Post-Graduate Work Permit: A Golden Ticket to Permanent Residency

Go through Studies to Become a Permanent Resident of Canada.


It is an authorization to work in Canada after graduating from a Canadian university/college/trade school.


This work permit allows you to accumulate work experience in Canada just after school without the need to have a job offer first, unlike most other types of work permits.

You can work wherever you want, for whoever you want. It is called an ‘open’ work permit; there is no employer named on the work permit.

You can work full-time, part-time, or even be self-employed.

Most importantly, it may help you increase your points towards permanent residence. Most economic immigration programs in Canada are based on a point system: each point counts. You can increase your points by having graduated from a Canadian school but even more drastically if you have a job offer or accumulated at least 1 year of full-time work experience in Canada.


This work permit is valid for 8 months up to 3 years, depending on the length of your program of study in Canada. If you studied two years for example, you will obtain a Post-Graduate Work Permit valid for 3 years.


Your accompanying spouse can also get an open work permit, and your children study permits or visitor records if they are below 6 years old.


Study in a Designated Learning Institution, a “DLI”, not in any university or college. Find a list of approved DLI here.

No Distance Learning: it must be a program for which you will physically go to school for more than 50% of the program.


As soon as you finish your program of study and received your official transcript or a letter confirming successful program completion, as long as your study permit is still valid.

You have 180 days (almost 6 months) from the time you receive your final transcripts or a formal letter confirming program completion, to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.


As soon as you finish your program of study and received your official transcript or a letter confirming successful program completion, as long as your study permit is still valid.

  • Paid: you must receive a salary to obtain points towards your permanent residency.
  • Industry: you can work in any industry however be mindful that some programs such as the Saskatchewan Occupations in-Demand, will require that your work experience matches your education (either completed in Canada or outside Canada).
  • Skilled: NOC 0, A or B: depending on the province where you studied, you may want to work in a ‘skilled’ occupation, meaning a managerial, professional or technical position (i.e. not a cleaner, barman, labourer). BUT, please note that numerous programs exist that will lead to permanent residence if you have accumulated experience in a specific trade, such as for example, truck driver, baker, and many other industries. So this statement is only a generality and may not apply to your case.
  • Full-time: although you can work part-time, most immigration programs will allocate points once you have accumulated the equivalent in full-time work, which means minimum 30 hours per week.
  • Work for 1 year: some immigration programs will not even need Canadian work experience in order to select you as permanent resident, however, some programs such as the Canadian Experience Class which falls under the federal Express Entry program, requires at least 1 year of full-time skilled work experience.
  • Be an employee, not self-employed: be careful, although a Post-Graduate Work Permit allows you to work for yourself, your work experience accumulated in Canada as a self-employed will not give you points for permanent residence.


Can you get a study permit and then a Post-Graduate Work Permit under Covid-19?

Yes. You however must be getting a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution that has put in place Covid-19 measures approved by the government. You can search the schools here.


A Post-Graduate Work Permit is only given once. After your PGWP expires, you must have a valid status in order to remain in Canada, ideally as a Permanent Resident, or under another type of work permit.


We help you find the right school, program, get a letter of acceptance from an approved DLI, obtain a Study Permit, a Post-Graduate Work Permit, Permanent Residence, and finally, your Canadian passport.

We help entrepreneurs set up their business and immigration strategy and execute on it.

We believe immigration is more than just a visa. We accompany our entrepreneurs during their entire immigration journey: from business set up to the first work permit, then permanent residency and finally, citizenship.

  • Find the business to buy or rent.
  • Find the location.
  • Incorporate the business.
  • Write a business plan tailored to immigration requirements.
  • We put you in touch with our network to start finding clients, distributors, suppliers.
  • Find schools for your children.
  • Your spouse and children under 22 years old can be included in your application.

To book a consultation with a lawyer and explore your business immigration options, email us.


+1 647.979.7068 (WhatsApp available)

85 East Liberty Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3R4, Canada

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