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Post-graduation work permit

Congratulations for reaching this life landmark! This page provides information on applying for your post-graduation work permit so you can remain working in Canada upon completing your degree, and it outlines which campus resources are still available to you.

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The Government of Canada has announced the removal of COVID-19 border and travel measures effective October 1.
For more information please visit the COVID 19 Travel Canada website 

What is a post-graduation work permit?

A post-graduation work permit is an open work permit that an international student who has earned a Canadian degree which took eight 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 three years.

Note: Post-graduation work permits are only issued to a student once. If you've previously had a post-graduation work permit, you will not be eligible to apply for another one. Students on certain scholarships that require them to return to their home country upon completion of your studies also do not qualify for a post-graduation work permit.


How to apply for your post-graduation work permit

You can apply for a  post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside or outside of Canada.

If you’re planning to apply from inside Canada, you must have a valid study permit to apply for a post-graduation work permit.

If your study permit will expire, you need to apply to change your status from student to visitor before your study permit expires.

To apply for a PGWP, refer to this website. You’ll need a confirmation letter that you’ve completed the requirements of your program of study.

  • Undergraduate students: Obtain this letter from your Student Center or contact your undergraduate advising office once you’ve received 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’ve received  your final grades (course-based students).

Official UCalgary Transcript

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Spouse work permit

Your spouse can’t apply for a work permit at the same time that 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're 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.

How long will my post-graduation work permit be valid for?

It depends on the length of your program. 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’ve continuously studied without any scheduled breaks for a period of 16–20 months, you’re still eligible for a three-year work permit.

UCalgary campus

Having a hard time finding a job?

As a UCalgary alumni, UCalgary’s Career Services will help enhance your job search and improve your resume and interview skills. You can access their services for up to one year after graduating. Make sure you connect with a Career Services advisor for assistance.  

Learn more about Career Services

When can I apply for a post-graduation work permit?

You have 180 days to apply for your post-graduation work permit after you’ve completed the requirements of your degree.

NOTE: Your study permit automatically becomes invalid 90 days from the date of completion of your degree requirements. If you haven’t applied for your PGWP before your study permit becomes invalid, you’ll need to apply to change conditions to a visitor. If you apply for your PGWP while on visitor status, you aren’t 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, NOT from the date of your convocation ceremony. Official degree completion letters are sufficient proof that you've met all program requirements of your degree.


When can I begin working?

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’ve submitted your PGWP application. You don’t have to wait for the physical work permit to arrive prior to beginning working.

NOTE: If you’re in Canada, you would be able to work part-time off-campus and full-time on-campus until you receive the letter of completion. Once you receive the letter of completion, you must stop working or submit your PGWP application to continue working. 

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As a member of the UCalgary alumni association, you:

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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. Celebrate your fellow graduates by nominating them for a UCalgary Alumni Arch Award.