Seize the Opportunity: How to Maximize Your Post Graduate Work Permit in Canada

August 27, 2023 single-post-thumbnail.jpeg

What is a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)?

As a recent graduate, you may be wondering about the next steps in your career. One valuable opportunity available to international students in Canada is the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP is a document that allows you to work in Canada after completing a post-secondary program. It provides you with valuable work experience and opens doors to exciting career opportunities.

To be eligible for a PGWP in Canada, you must have completed a program of study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The program must be at least 8 months long, leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate. It is important to note that not all programs are eligible for a PGWP. To ensure you meet the requirements, check the list of eligible programs provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Benefits of Obtaining a PGWP

Obtaining a PGWP has numerous benefits for international graduates in Canada. Firstly, it allows you to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which is highly valued by employers. This experience can strengthen your resume and increase your chances of securing permanent employment in Canada or elsewhere.

Secondly, a PGWP allows you to explore different career paths and industries. You can work in any occupation and change employers freely during the duration of your permit. This flexibility allows you to gain a diverse range of skills and knowledge, making you a more attractive candidate to future employers.

Furthermore, a PGWP can also be a pathway to permanent residency in Canada. By gaining work experience and establishing yourself in the Canadian job market, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through various immigration programs. This can provide you with long-term stability and the opportunity to build a successful career in Canada.

How to Apply for a PGWP in Canada

The application process for a PGWP in Canada is straightforward. After completing your program of study, you have 180 days to apply for a PGWP. To begin the application process, gather the required documents, including your study permit, proof of completion of your program, and an official transcript. It is important to ensure that all documents are accurate and up-to-date.

Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you can apply for a PGWP online through the IRCC website. The application fee is CAD 255, and you may also need to pay a biometrics fee of CAD 85. It is crucial to submit your application before your study permit expires to maintain your legal status in Canada.

Duration and Conditions of a PGWP

The duration of a PGWP depends on the length of your program of study. If your program is less than 8 months but at least 6 months, you may be eligible for a PGWP with a duration equal to the length of your program. For programs between 8 months and 2 years, the duration of the PGWP can match the length of your program. If your program is 2 years or longer, you may be eligible for a three-year PGWP.

During your PGWP, there are certain conditions that you must adhere to. You must actively work in Canada and maintain a valid status. It is important to note that the PGWP is an open work permit, which means you are not tied to a specific employer or occupation. This gives you the freedom to explore different job opportunities and gain a wide range of work experience.

Finding Employment Opportunities

Once you have obtained your PGWP, it’s time to start searching for employment opportunities in Canada. Networking is a crucial aspect of finding job opportunities, so make sure to attend career fairs, and industry events, and connect with professionals in your field. Online platforms such as LinkedIn can also be valuable for expanding your professional network.

Additionally, utilize job search strategies such as creating a compelling resume and cover letter tailored to the Canadian job market. Research potential employers and industries, and apply for relevant positions that align with your skills and interests. It is important to stay persistent and proactive in your job search to maximize your chances of finding suitable employment.

Maximizing your PGWP: Networking and Job Search Strategies

To maximize PGWP benefits, network actively and employ strategic job search tactics. Networking opens doors to hidden opportunities; attend events, join associations, and expand your contacts. Use effective job search strategies like targeting aligned companies, customizing resumes, and tracking applications. Seek guidance from career centers and agencies, utilizing their advice, resources, and job leads. Enroll in workshops to enhance job search skills for Canadian employment success.

PGWP-Eligible Programs in Canada

To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have completed a program at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. It is important to carefully choose a program that is eligible for a PGWP to maximize your post-graduate work opportunities. Many universities, colleges, and technical institutes in Canada offer programs that meet the requirements for a PGWP. Consult the list of eligible programs provided by IRCC to ensure your chosen program qualifies.

When choosing a program, consider your career goals, industry demand, and the reputation of the institution. Research the employment outcomes of graduates from the program to assess the potential for future employment. It is also beneficial to consider programs that offer work-integrated learning opportunities such as co-op programs or internships, as they can provide valuable hands-on experience and industry connections.

Extending or Changing your Status After a PGWP

As the expiration of your PGWP approaches, you may be considering options to extend or change your status in Canada. There are several pathways available depending on your circumstances and goals. One option is to apply for an extension of your work permit. If you have gained valuable work experience and have a job offer, you may be eligible to extend your work permit under various immigration programs.

Another option is to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The Canadian government offers several immigration programs that prioritize individuals with Canadian work experience. Consult with an immigration lawyer or seek guidance from IRCC to determine the best pathway for your specific situation.

It is important to be proactive and plan to ensure a smooth transition after your PGWP expires. Research the various options available, assess your eligibility, and start preparing the necessary documents well in advance.


The Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) offers valuable work experience to international students in Canada. Understand eligibility, benefits, and the application process. Maximize your PGWP by networking, job searching effectively, and aligning with your career goals. Choose an eligible program and explore work-integrated learning. Plan to extend your status or seek permanent residency as it nears expiration. Seize this chance for a successful Canadian career!

Are you ready to maximize your career opportunities in Canada? Start by Contacting Canada GMC and take the first step towards securing your future.

Your Immigration Process Starts Here!