Determine your eligibility — Work after graduation

To obtain a work permit after your graduation, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have studied full time in Canada and you must have completed a program of study that lasted at least eight months.
  • In addition, you must have graduated from:
    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP (in Quebec), or
    • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, or
    • a private secondary or post-secondary institution (in Quebec) offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP), or
    • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees but only if you are enrolled in one of the programs of study leading to a degree as authorized by the province and not in all programs of study offered by the private institution.
  • You must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program.
  • You must have completed and passed the program of study and received a notification that you are eligible to obtain your degree, diploma or certificate.
  • You must have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.

NOTE: If you have graduated from a vocational or professional training program at a public or private secondary institution in Quebec, regulated by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), you may be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. In addition, applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time of application
  • Have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit
  • Have completed a full time program that lasted 900 hours or more (normally eight months in length), leading to a Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)
  • Apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program
  • Provide a supporting letter from your institution outlining the duration of studies and the program code

Impact of length of program of study in Canada and the length of the work permit
A Post-Graduation Work Permit cannot be valid longer than the official length of your program of study in Canada. For example, students graduating from a four-year degree program might be eligible for a three-year year work permit. Students graduating from an eight-month certificate program would only be eligible for a work permit of eight months.

If the official length of your program of study 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 (for example, if you studied for nine months, a work permit may be issued for a period of nine months)
  • two years or more
    • a work permit may be issued for three years

You are not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program if you:

  • study in a program that is less than eight months long
  • participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
  • participate in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFATD
  • receive funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • participate in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
  • participate in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
  • participate in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • participate in a distance learning program either from abroad or from within Canada or
  • have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit following any other program of study.

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