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International students graduating with an Associate Degree from Alexander College may gain practical work experience within the Canadian workforce by applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Post Graduation Work Permit Program

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (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).

Employers seeking to employ open work permit holders are exempt from the requirement to first obtain a positive labour market impact assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada. The open work permits issued to the graduates in line with the program requirements of the PGWPP are coded with the LMIA exemption code C43.

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.

Note: Graduates cannot apply for a PGWP online if their country of residence is not Canada. However, if they are temporarily abroad and they meet the eligibility requirements for the PGWPP, they should be counselled to apply on paper through an overseas visa office or a visa application centre (VAC). Those foreign nationals who are eligible to apply for a work permit at a port of entry (POE) may also apply for a post-graduation work permit through that channel.

Note: Paragraph R186(w) allows students who have completed their program of study to work while they are waiting for a decision on their work permit application as long as they were a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program, and they did not exceed the allowable hours of work.

Who is eligible to participate?

To obtain a work permit under the PGWPP, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • have a valid study permit when applying for the work permit;
  • have continuously studied full time in Canada (i.e., studies must have taken place at a Canadian educational institution) and have completed a program of study that is at least eight months in duration;
  • have completed and passed the program of study and received a written notification from the educational institution indicating that they are eligible to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate. The educational institution must be one of the following:
    • 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 the student is 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.

Applicants must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from the educational institution indicating that they have met the requirements for completing their program of study. Calculation of the 90 days begins the day when the student’s final marks are issued or when formal written notification of program completion is received.


Students are not eligible to be issued a work permit under the PGWPP if the program of study is less than eight months or if they have previously been issued a post-graduation work permit.

Students are also not eligible if they:

  • received funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD);
  • participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFATD;
  • participated in an apprenticeship program;
  • obtained the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada–Chile;
  • participated in the Canada–Chile Scholars Exchanges Program;
  • participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program;
  • participated in and completed a distance learning program, either abroad or in Canada; or completed a program of study granted by a non-Canadian institution located in Canada, regardless of their length of stay in Canada.

Detailed instructions for obtaining an initial Post-Graduation Work Permit: