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Canada: Visa Guides - Must read

Post study visa options in Canada

Can you work in Canada after studying in the country as an international student? Read our guide to the visa possibilities for international graduates in Canada...

Post-study visa in Canada

Now that you’ve completed your course, you might want to stay in Canada to work and explore this beautiful country…So, what do you need to do to stay for longer?


You have the opportunity to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) which allows you to stay in Canada to work after your studies. However you need to check if you’re eligible for this...


Can I work in Canada once I graduate?


To find out if you’re eligible for a PGWP, you need to satisfy the following terms. If the following are all TRUE, you can apply for a permit:

  • I have studied full-time on a course that lasted a minimum of 8 months
  • I have studied at one of the following: a public post-secondary institution e.g. a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP (for Quebec); or a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules as the institutions above.
  • Applied for a PGWP within 90 days of completing my course


Search for your institution here.


  • I have completed and passed my course, and I have an official notification from the institution confirming this
  • I have a valid study permit when applying for my PGWP


Find out more about eligibility requirements here.


How do I apply for a work permit?

You can apply on the CIC website just as you would have done for your study permit. You’ll need the passcode you used previously when applying for your study permit and you’ll need to log in to your MyCIC account. You must provide evidence of being enrolled at a designated learning institution.


The process is very simple. You just have to enter your code, complete the application form, upload the necessary documents and pay the fees before submitting.


How much does a post-graduate work permit cost?

To stay in Canada after your course, you will need to pay approximately $255 (CAD), which you can pay by credit/debit card via your existing account.


When should I apply for the work permit?

You must apply for this work permit within 90 days of graduating from your course. You do not need a job offer at this time. Once you receive a confirmation of when your studies will be concluding, make sure you leave yourself a reminder in your diary or calendar so you don’t miss the deadline.


How long is a work permit valid for?

Your permit will last for as long as you studied in Canada, although there is a maximum of 3 years. If you have studied for longer than 2 years, you are automatically eligible for a permit that allows you to stay in the country for 3 years. So if you studied an undergraduate degree for 4 years, you can remain in the country for 3 years after you conclude that course. You must have studied in the country for at least 8 months to satisfy the requirements for a PGWP.



What can I do with it?

As well as being able to work in the country, a work permit is a good stepping stone if you wish to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada in the future (i.e. live in the country as a resident). Even if you’ve not settled on a specific career path, with a work permit you can remain in the country to gain valuable work experience.


Once you’ve received your work permit...

As with the study permit, once you’ve submitted an application you may be asked to provide your fingerprints and a photograph. Find out more about biometrics here.


If your work permit is approved, you will need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Extend your health insurance coverage so you’re meeting the basic requirements
  • Apply for or extend your Social Insurance Number
  • Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa – this allows you to enter the country at the border (as opposed to a Study or Work Permit which allows you to remain in the country), so you’ll need this whenever you attempt to cross the border to enter the country from thereon. In fact, whenever you leave the country and attempt to re-enter, be prepared to face some questions by border agents to prove that you have the correct immigration status to be in the country.


Read more:

'Applying for a student visa in Canada'


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About Author

Post-study visa in Canada

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.