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Post Graduate Work Permit

To work in Canada after you graduate, you need a work permit. The work experience you gain while working may help you qualify for permanent residence.


The Canadian immigration system issues the post-graduation work permit for international students graduating from Canadian colleges and universities that allows them to work in Canada after graduation for up to three years. The work permit also helps students trying to get permanent residency in Canada.

With a post-graduate work permit, one can work anywhere in Canada for any employee and can even change employers. You can be eligible to get a post-graduate work permit if you graduate from a designated learning institute (DLI) in Canada and work in Canada temporarily.

Validity of a Post-Graduate Work Permit

The length of your work permit mainly depends on the length of your college degree. If your study program lasted for less than eight months, then you are not eligible for a work permit. In cases where the length of the study program is more than eight months but lower than two years, you may get a work permit for the same duration as your college degree. If you were in a nine-month course, you would be eligible for a work permit valid for nine months.

International students will be eligible for a work permit valid for three years if they complete a study program that took two or more years. For students who have completed more than one course are eligible for a work permit that combines the duration of both the courses. The study programs must be eligible for the work permit and must go on for more than eight months. If a student has already got a work permit after one course, he or she is not eligible for another work permit.

Eligibility Criteria for a Post-Graduate Work Permit

Graduation does not guarantee a post-graduation work permit, and you have to check the DLI list for colleges and universities that have such programs. You can apply for a work permit inside 180 days once you receive your final marks.

It is possible that your study permit expires while you wait for your marks. In such cases, you can follow two steps. You can stay in Canada for longer by applying for a visitor record, or you can apply for your post-graduate work permit after leaving Canada. If your study permit expires while you are still in Canada, then you have to pay additional fees to restore your student status in the country.

Students can apply for the work permit if they meet the following requirements:
• Must have a valid study permit.
• Visitor record must be valid.
• Must have applied for the extension of the study permit before it expires, and no decision has yet been made regarding the application.
• Must have made an application for the change of status from student to visitor before the expiry of the study permit, and no decision on the application has been made yet.
• Must have completed a study course from a designated learning institution that was at least eight months long or more than that and leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree for the student.
• Must have full-time student status during each semester of the course except the final semester, which can also be part-time. You can also apply for a leave from studies subject to approval.
• Must have graduated from a public school like a college, technical school, university, or a CEGEP. Graduates from private schools are also eligible if the school operates under public school rules. Graduated from private schools that can award degrees as authorized by the Canadian government.

Before applying for a post-graduate work permit, make sure you meet all the above requirements. If you are ineligible, do not apply as your application will be rejected and you won’t be able to get a work permit to stay and work in Canada for longer.

Ineligibility Criteria for a Post-Graduate Work Permit

Not every student who graduates is eligible for a work permit. The following things will make a student ineligible from getting a work permit:
• If a student already has a work permit.
• If a student studied French or English as a secondary language.
• If a student takes self-improvement or general interest courses.
• If a student participated in the Government of Canada Awards.
• If a student received funding from the Global Affairs Canada.
• If a student has the Equal Opportunity scholarship.
• If a student took part in the China-Canada Scholar Exchange program.
• If a student did the majority of his degree through distance learning.
• If a student completed his degree at a Non-Canadian college or school based in Canada.

Special Cases Related to Work Permit Eligibility

There are some exceptions and special cases when it comes to eligibility for a Canadian work permit.Your passport must be valid until the length of your work permit. If your passport expires earlier, your work permit should be valid for as long as the passport is valid. You can even apply for the extension of your work permit.

In accelerated programs that take less time to complete than a regular study program, students will be eligible for a work permit valid for the complete length of the course. If you complete a one-year course in eight months, you can get a work permit for one full year.

Students will be eligible for a work permit if distance learning accounts for less than 50% of their full study course. The duration of the work permit will be the entire length of the course, but this does not hold if distance learning makes up more than 50% of the total course.

You may lose eligibility for a work permit if you take unapproved leaves during your study program or your leaves break the conditions of the study permit. In some cases, you may take an approved leave of up to 150 days and still be eligible for the work permit.

If a student transfers between colleges or schools, then the total length of the course should be more than eight months to be eligible for the work permit. If the transfer is from a non-DLI to a DLI, only time spent at the DLI would be considered. If your study course has an overseas part and you get a credit from a Canadian institution for it, you will be eligible for a work visa, but the duration will depend on the time period you spent studying in Canada only.

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Applying for a Post-Graduate Work Visa

Students get almost 180 days to apply for a work permit after the completion of their diploma or degree from a Canadian institution. In cases where the study permit expires before applying for a work permit, a student will have to restore his student status. You will have 90 days to apply for this and to apply for a work permit. You will have to pay $255 while applying online for the work permit and $350 to restore the student status.

Along with making the payment for restoration of the student status, attach a copy of your work permit application’s receipt. You can’t work until you receive your study and work permit, and if you don’t apply inside 90 days of your study permit expiring, you have to leave Canada.

Make sure you keep all documents ready while applying for a post-graduate work permit. You will need a letter from your school that confirms the duration of your study course and its code. You will also need an official letter or certificate that proves you have completed your study program. In some cases, you will have to give your photo and fingerprints after applying.

It is possible to change the conditions or extend the duration of your work permit by applying for it in the paper. An extension is possible only if your passport expires earlier than your work permit. For an additional document like a medical certificate, you will have to change the conditions of your work permit after you originally applied.

Benefits of Applying Online for the Work Permit

• You don’t have to pay any mail or courier fees, and your application will be received almost instantly.
• You can make sure the application is complete before submission.
• If required, you can easily upload any required documents online quickly.
• Online applications are processed quicker than paper applications.
• You will be updated regularly regarding the status of your work permit application.

Work During Your Application is Processed

You can work full-time while your application is being processed, provided you meet certain conditions. You must have a valid study permit and must have completed your study course. While studying, you must have been eligible for working off-campus and didn’t work for more hours than the limit.

If you meet these conditions, you are eligible to work. Provide a copy of all documents to your employer and start working until you receive the work permit. If you don’t meet the required criteria, wait for your work permit, as you cannot work in Canada without proper authorization.

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How can Cambridge Immigration Help You?

At Cambridge Immigration, our team is always ready to help international students with everything related to studying and working in Canada. We will help you get a work permit so that you can work and extend your stay in Canada. We will check and prepare your application along with all required documents and proofs.

Our work is to make sure that everything takes place smoothly, and there are no obstacles in your application. We can even help you extend the duration of your work permit in some cases. Students who have or are about to complete their studies in Canada and want to work here should surely contact us. We will make it easy for you to get a post-graduate work permit and start working in Canada.


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