your application for the PGWP within 180 days after your Letter of Completion first becomes available before 11:59pm Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), not local time, on your 180th day, whether you apply from inside or outside of Canada.
If you apply after the first 90 days of your letter of completion becoming available or after your study permit expires (whichever comes first), you will not be eligible to work until you’ve received the PGWP and might need to leave and re-enter Canada to get it. Contact International Student Advising for assistance.
If you apply in 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 your study permit expired earlier.
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 on restoring your status.