Canada: Changes to Canada's Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

Last Updated: August 2 2019
Article by Reis Pagtakhan and Maria A. Penner

Information for International Students and Employers of International Students

Earlier this year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated the processing instructions for its post-graduation work permit program (PGWPP), which allows international students to work in Canada after they graduate. This update has implications for international students studying in Manitoba – as well as for companies who employ or are looking to hire international students.

The updates contain two significant changes: international students are no longer required to hold a valid study permit when applying for a post-graduation work permit, and the deadline to apply for a work permit has been extended from 90 days after graduation to 180 days.

There are also several other changes and additions to the processing instructions, which we describe below.

The new IRCC guidelines apply to all post-graduation work permit applications received on or after February 14, 2019. The previous guidelines apply to all applications submitted on or before February 13, 2019. Reminder: an international student can receive only one post-graduation work permit in his or her lifetime.

Work permit eligibility

To be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, an international student must have studied at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI). View a complete list of DLIs.

Work permit issuance and validity

Post-graduation work permits may be issued for a minimum of eight months to a maximum of three years. IRCC officers will consider the length of the international student's program of study when determining the validity period of a work permit.

If an international student has completed his or her studies in less time than the normal length of the program, the duration of the work permit should be assessed on the normal length of the program.

If an international student's school has been impacted by a strike during the time of study, he or she is still considered a full-time student throughout the duration of the strike and the time away from class will not impact work permit eligibility.

International students who complete their programs of study exclusively by distance learning – whether it be from outside or within Canada – are ineligible for post-graduation work permits. If more than 50% of a program consists of distance learning, it is considered a distance-learning program and the student is ineligible for a work permit. If less than 50% of a program consists of distance learning, a work permit may be issued based on the length of the program.

Students who complete a program of study in Canada that has an overseas component are eligible for post-graduation work permits, although the length of the permit will be based on the length of time they studied in Canada, not abroad.

Applying for a work permit – As an International Student – What international students need to know

International students must apply for a post-graduation work permit within 180 days of graduating. This period commences the day a student receives his or her final marks or the day he or she receives written confirmation of completing the program—whichever comes first.

If an international student's study permit is still valid, he or she may apply for a work permit from within Canada. If the student wishes to remain in Canada but the study permit is no longer valid, he or she must apply for visitor status prior to the expiration of the study permit.

If an international student, while waiting for notice of graduation, changes his or her status to visitor status before the study permit expires, he or she may apply for a work permit from within Canada.

If the international student's study permit becomes invalid or expires, he or she must either leave Canada or submit an application to change his or her status in Canada before applying for a work permit.

Leaves from studies

If a student took leave from his or her studies during the program, an IRCC officer will determine if the student complied with the conditions of the study permit by being enrolled at a DLI, remaining enrolled and actively pursuing coursework.

If the officer determines the international student actively pursued studies during his or her leave, the student may still be eligible for a work permit. If the student has not met the conditions of the study permit, he or she may be banned from applying for a work permit for a period of six months from the date he or she stopped unauthorized study or work.

Work authorization after applying for a work permit – What employers need to know

If international students apply for work permits before their study permit expires, they are eligible to work full-time without a permit while awaiting a decision on their post-graduation work permit if:

  • they had a valid study permit at the time of their post-graduation work permit application;
  • they have completed their studies;
  • they were a full-time student enrolled at a DLI for the minimum time requirement and obtained a degree, diploma or certificate; and
  • they did not exceed the allowable hours of work during their period of study.

If a student's application for a work permit is refused, he or she must stop working as soon as he or she is notified by IRCC.

This article first appeared in Communication Journal, a publication of Pharmacists Manitoba.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions