Post-graduation work permit

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will allow you to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. The length of the work permit depends on the length of your program. You do not require a job offer to apply and do not need to work in a specific field.
PGWP is issued only once in a lifetime, therefore, if you have plans to pursue further studies in Canada, you may wish to consult International Learner Advisor when is the best time to apply.

To be eligible for post-graduation work permit
  • You must have completed a program that lasted at least 8 months and led to a diploma or certificate
  • You must have maintained full-time student status each academic session throughout the program (excludes the regularly scheduled break) with the following exceptions:
      *You studied part-time in your final semester only
    *You took an authorized leave for less than 150 days
  • You must have completed the majority of a study with in-class format, not online. 

See full eligibility details about post-graduation work permit.

When to apply

Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after your completion letter is available, or the study permit expiration date, whichever comes first.

  • If you have a valid study permit, apply within 90 days after your completion letter becomes available
  • If you applied for visitor status, applied to restore your temporary resident status, or left Canada, apply within 180 days after your completion letter becomes available
Official Graduation Documents for PGWP

In the last term of your program, submit an application to graduate. Once you become qualified to graduate, Bow Valley College will issue the following documents 6-8 weeks after the completion of your study.

  • Post-Graduate Work Permit Letter - this letter will be issued automatically to each eligible international learner who has been officially graduated from a post-secondary program. This should not be requested separately.  
  • Official Final Transcript -official transcripts will be issued automatically to each learner once official graduation from a post-secondary program has been confirmed.  
How to apply


  • Online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website
    - Create IRCC secure account and follow the instructions.
OUTSIDE of Canada
Working before you apply for PGWP

If you are eligible to work in your final term, you can continue working up to 20 hours a week off-campus until your completion letter becomes available.
Once your Letter of Completion becomes available, you are no longer eligible to work and must stop immediately.

Working after you apply for PGWP

You can start working full-time while you are waiting for a PGWP decision if:

  • you have a valid study permit at the time of the PGWP application
  • you have completed your program
  • you met the requirements for working off-campus (that is, maintained full-time student status throughout the program)
  • you did not exceed the allowed hours of work during your study

You must stop working as soon as you are notified by IRCC that your application for a work permit is refused.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to obtain information on how to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. It is illegal to work without a required work permit. 

Please refer to IRCC requirements section "Full-time students with a part-time course load in their final academic session" here.

To read about transitioning from Off-Campus Work Permits to Post-Graduation Work Permits please click here:

Some students have to provide proof of medical exam when they apply for a work permit (Coop, Off-Campus, Post-Graduate). Please read the information found on Immigration and Citizenship website:

When you receive your Post-Graduate Work Permit, please request your SIN if you currently do not have one.

The following information has been extracted from Employment and Social Development Canada's website, and it may change any time without notice.

3.3 Social Insurance Number

International students who want to work in Canada must get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Employment and Social Development Canada. By law, employers must see the SIN within three days of the student starting work. Students should apply in person for a SIN. It may take 10 working days to get the SIN card in the mail. The SIN card expires on the same day as the permit.

Note: Students with a work permit do not need a contract from their employer. Students with a study permit who are working on campus need a valid contract with an on-campus employer. The period it states they will be working must fall within the period of the permit. 

You may apply for permanent residency if you meet the requirements for Canada's immigration programs. Please click here for further details.

In addition, review the requirements to immigrate to the province of Alberta here.

Join Bow Valley College’s alumni community on LinkedIn:

International Learner Advisors




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