Stay in Canada after graduation

Changes to the International Student Program came into effect as of June 1, 2014.

Read an explanation of the changes, which include our guide on how to change designated learning institutions.

To work in Canada after you graduate, you must apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). If you want to stay in Canada as a permanent resident after you graduate, there are a number of programs available, each with its own requirements.

Get a post-graduation work permit

The PGWPP allows students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

A work permit under the PGWPP may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years. A post-graduation work permit cannot be valid for longer than the student’s study program, and the study program must be a minimum of eight months in length. For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the criteria. If you graduate from an eight-month certificate program, you would be eligible for a work permit that is valid for no more than eight months.

Determine your eligibility

Find out if you are eligible for a post-graduation work permit.

Apply

Follow the steps to apply for the post-graduation work permit.

Immigrate to Canada

Canadian Experience Class

If you are a foreign student who recently graduated in Canada, you likely have the qualities to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. You are familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. You should have knowledge of English or French and qualifying work experience.

You may be eligible to apply to stay in Canada permanently under the CEC.

Graduates may also qualify for other immigration programs; the Come to Canada tool is a good resource for those wishing to explore their options to remain in Canada.

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How-to video

Becoming Canadian
 
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