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Update: Post-Graduation Work Permit Applicant Travel Outside Canada

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Study Permits

Update: Post-Graduation Work Permit Applicant Travel Outside Canada

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) applicants can now travel outside of Canada while waiting for a decision on their application. Effective February 21, 2020, international students who are graduates of Canadian universities and are eligible to work full time without a work permit will be able to maintain their ability to work legally in Canada even if they leave and re-enter the country. A post-graduation work permit allows students who graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain work experience in Canada.

In February 2019, new post-graduation work permit changes went into effect:

  • The deadline to apply for a post-graduation work permit was extended from 90 days to 6 months (180 days).
  • Applicants are no longer required to hold a valid study permit when applying for a post-graduation work permit; a student must have had a valid study permit at some time during the 180 days.

How to Get A Study Permit to Attend University in Canada

What Is a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

Canada wants more international students to become Canadian Permanent Residents to help build the economy. To qualify and apply for PGWP applicants must:

  1. Graduate from a Canadian public institution or a recognized degree program at a private institution, include universities, colleges or Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel
  2. Apply online or print out and mail an application
  3. Apply within 180 days after your school issues your final marks for a post-graduation work permit.
  4. Pay all application fees, including the “Open work permit holder” fee and the standard fee.

PGWP decisions take 90 days or more to process:

  • post-graduation work permit is an open work permit
  • international graduates with a PGWP are not required to have a Canada job offer
  • PGWP holders can work in any occupation anywhere in Canada
  • post-graduation work permit holder can change employers at any time

Work experience through a Post-Graduation Work Permit Program can help support an application to become a permanent resident of Canada.

If you want to study in Canada or apply for a post-graduation work permit, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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