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Are you Eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

International students consider a Canadian education an investment in their futures. For most, Canada's generous allowance for international students to stay back post-graduation to gain valuable Canadian work experience is akin to receiving a dividend on their investment.

It is therefore critical for you to conduct due diligence and ensure that the institution and program you invest in earns you PGWP-eligibility.

Eligibility Criteria 1: You must have been enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) + in an approved program

According to the IRCC, to qualify for a PGWP, an international student must provide evidence that their program(s) of study were taken in Canada at one of the following eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs):

  • a public post-secondary institution, such as
  • a college
  • a trade or technical school
  • a university
  • CEGEP (in Quebec)
  • a Canadian, private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees, such as an associate, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, but only if the student is enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree, as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution
  • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec
  • a private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to
  • a diploma of vocational studies (DVS)
  • an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)

You are advised to consult the DLI list to verify an institution's eligibility.

Eligibility Criteria 2: You must have completed an academic or vocation program

International students are ineligible for a post-graduation work permit if they have completed the following:

  • an English as a second language or French as a second language course or program of study
  • general interest or self-improvement courses

Eligibility Criteria 3: You must have met all the conditions of your study permit

Successful qualification for PGWP also requires complete adherence to the conditions of your study permit.

It is important to remember that you will not be eligible for a PGWP if

  • you take unauthorized leave from your study program and
  • the IRCC finds that you didn't meet the conditions of your study permit by taking this leave

What if my institution loses DLI status?

Sometimes a DLI may lose its designation status. If this happens to the institution you are enrolled in before the completion of your program; you may be able to transfer to another program or remain at the institution that has lost its designation status to complete your program of study. You may still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, provided you have met other program requirements and have continued to meet the conditions of your study permit (for example, be enrolled and actively pursuing studies).

If you need help deciding which school or program to apply to, or need help transferring out of an institution that does not earn you PGWP-eligibility, consider booking an appointment with an IDP counsellor.

What will an IDP counsellor do for me?

  • Find the best college program based on your career interest and budget
  • Ensure that the institution you apply to earns you a PGWP
  • Manage your entire application process from start to finish
  • Guide you through the visa change/extension process following the acceptance of your admission offer

IDP does not charge students for its services.

Take the first step and book your appointment by clicking on the "Connect with a Counsellor "button.


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