A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is an open work permit that allows students who have graduated from an eligible Designated Learning Institution (VCC's DLI number is O19279717512) to work full time in Canada and gain valuable Canadian work experience. A PGWP is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Students completing a second certificate or diploma or completing a degree may decide to wait until after completing the full period of study before applying for the PGWP.
Who Can Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?
International students who graduate from VCC may be eligible to apply for a PGWP if they meet all PGWP eligibility criteria, provided they:
Had a study permit that has been valid within the last 180 days or maintained status in Canada
Have completed a full-time program of study at VCC that was at least 8 months long, and that led to a Certificate, Diploma or Degree, and
VCC Documents, Graduation, and Application Timeline
You will need the following documents from VCC to apply for your PGWP:
VCC Post-Graduation Work Permit Letter (graduation letter)
VCC Electronic Transcript (with confirmation of graduation)
As a VCC international student, you are responsible for ensuring you don’t have any holds on your student account to allow this process to happen; otherwise, you will not receive your PGWP Letter.
PGWP Letter and Electronic Transcript
After you complete all the courses from your program, it will take up to 6 weeks for the Records Office to complete your graduation assessment. Once that is complete, you will automatically receive your PGWP Letter and Electronic Transcript to your personal and myVCC email addresses. You can use both documents to submit your PGWP application.
If you are an insert student (ie: graduating with a different cohort from your original cohort) or university-transfer student, your VCC Post-Graduation Work Permit Letter (graduation letter) will not be issued automatically. Instead, you will need to submit an Application for Graduation request to the Records Office.
VCC Official Transcript
You can use your Electronic Transcript for your PGWP application. You don’t need to use the Official Transcript. However, if you want an Official Transcript for your records, you can request it online through your myVCC account.
The Registrar’s Office will issue the Official Transcript. You can visit the Admissions, Registration and Records page (FAQ - Transcript requests) to understand the alternatives for requesting your VCC Official Transcript and payment options.
International students have up to 180 days to apply for a PGWP after graduation. However, it is highly recommended to apply for a PGWP within 90 days, with a valid study permit, as you may be eligible to work full time after submitting your PGWP application.
A study permit is usually valid for the length of your program of studies, plus an extra 90 days. A study permit becomes invalid in two ways:
Based on the expiry date written on the study permit, OR
90 days after written confirmation of program completion (PGWP Letter)
Don’t let your study permit expire while you wait for your final marks and graduation. Ensure you have a valid study permit to cover your graduation waiting period. IRCC usually gives international students a study permit to cover the length of their study program, plus 90 days.
If you apply for a PGWP without a valid study permit, you won’t be able to start working until IRCC processes and approves your PGWP application. If your study permit expires, you have up to 90 days to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student.
Working Before and After you apply for a PGWP
You can only apply for a PGWP once your VCC Post-Graduation Work Permit Letter (graduation letter) and your Electronic Transcript becomes available.
Before you receive your PGWP Letter, you are still considered a VCC international student. You may be able to work on-campus and work off-campus as long as you have had work eligibility while studying and you have a valid study permit.
Once you receive your PGWP Letter, you must stop working immediately. You are no longer authorized to continue to work in Canada, as you no longer meet the eligibility criteria as a study permit holder under paragraph R186(v).
After you receive your PGWP Letterand submit your PGWP application within 90 days, you may be able to start working full time if you meet all the eligibility criteria:
If you apply for a PGWP with a valid study permit, and your study permit becomes invalid while your PGWP application is being processed, you still retain the right to work in Canada under paragraph R186(w).
VCC International students are encouraged to apply for a PGWP within 90 days of graduation with a valid study permit. By doing that, they may be eligible to work full-time after the PGWP application submission.
Once you apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, the online system will ask you if you “are you a full-time student at a participating post-secondary institution and want to work off-campus up to 20 hours per week?”. Once you indicate “Yes” to this question, the system will understand that you have graduated and you want to apply for a PGWP.
After answering all the questions from the online wizard, you will be provided with a personalized document checklist. The checklist will require you to upload the “Completion of Studies Letter” and “Recent Education Transcript”. Please upload your VCC Post-Graduation Work Permit Letter (graduation letter) and VCC Electronic Transcript (with confirmation of graduation) accordingly.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a pdf letter in your IRCC secure account to indicate that the original document will be mailed to your provided address. Make sure your address is correct once submitting your application.
Please review the following documents for instructions on how to submit a post-graduation work permit application online from inside Canada:
If you apply on paper, read the instruction guide based on the country you are submitting your PGWP application from. Once you select the country from where you are submitting your application, the system will generate a list of documents and forms you need to submit. Submit your completed application with all required documents and the fee receipt to the address given in the application package.
Review the following important considerations related to the post-graduation work permit.
The spouse of an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and is eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit may be eligible for an open work permit.
Your spouse may be eligible for an open work permit if you (as the main applicant) are a skilled worker in one occupation under the Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) type 0, 1, 2 or 3 and approved to work in Canada for six months or longer. Your family member will need to complete their own application forms. However, you may submit your applications together if meeting the eligibility criteria.
IRCC Temporary Policy: On December 2, 2022, IRCC released a temporary policy in effect as of January 2023 through a temporary 2-year measure expanding the occupation requirement to all TEER skill levels. This new temporary policy also expands the eligibility to allow working-aged children to obtain a work permit.
As a PGWP holder, to support your spouse's or working-aged children open work permit application, you may need to provide the following:
a copy of your PGWP valid for a period of at least 6 months, and
a letter from your current employer, or a copy of your employment offer or contract that confirms that you work under any TEER skill levels occupation (temporary policy), and
a copy of your three most recent payslips (You may be employed part-time. Although there is not a standard minimum of hours required, IRCC officers have to be satisfied that your employment or funds will be sufficient to support yourself and your family members while in Canada financially), and
evidence that you are or plan to reside in Canada while employed (be fiscally in Canada)
evidence of the genuine relationship with the spouse or common-law partner
If your post-graduation work permit expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to December 31, 2022, you may have the opportunity to work in Canada for an additional 18 months by either extending your work permit or applying for a new one. Please visit How to get an open work permit for some current and former post-graduation work permit holders to check your eligibility. These measures will affect individual applicants in different ways. If you are required to submit a new open work permit application, you must submit it by December 31, 2022.
To learn more about this new temporary public policy, please visit the following IRCC pages:
The information on this page has been developed and endorsed by Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, the information may change without notice, and this is not a legal document. Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most up-to-date information.