Working after completing your studies
In most cases, international students can apply for a work permit after completing their studies. Verify your eligibility on the IRCC website.
Transition from study permit to work permit
You must ensure that you maintain your proper standing during the transition period between the end of your studies and obtaining your work permit. Here are some important reminders:
- If you have completed all of your academic activities, you can continue to work in compliance with the conditions stipulated on your study permit while you wait for your certificate of completed studies and your final transcript.
- You must immediately cease working with your study permit once ÉTS has issued your certificate of completed studies and your final transcript.
- If your study permit is valid at the time when you submit your application for a co-op work permit (CWP), you can begin to work full-time immediately, without waiting to receive your work permit by mail (implied status).
- If your study permit expires before you submit your application for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), you must change your status to that of a visitor by attaching an explanatory letter. You must wait until you receive your work permit before starting to work.
- If you no longer have a legal status, you must apply for restoration of status at the time when you apply for your PGWP. You are not authorized to work during this period.
Overview of a post-graduation work permit
The PGWP is an open work permit, which means that it is not associated with a specific employer and you do not require a valid offer of employment when you apply for it.
- You must have successfully completed a study program and have received the transcript and certificate of completed studies from the Registrar’s Office;
- Submit your application within 180 days after ÉTS establishes your final marks;
- You must have maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program (unless granted an authorized exception). If this situation does not apply, attach an explanatory letter and other supporting documents;
- If you are in Canada, you must hold valid temporary resident status at the time when you submit your application;
- You must not have received a PGWP following the successful completion of another study program;
- See all of the eligibility criteria and the procedure to follow for applying for a PGWP on the IRCC website.
PGWP validity period
The validity period depends on the normal length of your study program:
- Programs lasting 2 years or more (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.): 3 years;
- Programs lasting less than 2 years (DESS, certificate): Validity period equal to the normal length of your study program.
Processing times and fees
Processing times may vary depending on the time of year and where you submit your application. Verify the current processing times on the IRCC website.
According to the IRCC Fee list, the fee for obtaining a PGWP is $255, in addition to the biometrics fees that may apply, depending on your situation.
If you have not given your biometric data (fingerprints, photo) as part of a previous application (e.g.: study permit) within the last 10 years, you must do so as part of this application. The fees are $85 per person, or a maximum of $170 per family.
If you submit your application for a post-graduation work permit online, you will receive a letter advising you to make an appointment at a Service Canada Centre. Save time by paying the biometric fees when you apply for your work permit. Detailed information concerning biometrics.
How to apply
If is preferable to submit you application for a PGWP online, regardless of whether you are in Canada or not.
Online from Canada
The application is submitted online via your GCKey account. To submit you application from inside Canada, you must hold valid legal status.
Online from outside of Canada
The application is submitted online via your GCKey account. Once the application has been accepted, the Visa Office will issue you a letter of introduction for a PGWP for the port of entry into Canada, along with a temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Please note that, if you submit an application from outside of Canada, you are not required to respect the condition of holding valid legal status.
At a port of entry (not recommended by ÉTS)
It is possible to apply for a PGWP at a port of entry into Canada, on the condition that you are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa. Your application will then be processed by a Canada Border Services Officer (not by Immigration Canada), and the permit will be issued on site. There is no form to fill out, but you must ensure that you have all of your supporting documents on hand. To get a better idea of the procedure, begin by filling out a simulated online application, or consult the document checklist.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to apply at the Canada-US border, it is important to understand that this process requires you to leave Canadian territory and then cross the border again. The person who requests to enter Canada again is then subject to normal customs controls. You must also respect the service hours at border crossings during which these types of permits are issued. Therefore, it is crucial that you hold valid temporary resident status (student or visitor). ÉTS strongly recommends that you submit your application online through IRCC.
Receiving your PGWP
Once you receive your post-graduation work permit, you must follow a number of other administrative procedures:
- Insurance: You will then be eligible for the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ – Québec Health Insurance Plan) throughout the validity period of your post-graduation work permit;
- Social Insurance Number: Apply for or renew your SIN;
- Temporary resident visa (TRV): If you require a visa to enter Canada, you can renew it;
- Income tax obligations.