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Post-graduation work permit

International students who have completed a McGill degree can obtain a Post Graduation Work Permit, with:

  • no restrictions on employment type

  • no job offer requirement

The PGWP may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of 3 years.

When to Apply:

You must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from your institution (see FAQ below) indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program* (for example, a transcript or an official letter), while your Study Permit is still valid.

* Please note that completion of your academic program is NOT the same as convocation (your graduation ceremony).  Do NOT wait until convocation to apply, as convocation may occur more than 90 days after you have completed the requirements for your program.

PLEASE NOTE: You can only apply for a PGWP once in your lifetime.
If you plan to complete more than 1 degree/diploma/certificate in Canada, consider carefully when it would be most strategic to take advantage of this one-time opportunity.

For complete details, visit the CIC website.


How do I apply for my PGWP?


Citizens from countries requiring an Entry Visa (TRV) to come to Canada must apply online through MyCIC (see instructions).

We recommend that students apply for their PGWP online from within Canada, and remain in Canada until they receive the permit in the mail.

You can check the processing time for work permit applications submitted inside Canada here.



Citizens of TRV/Visa-exempt countries can apply online or at the Canada/US border (Lacolle/Champlain, St. Armand/Phillipsburg, or Stanstead), or - if arriving by plane - with immigration services at the airport.  There is bus service to the Canada/US border from Montreal.  Please bring the following documents:

1.  Valid Passport
2.  Valid CAQ & Study Permit
3.  Letter from Minerva or Service Point confirming that you have completed all the requirements of your program of study OR transcripts indicating completion of program of study.
4.  $155 + new $100 fee (as of Feb. 21, 2015) = $255

Optional documents: Immigration officers occasionally ask students whether they have enough money to pay for their living costs while looking for work.  If you're not already employed, it's a good idea to have a copy of your latest bank statement or any other document proving that you have sufficient funds to pay your rent while looking for work (there is no specific amount required by CIC).


Where do I get a letter confirming that I've "completed all my program requirements"?


If you're finishing your program during the summer, you can request this letter online here, but first:

  1. Make sure your final grades have been posted on Minerva.
  2. If your graduation application is "pending", contact your Faculty to ask if they can confirm your graduation early (you may need to explain that this is necessary for immigration reasons).
  3. Apply online for your PGWP letter from Service Point (note: it may take a few business days to process - if urgent, contact Service Point)

After Senate has met to confirm your graduation, you will be able to generate a letter from Minerva that confirms that you have met all the requirements to graduate (Minerva: Student Menu > Student Records > Letters-Proof of Enrolment).


You can request this letter online here, but only once your final thesis/project has been accepted by your department, or your final grades have been posted (for non-thesis students).

Your PGWP letter may take a few business days to process - if urgent, contact Service Point.

Can I work while I wait for my PGWP?

You can continue to work off campus provided that:

a) you hold a valid study permit* and
b) have already applied for a Post Graduation Work Permit

For full details, please visit Study Permits: Off-Campus Work and click on the subtitle “Conditions for Work” and then “Final Academic Session […]”

*If your Study Permit was issued June 1st, 2014 or later, it should have a remark at the bottom indicating that you are eligible to work off-campus.  Details of the June 1st changes can be viewed here.  If your Study Permit does not have this remark, you may need to apply for an amendment.

Can I travel while waiting to receive my PGWP?

The following answer is taken directly from the CIC website:

If you have applied to extend your work permit and plan on traveling outside Canada while your application is in process, you can leave Canada and come back. However, 1 of 3 things will happen when you return to Canada:

  1. You may be allowed to come back to Canada as a visitor, if Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has not yet decided to extend your work permit. If this is the case, you cannot work until you get your work permit extension. The officer at the port of entry may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  2. You may be allowed to come back to Canada as a worker, if the officer at the port of entry finds out that CIC extended your work permit while you were away.
  3. You may be asked to apply for a new work permit at the port of entry.

Note: It is possible that you will not be able to enter Canada. The final decision is made at the border by the border services officer.


If my PGWP was granted for a shorter period than I was eligible for - because my passport is expiring - do I need to apply again and pay fees?

Yes; you have to apply for a new work permit and pay the fees again. You should include a letter of explanation stating that your PGWP expired prematurely because of the expiry date of your previous passport.

If my current TRV (Entry Visa) says "Student" and is still valid, do I need a new TRV if I am changing my status to "Worker"?

No; your TRV is valid regardless of whether it was issued to you as a student or worker. You can enter Canada with a TRV – “student” with a work permit.