If you’re an international student in Canada you’ll want to start planning for your post-graduation work permit if you want to stay and work in Canada after your studies and study permit come to an end.
A post-graduation work permit is an open work permit for individuals who have graduated from a Canadian school and want to work in Canada. An open work permit allows you to work for any company in Canada in a full time, part time or self-employed capacity.
To learn more about the process, eligibility and other requirements, read below!
There are some very specific requirements to meet in order to apply for a post-graduation work permit. You must have:
If you fall under any of the below, you are likely ineligible for a post-graduation work permit:
In order for your studies in Canada to be legitimate, your program must have been earned at an eligible institution. These are called Designated Learning Institutions (DLI’s), which include:
The best way to confirm whether a school is a DLI is to check the government website here.
If you submit your post-graduation work permit application before your study permit expires, you can work full-time in Canada until a decision is made on your application if:
The length of your post-graduation work permit depends mostly on the length of the program you studied in, up to a maximum of three years. More specifically:
Your program was between 8 and 24 months: your work permit will be for the length of the program.
Your program was 2 years or longer: your work permit will be for 3 years.
You completed 2 or more programs of 8 months or longer within 2 years: your work permit will be for the combined length of the programs. If they combine to equal 24 months or longer, the work permit will be for 3 years.
Regular breaks, such as Christmas/summer break, are generally included in the work permit length.
Keep in mind that work permits are never valid beyond the validity of your passport. This means if you are eligible for a 3 year post-graduation work permit but your passport expires in 2 years, it will only be granted for 2 years and you will have to apply for an extension when you receive your new passport.
You will incur government filing fees when submitting your application. They include:
Work permit fee: $155 CAD
Open work permit fee: $100 CAD
Biometrics fee (if applicable): $85 per person, or $170 if including family
While processing times can vary, the average time as at August 2020 are:
By online application: 183 days
By paper application: 183 days
If you think you meet the above criteria, you can create an online account and prepare your application online at the Immigration Canada website here.
To learn more about applying from within or outside of Canada, travelling during the processing of your application, biometrics and more, sign up to the free Visto Portal here to access the full guide and apply!