Post-Graduation Work Permit


During COVID-19, IRCC is providing important updates for international students regarding visas, study permits, working as an international student, and Post-Graduate Work Permits. Please refer to their page for the most up-to-date information.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students

On February 12th 2021, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated the temporary policy for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility for those studying online outside Canada. For more information, please go to the IRCC website. Please note that students studying online in Canada are not affected by this update.


After graduating from Douglas College, students may apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit or PGWP. Duration and eligibility depends on the length of your program and enrollment status throughout your program.

As you prepare to apply for your PGWP, your working eligibility will change as follows.


Working Eligibility

Last Day of Final Exam Period

Up to 20 hours per week

The date you receive either:


1) Completion Letter or,

2) An email confirming all graduation requirements are met,


whichever comes first.

Stop Working

After Submitting PGWP Application

Full-time hours

(if meeting all the eligibility requirements)

PGWP Approved

Keep Working

PGWP Denied

Stop Working


To maintain eligibility to work after completing your studies, students must: 

  • have a valid study permit at the time of PGWP application
  • have completed your program of study
  • be eligible to work off-campus with a study permit, and
  • did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions.
  • have a valid SIN

Graduation letters are usually issued during the 2nd week of the following semester of completion. For example, if you applied to graduate in the Winter semester for the June convocation, graduation letters will be available in the 2nd week of the Summer semester. Please be aware of graduation application deadlines and that delaying your graduation application will result in a delay in your completion letter. We recommend not delaying your graduation application. We also host Post-Graduation Work Permit workshops every semester to help guide students through the application process. 

As per the policy changes to the PGWP program effective February 14th, 2019 by IRCC, please be aware of the following: 

You have 180 days to apply for your post-graduation work permit. We advise that you calculate the 180 days from the date the final grades are due.

For applications made inside of Canada, you must have legal status, student or visitor, in Canada to apply for a PGWP. Please be advised that your study permit becomes invalid 90 days after you complete your studies. You have completed your studies on the date you receive an email confirming all graduation requirements were met or on the date your completion letter is issued (whichever comes first). If you are applying for your PGWP within Canada after the 90 days, you must apply for visitor status before your study permit expires. You may apply for a PGWP with visitor status.

For applications made outside of Canada: You do not have to hold legal status in Canada when you apply, however if you plan to come back to Canada to work before IRCC makes a decision on your application, you should apply for your PGWP before your study permit becomes invalid. Please note that you must also leave Canada before your study permit becomes invalid. You will also be required to have a valid TRV or eTA to return to Canada. 

You must submit both your graduation letter and your final transcript with your application. An unofficial transcript from your myAccount should suffice. Ensure that your transcript indicates explicitly “Credential Awarded” somewhere above your program name on the transcript. There is no blanket date for when this information is available, as it depends on each student.

If you completed more than one program, we suggest that you attach your Letter of Acceptance for the second program as an additional document when applying for a PGWP.

If you completed more than one program and have multiple graduation letters, you should submit all graduation letters you have.

The length of a PGWP will depend on the combined length of each program. For example, if you complete 2 x one-year programs, 2 PDDs; 1 PDD + 1 certificate, you may be eligible for a maximum of three-year PGWP. If you complete 1 x two-years or more program, you may be eligible for a maximum of three-year PGWP.


PGWP Applications Made Under Maintained Status (previously called Implied Status)

We recommend that you extend your study permit if it expires before applying for a PGWP, and apply within 90 days of your completion date. If you have applied for your study permit extension before its expiry, you are on maintained status. You are NOT authorized to work after you submit your post-graduation work permit if your application was submitted while you are on maintained status. You must wait for your application to be approved before commencing work in Canada. If you leave Canada you will lose your maintained status.


Working Eligibility

Last Day of Final Exam Period Up to 20 hours per week

The date you receive either:

  1. Completion Letter or,
  2. An email confirming all graduation requirements are met, whichever comes first.
Stop Working
After Submitting PGWP Application
(Under Maintained Status)
Not eligible to work
PGWP Approved Begin working
PGWP Denied Not eligible to work