Updated: July 3rd, 2024

Post Graduate Work Permit

Post-graduate work visas are open work permits granted to foreign students who have completed an educational program in Canada. With this permit, graduates can work for any employer, for any number of hours, anywhere in Canada. The permit is valid for 8 months to 3 years and offers a valuable opportunity to gain work experience in the country.

Canadian work experience can be beneficial for obtaining permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship if graduates decide to stay.

Entries are typically processed within 80 to 180 days, provided all necessary requirements are met.

Post-graduates who have obtained this temporary work permit can opt for permanent residence through one of the following programs:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
  • Quebec Immigration Programs (QIP)
  • Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP).

Unlike most Canadian work permits, post-graduates will not be required to complete a labour market impact assessment (LMIA).

To be eligible for this permit, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Complete at least 8 months of education in Canada in a full-time program.
  • The program must be taken at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
  • You must submit your profile within 180 days of your graduation.
  • If you submit your profile while staying in Canada, you must have a valid student permit.

Eligible educational programs include the following:

  • Public post-secondary schools like colleges, trade or technical schools or universities, or CEGEP in Quebec.
  • Private post-secondary schools operating under the same rules as public schools.
  • Private secondary or post-secondary schools that are based in Quebec and offer qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer. These must also lead to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) in order to qualify.
  • Canadian private schools that legally award degrees under provincial law for those enrolled in study programs leading to a degree.


What is the pool?
To be included in the pool you must qualify for one of the specific immigration programs listed under Express Entry. You must also score a minimum of 67 points on your immigration profile. Points are awarded for educational and professional qualifications, work experience, age, language ability, and more. The Canadian government selects the most suitable candidates from the pool and issues them with an official invitation (known as ITA) to become Canadian residents.
How many points do I need to get selected?
The Express Entry system uses what it called the Comprehensive Ranking System, a formula that takes into account your education, skills and experience, those of your husband/wife or partner, and whether you have a specific job offer. These factors go to build up your score out of a possible maximum of 1200. As mentioned, the higher the points you score, the greater the possibility to be selected from the pool.
How long does it take to move to Canada?
The idea of starting a new life in Canada is very exciting. But please be prepared that getting selected for an immigration program takes time. This is why the Express Entry program is extremely popular - the Canadian government aims to select candidates within 6 months. Time may significantly vary between immigration programs; the individual process of each program, government policies, the complexity of your case, and more, may affect the time it would take you to move to Canada.
Are there any goverment fees?
Like many other countries worldwide the Canadian government charges fees for the processing of immigration entries. Depending on the specific program you entered, the size and age of your family, and more – you may need a few hundred to several thousand Canadian dollars. Please note that all government fees are non-refundable. This is one of many reasons you should prepare well for your immigration process, gain as much knowledge as you can, and if possible, seek help from professionals in this field.

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