Working in Canada after you graduate can give you experience that may help you qualify for permanent residence. But first you need a work permit.

Post-graduation work permit

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is for international students who have graduated from eligible postsecondary programs. PGWPs are open work permits that allow foreign nationals to work for any employer, anywhere in Canada.

Who can apply

Not everyone is eligible for a PGWP. To apply, you must graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI) with an eligible program. All schools in our database are DLIs. Find a school.


If you want to work in Canada after you graduate, make sure to check PGWP eligibility before selecting a program.

You may also be eligible for a PGWP if you belong to any of these groups:

  • accelerated programs
  • distance learning
  • taking leave from your studies
  • transfers between schools
  • Canadian study programs with an overseas component
  • flight school graduates

Check the PGWP eligibility requirements.

How to apply

If you are eligible, you can apply for a PGWP from inside Canada or from another country. Learn how to apply

You have 180 days to apply after you get your degree, diploma, transcript or an official letter from your school. Check current processing times.

After you apply, you can work full time until the Canadian government makes a decision on your work permit application.

Length of the permit

The length of your PGWP depends on the length of your program of study.

Make sure your passport is valid for as long as your PGWP is valid.

Get help finding a job

ACCES Employment is a non-profit organization that offers resources, programs and employment counselling to help you find work in Canada after graduation. Your school may also provide support. Check with them to find out more.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

You may be able to apply for permanent residence if you are an international student with a job offer in Ontario.

The Employer Job Offer: International Student stream is part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). It gives international students with a job offer in specific skilled occupations the chance to apply for a nomination to live and work permanently in Ontario. 

Review the requirements to see if you are eligible.