Work in Canada After Graduation: Qualifications and Procedure

Aside from studying in Canada, there are other options for students who want to work after graduation. However, you have to get a work permit first.

Do you need a work permit to work in Canada?

Firstly, after graduating as an international student in Canada, you’ll be permitted to work in the country but for no more than 3 years. Therefore, you have to sign up for a postgraduate work permit program (PWPP) within 90 days of completing your course and receiving a written confirmation.

In order to qualify for a PGWPP, you will need to have completed your studies at one of the following:

  • Public university of higher education.
  • A Private university of higher education that follows public university policies.
  • Private establishment with professional development programs as long as 900 hours granting either a diploma of vocational studies (DEP) or an attestation of vocational specialization (ASP).
  • A Private establishment that grants degrees accredited by a Canadian province.

Qualifying for Canadian permanent residence

Secondly, getting some work experience in Canada will help you a lot in getting your permanent residence. Students that have already been granted a Canadian student visa can qualify for permanent residence in Canada under regional and federal immigration programs without ever having to leave Canada.

The Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

Thirdly, the post-graduate work permit program grants international students the opportunity to work in Canada for up to 3 years. Applicants will also be exempt from labor market impact assessment (LMIA).

The candidate must have studied in a recognized secondary school or a secondary school that provides professional development programs for at least 8 months.


  • Study in Canada as part of a program for at least 8 months.
  • Graduate from a public or private post-secondary education establishment. You could also study at a private establishment that grants academic certifications that are accredited by provincial law.
  • Apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving your written confirmation of academic completion.
  • Receive your notification of legibility to receive your certificate or diploma.
  • Provide a valid Canadian student visa or a Canadian study permit.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Fourthly, the federal program allows international students who have graduated from a post-secondary establishment to get permanent residence in Canada without having to leave the country.


  • Graduate from a post-secondary establishment in Canada with no less than one-year full-time work experience ( or equivalent).
  • Have 12 months of work experience with a work permit or student visa.
  • Apply while working in Canada or within a year of departure.
  • Take a verified language assessment test (Granted by a foreign authority and recognized and accredited by the department of citizenship and immigration in Canada)
  • Intend to reside outside of the province of Quebec

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Finally, this program allows international students that have graduated from post-secondary establishments in Canada to apply to be nominated for permanent residency by a Canadian province or territory. You can achieve that without leaving the country.

Student requirements:

  • Intend to reside in the nominating province or territory.
  • Apply directly to the province or territory that offers the provincial nominee program (PNP).
  • Apply separately to the department of citizenship and immigration in Canada for permanent residency.
  • Pass a medical exam.
  • Pass a security and criminal background check.

Learn also how to get a Canadian Student Visa.

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