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How to Apply for PGWP. A step-by-step guide


"I would highly recommed checking out our PGWP + PR bundle, where we walk you from A to B, from PGWP to PR status." - Max Medyk

PGWP questions answered:

  1. What is the maximum duration of the PGWP I can get? Generally, if you study for 1 year - you get a 1-year PGWP, 2 years or more - a 3-year PGWP. However, if you are a master’s student, a 1-year program (at least 8 months) may qualify you for a 3-year PGWP with some recent changes.

  2. What if I study two 1 year college programs? If the programs are in the same field - you can request a 3-year PGWP. Wait to see this in the tutorial.

  3. When should I stop working? The day you officially receive your academic transcript or completion letter is when you should stop working. You can continue working once you apply for PGWP and receive the confirmation of submission.

  4. When should I apply? You need to wait until the school is done and you receive the documents mentioned in the previous question.

  5. Can I apply from a different province or country? Yes, PGWP is an open work permit, you can move around Canada freely. Also, you can apply for a PGWP from outside Canada but there are caveats I will touch on in the next answer.

  6. How long do I have to apply? You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a PGWP. And make sure your study permit hasn’t expired. If it does expire before you can apply - you need to switch status to a visitor or leave Canada. Remember to maintain legal status throughout the process.

  7. What if my passport only has 1 year of validity left but I could get a 3-year PGWP? I highly recommend extending your passport, if not - you will be able to request IRCC to extend your PGWP in the future through a paper application but to spare you from legal headaches just get a new passport.

  8. What documents do I need? Passport, proof of graduation (like a letter of completion, academic transcripts, or diploma), an explanation letter, and some IRCC forms.

  9. I have been working as a student, can I apply for PR? General answer - no, as that work experience does not count toward CEC but in some cases you may qualify. I will talk about PR at the end of the video.


Step 1. Sing into your GCKey account.

Step 2. Select 'Visitor visa, study and/or work permit'.

Step 3. Enter personal information. (watch the video tutorial for more)

Step 4. Answer 'Yes' to 'Have you recently graduated...?' (watch the video tutorial for more)

Step 5. You do not need to have a job offer to apply for PGWP. (watch the video tutorial for more)

Step 6. Review your answers. (watch the video tutorial for more)

Step 7. Start uploading required and supporting documents. (watch the video tutorial for more)

Download this PGWP explanation letter sample - do not copy and paste, create your own letter of explanation to address your unique case.

PGWP Sample
Download DOCX • 15KB

For further guidance and to avoid mistakes in navigating Canada's changing immigration landscape, click the button below for more resources and legal support.

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