Working after graduation

A Post Graduate Work Permit allows you to work in Canada.

There are serious consequences if you do not apply as soon as you have met your degree requirments.  See below for details.

Before you apply

  • Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after your Letter of Degree Completion is available, or the study permit expiration date, whichever comes first.
  • If your study permit expires before the 90 days after your Letter of Degree Completion becomes available, consider applying to extend your study permit for an additional 90-day bridging period 3-4 months before your study permit expires.
  • Having a valid study permit at the time of application and within 90 days of completion is one of the requirements to be eligible to work full-time after submitting your PGWP application online.

Online application

Step 1: Log into your IRCC online account through GCKey or Sign-in partner

If you are a new user, you need to register for through GCKey or Sign-in Partner


Step 2: Click on ‘Apply to come to Canada’

You will be asked to enter a Personal Reference Code.  

If you do not already have a code, go to the section, "I do not have a Personal Refence Code" and click on Visitor visa, study and/or work permit

Answer all the questions that follow. Please use the Post Graduate Work Permit Eligibility Questionaire Guide available in the sidebar.

Step 3: Fill in the online application form and gather supporting documentation

1. Complete the IMM 5710 Application form. Validate and save the form as an unsigned copy. You can find the guide to completing IMM5710 in the sidebar.

2. Gather the following supporting documents:

  • digital photo (420x540 pixels)
  • passport (only pages with stamps, visas, photos)
  • program completion letter/formal notification. Undergraduate students can request a confirmation of enrolment letter from  the Registrar's Office and graduate students can request a letter from the Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Official transcript (Go directly to the Registrar's office or make a request on DalOnline) 

Merge your letter of degree completion and an official transcript as one document and upload under "Completion of Studies Letter".  Name document as Degree completion and transcript.

3.  Once you have all the documents ready, save them electronically. The documents must be less than 4MB each, and can be saved as pdfs, jpegs or word docs.

4.  Upload the IMM 5710 form and supporting documents in your online account.

Please note

IRCC updated guidelines for the Post Graduate Work Permit program on February 14, 2019.  All applications submitted on or after February 14, 2019 must adhere to these guidelines.

As part of these guidelines, students must now submit a letter of degree completion and an official transcript.  However the online submission form only asks for one of these documents, which is why you should combine the letter of degree completion and transcript into one (1) document. 

Step 4: Pay the application fee

Pay the $255 CAD fee online with a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express).

Do not forget to print a receipt.

Step 5: Submit the application

Save or print your confirmation of successful transmission for your records.

Important Information

After you submit your application, Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada may contact you for additional documents.  If you are contacted, make an appointment with an International Student Advisor to ensure you respond accurately and punctually to the IRCC request.   



Things to note:

PGWPs are issued only once in a lifetime, therefore, if you have plans to pursue further studies in Canada, you may wish to consult an International Student Advisor to discuss when to apply.

Working while you wait:

If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives your application for a PGWP within 90 days of completing the requirements of your Dalhousie degree (see “When do I need to apply for it” section), you may work full-time while you wait for a decision on your PGWP application as long as you meet this criteria, as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations ss186(w) and (v):

  • You were enrolled full time in a degree or diploma program that was longer than eight months
  • You did not work over the authorized number of hours per week when you were a student

If your application for your PGWP is not approved, your legal status will end and you MUST leave Canada, unless you have obtained alternate legal status.


Work Permit Conditions

Work permits issued by IRCC, such as internship/co-op, off-campus, and post-graduate work permits may be subject to restrictions. International students who were not required to undergo an immigration medical examination before coming to Canada may be subject to the following occupation/workplace restrictions that require an immigration medical examination:

  • health care setting
  • child care
  • primary and secondary educational facilities

There is a complete list of occupations and Designated Medical Practitioners on the IRCC website.


Meet with an International Student Advisor

  • Email Please include your student number (B00) in the subject line and in the body of the email, include your name, your citizenship(s), Permit/Visa expiration dates (if applicable) and if you are currently in Canada (YES or NO).
  • Book an appointment online.
  • Or drop by one of our locations across campus.