UCalgary campus

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.

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 as a full-time student throughout their whole program, 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

**UPDATE: Effective June 21, 2024, post-graduation work permit (PGWP) applications will no longer be accepted at the border. Flagpoling for PGWP applications is not permitted. All PGWP applications must be submitted online.

Announcement: Canada improves fairness for applicants by ending post-graduation work permit “flagpoling”

You can apply for a  post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside or outside of Canada. You can only apply for a PGWP after you completed your degree requirements.

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 of Credential letter that you’ve completed the requirements of your program of study.

  • Undergraduate students: Obtain this letter from your Student Centre once you’ve received your final grades.
  • Graduate students: Obtain this letter 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

Instructions: How to apply for a PGWP

UCalgary campus

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.

Starting Feb 15, 2024, students who graduate from master’s degree programs of at least 8 months may be eligible for a 3 year PGWP.

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 outside of Canada. However, your study permit automatically becomes invalid 90 days from the date of completion of your degree requirements.

If you are applying inside Canada you must apply within 90 days of your completion date or before your study permit expires, whichever date comes first. 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. 

UCalgary alumni association

As a member of the UCalgary 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. Celebrate your fellow graduates by nominating them for a UCalgary Alumni Arch Award.