Stay in Canada after graduation

For all study permit holders from visa-exempt countries:

A study permit is not a visa. It does not give you the right to board your flight to Canada. Along with your permit, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.

If you are from a visa-exempt country and received your study permit before August 1, 2015, you will need to apply for eTA if you leave Canada and return by air.

If you received your initial permit on or after August 1, 2015, you were automatically issued an eTA along with your permit.

If you renew a study permit, an eTA is not automatically renewed or issued to you. You need to apply for one separately. See Extend your study permit.

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 Express Entry.

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

Express Entry

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 one of the immigration programs managed through the Express Entry system.

The Come to Canada tool is a good resource for those who want to explore their options to remain in Canada.

Note: We have updated the Express Entry system. You can now get extra credit for study in Canada. This will make it easier for students to be invited to apply. Find out more about these changes and if they may affect you.

How-to video

Becoming Canadian
 
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