November 13, 2023

Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit Processing Time

The Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) program in Canada offers international students an opportunity to work in the country after completing their studies.

To be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), you must apply before the expiry date of your student permit. You have a 180-day window to apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit from the date you fulfill all the requirements of your study program. Applying earlier starts the process earlier.

You are able to work in Canada while awaiting your Post-Graduate Work Permit, as long as you submitted your application before your student permit expires.

Be Sure You Are Eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) Canada

Before applying, make sure you are eligible. Eligibility for the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) program depends on your program of study. Qualifying programs include:

  • Public post-secondary institutions like colleges, universities, trade/technical schools, or CEGEP in Quebec.
  • Certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec that operate under the same rules as public schools.
  • Private secondary or post-secondary schools in Quebec that offer programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP).
  • Canadian private schools that have provincial authorization to award degrees only for students in authorized degree programs.

visa application form passport and canadian-flag on table concept of immigration

Processing Time for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Canada

The processing time for a Post-Graduate Work Permit can range from 80 to 180 days once your application has been received, depending on various factors. You can check the latest expected Post-Graduate Work Permit Canada processing time on the Government of Canada IRCC web page.

Factors That Influence Processing Time

In terms of processing times, as of 2023, online Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP Canada) applications tend to be processed faster, with paper-based extensions taking around 60 days and online applications taking approximately 159 days for processing based on data from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Several factors influence how long the application process takes. It’s critical that you submit all required documents accurately and promptly. Inaccurate or missing information can lead to delays, as well as application rejection. It’s vital to thoroughly review and meet PGWP requirements, including graduation proof, study duration, and eligibility criteria to make sure you have everything you need.

Additionally, the workload of the IRCC plays a role in processing times. If there is a surge in applications, the processing can be slowed down. Also, changes in the processing time for other work permit programs can indirectly impact PGWP times.

Streamline Your Application Process

Research PGWP requirements ahead to familiarize yourself with IRCC’s eligibility criteria, document checklist, and application procedure well in advance, so you know everything you need to do.

If you meet graduation requirements, apply for a PGWP before your graduation date. This allows ample time for document collection. Apply online for a quicker process, too.

Double-check your application, and thoroughly review all information and supporting documents to ensure accuracy and completeness, following IRCC guidelines.

Consulting with an immigration expert or agency can also help simplify your process and ensure your application is complete.

If You Are Experiencing Delays

You may contact the IRCC if you are experiencing an extended delay to confirm the status of your application.

immigration canada

Recent Changes to the Program

It is important for international students to note that there have been some recent changes to Canada’s Post-Graduate Work Program, including more flexibility to extend a permit, which could slow down processing times.

Applying Outside of Canada

If you leave Canada after completing your studies, you can now apply for a PGWP from overseas. Previously, PGWP applications were required to be submitted exclusively from within Canada. However, if you apply from outside of Canada, be prepared for possible requests for additional documentation depending on the visa office processing your application.

International Graduates with Expiring or Expired PGWPs

As of April 6, 2023, international graduates with recently expired or expiring post-graduation work permits may be able to to qualify for an additional or extended work permit, allowing them to stay longer and gain more valuable work experience in Canada, for up to 18 months.

If your work permit has already expired and you are beyond the 90-day restoration period, you may still be able to restore your status and receive an interim work authorization while awaiting processing of your new work permit application.

Distance Learning Eligibility Extension

The reduced facilitation measures, which allow distance learning to count towards PGWP eligibility in certain cases, have been extended until December 31, 2023.

Changes Based on Start Dates

For Students Starting in September 2023

To qualify for a PGWP, you must complete at least 50% of your program in Canada and meet all other PGWP requirements. It is recommended that you select and attend in-class course options whenever possible.

female student academic gown holding-canadian-flag diploma isolated living

For Students Starting in January 2024

If you are starting your studies in Canada in January 2024 or later, you must meet specific requirements for PGWP eligibility, including being physically present in Canada for the complete duration of your studies and attending at least 50% of your program in class. For flexible courses, plan to attend your class on campus. Time spent studying outside of Canada will be deducted from the length of your PGWP.

If you are interested in applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, Oro Immigration has helped many international students like yourself submit successful applications. We simplify your process, and if you aren’t eligible, we will clearly explain why, and find potential alternative solutions for you.


Leave a Reply