Information for Graduating Students

Congratulations for reaching this life landmark! This page is intended to provide you with information on applying for your Post-Graduation Work Permit so that you can remain working in Canada upon completing your degree, as well as what campus resources are still available to you.


A Post-Graduation work permit is an open work permit that an international student, who has earned a Canadian degree that took 8 months or longer to complete, can apply for after successfully completing all requirements of their degree. Graduates can work unrestricted for any employer, anywhere in Canada for up to 3 years.1

Note: Post-Graduation Work Permits are only issued to a student once. If you have previously had a Post-Graduation Work Permit, you will not be eligible to apply for another one. Students on certain scholarships that require you to return to your home country upon completion of your studies do not qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

  • You can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) from inside or outside of Canada.1
  • If you are planning to apply inside Canada, you must have a valid study permit to apply for a post-graduation work permit, or if your study permit will expire, you will need to apply to change your status from student to visitor before your study permit expires.
  • To apply for a PGWP please refer to:
  • You will need a Confirmation letter that you have completed the requirements of your program of study.
    • Undergraduate Students: Obtain this letter from your Undergraduate Advising Office once you have received all of your final grades.
    • Graduate Students: Obtain this letter from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) or online through your Student Centre. You can only obtain this letter after thesis submission (PhD and Thesis based Master's students) or once you have received all of your final grades (course based students).
  • Official University of Calgary Transcript
  1. 1

    NOTE: As of February 14, 2019, you must submit both a letter confirming the completion of your degree requirements AND an official UCalgary transcript as part of your Post-Graduation Work Permit application.

  • You have 180 days to apply for your post-graduation work permit after you have completed the requirements of your degree.
  • After 90 days from the date of completion of your degree requirements, your study permit automatically becomes invalid. If you have not applied for your PGWP before your study permit becomes invalid, you will need to apply to change conditions to a visitor. If you apply for your PGWP while on visitor status, you are not allowed to work while waiting for the work permit
  • The 180 day period to apply for your work permit begins from the date you complete your degree requirements, and NOT the date of your convocation ceremony. Official degree completion letters will be sufficient proof of you having met all program requirements of your degree.
  • If you applied for your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) within the first 90 days of completing your degree while you have a valid study permit, you may begin working immediately after you have submitted your PGWP application. You do not have to wait for the physical work permit to arrive prior to beginning working.

If the official length of your program is:

  • Less than eight months: You are not eligible for this program
  • Less than two years but more than eight months: You may get a work permit for a period no longer than the length of your program of study.
  • Two years or more: A work permit may be issued for three years. For graduate students, if you have continuously studied without any scheduled breaks for a period of 16-20 months, you are still eligible for a three year work permit.

NOTE: Your work permit will not be valid beyond your passport expiration date.

  • Your spouse cannot apply for a work permit at the same time as you apply for your post-graduation work permit.
  • For your spouse to be eligible, you must be in possession of your post-graduation work permit and be able to show proof that you are employed full-time in a skilled labour occupation. Skilled occupations are classified as either 0, A or B in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code:
  • You must be able to provide a copy of your past three (3) pay slips.
  • Career Services on campus will assist you as UCalgary Alumni by helping you enhance your job search and improve your resume and interview skills, for up to a year after graduating. Make sure you connect with a Career Services Advisor who may be able to assist you:
  • As a UCalgary grad and member of the alumni association, you:
    • Get more. UCalgary grads get preferred rates, special community partner discounts, and exclusive arts and entertainment deals.
    • Learn more. UCalgary Alumni offers a variety of programs and events to enrich your life, including career coaching, networking opportunities, speaker series, webinars and much more.
    • Connect more. UCalgary Alumni is your global professional network that's more than 170,000 strong - and growing. Join your fellow grads at events in cities across North America and around the globe; volunteer to make a meaningful contribution to your community and alma mater; and celebrate your fellow graduates by nominating them for a UCalgary Alumni Arch Award.
  • Stay up to date with offerings for Alumni by: