How to Obtain Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in 2023

After graduating from a Canadian institution, many students aspire to work and potentially settle in Canada due to its numerous opportunities and quality of life. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of obtaining a Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in 2023 immediately after completing your studies in Canada.

Understanding Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

The Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is a program that allows graduates from Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially obtain permanent residence in Canada. This work permit is specifically designed for international students who have completed their studies in Canada.

Canada's Postgraduate Work Permit

Before delving into the application process, let’s familiarize ourselves with some key terms:

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is a standard used to measure and accredit the English language proficiency of prospective immigrants. It is a vital component of the Canadian citizenship application process. The French language proficiency is assessed using the Niveaux de compétence Linguistique canadiens (NCLC).

National Occupation Code (NOC)

The National Occupation Code (NOC) provides detailed information about various occupations available in the Canadian labor market. Jobs are classified based on skill type and skill level. This classification helps identify the eligibility of post-graduates for different job opportunities. The skill levels range from 0 (management jobs) to D (labor jobs with on-the-job training).

Applying for Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit in 2023

To be eligible for a Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit, you must meet certain criteria and requirements. Let’s explore the key eligibility requirements:

  • Hold an eligible qualification at the degree level or above.
  • Graduate from a recognized institution, such as a public post-secondary institution, college, trade or technical school, university, or private post-secondary school operating under provincial law.
  • Ensure your institution of graduation is listed as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
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When to Apply for Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit?

Once you receive confirmation of completing your study program and your final grades, you can determine your eligibility for the PGWP. This confirmation should be obtained within six months (180 days), and an official transcript from your institution must be submitted along with the application.

It is crucial to apply for the work permit within 90 days after your study permit expires, or you may be required to leave Canada. Timing is essential to ensure a smooth transition from student status to a work permit.

Documents and Eligibility

Before applying for the PGWP, ensure you have all the necessary documents ready. These may include the official transcript, a confirmation of program completion from your institution, and proof of maintaining full-time student status throughout your program, except in the final year.

Check your eligibility to work full-time after applying, and keep your contact information up to date in case of any changes during the application process.

Validity of Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit

The duration of a post-graduate work permit depends on the length of your study program. The permit can be granted for a minimum of 8 months to a maximum of 3 years. For example, if you completed an 11-month program, your work permit will likely be issued for up to 11 months. Similarly, if you studied for two years, you may be granted a three-year work permit.

Applying for Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit

The application process for a Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit can be done online, provided you have all the required documents in order. Online applications are generally faster and more convenient. However, if you wish to extend your permit, a paper application is required.

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When applying online, make sure to read the instructions and guidelines provided on the official website of the Canada Immigration and Citizenship Department. Prepare electronic copies of your documents using a scanner and ensure you have a valid credit or debit card to pay the processing fees. Biometrics fees may also be applicable, covering the cost of fingerprint collection and digital photos.

After submitting your application and paying the necessary fees, you will receive a letter instructing you to provide biometrics. Follow the instructions and attend the designated location for the biometrics process. The letter will also be required when you appear for your work permit.

Special Cases

There are some cases where international students may be ineligible for the post-graduate work permit application. These include having previously obtained a PGWP in Canada or another country, studying English or French as a second language, pursuing general interest or self-sophisticated courses, receiving equal opportunity scholarship awards in Canada, or completing major programs through distance learning.

However, there are a few exceptions where international students may still be eligible for a post-graduate work permit if they have completed a distance learning program or taken a break from their studies.


Obtaining a Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is an exciting opportunity for international students who wish to gain valuable work experience and potentially settle in Canada. By following the application process and meeting the eligibility requirements, you can pave the way for a successful transition from student life to professional endeavors in Canada. Remember to stay informed, prepare your documents, and apply within the specified timelines to maximize your chances of obtaining a post-graduate work permit in Canada in 2023.

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