canadian pgwp
Graduating from a DLI doesn’t guarantee your eligibility for a Canadian Post-Graduation Work Permit. Source: Mark Ralston/AFP

There’s no doubt that Canada is a popular study abroad destination — nearly half a million new international students were welcomed into the country last year, signalling a strong recovery of its international education sector despite the pandemic. The opportunity to work in the country is a major allure for international students — and students can do this via the Canadian PGWP (Post-Graduation Work Permit) programme.

This open work permit allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to gain valuable work experience in the country. Not all international students are aware that not all DLIs and programmes of study guarantee their eligibility for the PGWP.

The result? Some students might change their programmes and university, which costs them more in the long run, or have no option but to return to their respective home countries if they have completed their degree and miss out on some coveted Canadian work experience.  

If you harbour hopes of working in Canada after graduating, here’s what you should know about the Canadian PGWP. 

Canadian PGWP eligibility

The Canadian government website notes that students can only receive one Canadian PGWP in their lifetime. Among the requirements for a PGWP include: 

  • Currently hold valid temporary status or have left Canada
  • Must have graduated from an eligible DLI
  • Submit clear evidence that they meet all of the following criteria: have completed an academic, vocational or professional training programme at an eligible institution in Canada that is at least eight months in duration leading to a degree, diploma or certificate; have maintained full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program or programs of study they have completed and submitted.

More information can be found here.

canadian pgwp

Source: Daniel Slim/AFP

Eligible PGWP-eligible universities in Canada

Below is a summary of colleges and universities that offer PGWP-eligible programmes across several provinces: 


  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Lethbridge

British Columbia

  • Capilano University
  • Coast Mountain College
  • Coquitlam College
  • Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Vancouver Community College


  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Winnipeg

New Brunswick

  • University of New Brunswick


  • McMaster University
  • Niagara University
  • Northeastern University
  • Queen’s University
  • Ryerson University
  • Sheridan College

You can find a list of Canadian DLIs that offer PGWP-eligible programmes here.