About post-graduation work permits

A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is an open work permit, allowing the holder to work for any employer in Canada.

The length of the PGWP depends on the length of the study program the student has completed, up to a maximum of three years. The Canadian work experience gained through working while on a PGWP can be used to qualify for permanent residence through Express Entry and SINP.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for a PGWP you should meet the following conditions:

  • Continuously studied full-time for the entirety of your program of study, exceptions may be made for the following: 
    • Authorized leave from studies
    • Part time status for final academic session
  • Completed a program of study from the University of Saskatchewan and have written confirmation of program completion
  • Your program of study was at least 8 months in length
  • Held a valid study permit for the entirety of your program and have valid immigration status in Canada at the time of applying for the PGWP (eg. study permit or visitor status)
    • If you are applying from outside of Canada, no valid immigration document is needed at the time of application
  • Apply for the PGWP within 180 days of receiving written confirmation of program completion

Leave from studies

If you took an authorized leave from your studies that did not exceed 150 days you may still be eligible for the PGWP so long as the processing immigration officer is satisfied that you met the conditions of your study permit; including the requirement to actively pursue your program of study.

Part-time status for final academic session

If you maintained full-time student status during each academic session of your program with the exception of your final academic session (that is, you were a part-time student) you are still eligible for a PGWP.

You are not eligible if you took part in specific Canadian funded scholarships.

IRCC has provided further guidance for unique situations, such as distance learning, transfers between educational institutions and programs with overseas components.

On February 14, 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made changes to the application process of the post-graduate work permit (PGWP)This website has been updated to reflect those changes.

Applying

When to apply

  • You must apply for a PGWP within 180 days of receiving written confirmation from the University of Saskatchewan indicating that you have met the requirements for completion of your academic program. The date of your graduation ceremony is not relevant, do not wait until the graduation ceremony to apply for the PGWP.

  • You can apply for a PGWP from within or outside of Canada. You can apply for a PGWP from within Canada, leave and seek to re-entry to Canada before a decision is made on your application so long as you have a valid TRV or eTA for re-entry into Canada. After re-entry, you are eligible to work while waiting for a decision on your PGWP application.

  • If you apply for a PGWP from outside of Canada, you must wait for the letter of invitation to be issued by IRCC before arriving in Canada. The letter of invitation is a document you present to a Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) Agent at your first port of entry in Canada. They must be satisfied that all admissibility requirements have been met before issuing you your PGWP and allowing you to enter Canada. For more information, please review Port of entry

How to apply

You can apply for the PGWP either online, or by paper.

You must include in the application written confirmation from the University of Saskatchewan of program completion AND an official or unofficial transcript.

After you get your PGWP

  • Make a copy of it and store the original safely.
  • If you are going to work in Canada, you will need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). If you did not receive a SIN at the port of entry, you must apply at Service Canada.
  • Apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada (if applicable).
  • Renew your Saskatchewan Health Card.

 Your PGWP will not be issued beyond the expiry date of your passport. If you are eligible for a longer PGWP than what is your passport’s validity, then you must apply again for PGWP after you renew your passport.

Working after completing academic requirements for program of study, but prior to receiving written confirmation of program completion

After completing your final academic requirements, but before receiving written confirmation of program completion from the University, you are eligible to work part-time on or off campus, so long as:

  • You hold a valid study permit;
  • You were a full-time student in your last academic semester (or, you maintained full-time status for the duration of your degree except your final semester and you were part-time your final semester because you only required a part-time course load to complete your degree);
  • You did not work more than 20 hours off campus during regular academic session.

Once you receive written confirmation of program completion you must cease working and leave Canada within 90 days or apply to change your status (eg. visitor status or PGWP).

Please find more information.

Working after submitting PGWP application and prior to decision being reached on the application

If you applied for a PGWP before the expiry of your study permit, you are eligible to work full time, without a work permit, while waiting for a decision on the application if all of the following apply to you:

  • You had a valid study permit at the time of applying for your PGWP (If you applied for a PGWP on visitor status you will not be able to work until you receive the PGWP)
  • You have completed your program of study
  • You were in compliance of your study permit during your studies
  • You did not exceed the allowable hours of on and off campus work during your studies

If your PGWP is refused, you must stop working immediately. Please visit ISSAC.

Working between two programs of study

If you have completed a program of study and will be starting a new program of study within 150 days of receiving written confirmation of program completion from your current University, you may work off campus (not on campus), full-time, so long as:

  • The program you will be enrolled in, and the program you completed, are post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training programs, of duration of six months or more, that lead to degrees, diplomas or certificates;
  • You have received written confirmation of program completion from your current University; and
  • You have a valid study permit, or have submitted an application to extend your study permit prior to your current study permit expiring and as such you have implied status

If you have applied to extend your stay in Canada as a student and your study permit application is refused, then you must inform your employer and cease working immediately.

You can only work on campus if you are a full time student at, and have a valid study permit with, that particular University.  Implied status does not allow on campus work between study permits. 

(Please be advised that this immigration advice has been prepared by University legal counsel and must be provided in an unaltered state.)


The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by an immigration lawyer in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to www.cic.gc.ca for the most up-to-date information, or contact ISSAC.


Getting help

Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.

International Student Guide

If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.

ISSAC