You’re done! You’ve completed your degree requirements. Now what?

As an international student in Canada on a study permit, you may be able to remain in Canada to work temporarily after you complete your program at Schulich through the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program.

PGWP is an open work permit available to eligible study permit holders after program.  A PGWP is only granted once in your lifetime – keep this in mind if you intend to pursue additional studies in Canada. See full overview of the PGWP program here.

Immigration requirements can change without notice; it is your responsibility to ensure that you are following the most current rules and instructions. Check IRCC’s website before applying.

**Please note, there were some important changes to the PGWP on 14 February 2019**

Steps to Applying for the PGWP

Step 1: Review your temporary documents

  • Check the expiry dates of your study permit, passport and TRV (if applicable)
  • A PGWP cannot be issued beyond the expiry of your passport
  • We strongly encourage you to apply for your PGWP while your study permit is still valid**
  • If your study permit will be expiring soon after you complete your program (i.e.: in April or May), please connect with our International Student Support Specialist.

**Important note – Study Permit Validity: your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you complete your degree requirements OR on the date of expiry printed on the permit, whichever comes first. Before this, you must: a) apply for your work permit, b) change your status to visitor, or c) leave Canada

Step 2: Obtain official documents (**updated requirement as of 14 February 2019)

  • You MUST include:
    1.  a program completion (PGWP) letter from Schulich (request online),  AND
    2.  a copy of your official transcripts (request from the Registrar’s Office)
  • Wait until all of your grades have been posted before requesting
  • Please allow at least 3-5 business days for your documents to be prepared. Transcripts “issued to student” are fine; you will need to scan and upload to your PGWP application).

Note: if you have any outstanding balance on your student account, you will not be able to obtain your transcripts. Please connect with Schulich’s International Relations team for more information if needed.

 Step 3: Apply for the PGWP

  • Please review the full eligibility criteria and application guide before applying
  • If you ever took a Leave of Absence or studied part time, you are encouraged to make an appointment with our International Student Support Specialist before applying (undergrad advising; grad advising)
  • Apply on time! You must apply either:
    • Within 90 days of completing your program AND have a valid study permit when you apply (*strongly recommended option)    OR
    • Within 180 days of program completion AND either have valid temporary resident status in Canada OR apply from outside of Canada

Note: “Program completion” means having met your degree requirements (i.e.: all final grades are posted), NOT convocation.

  • It is recommended to apply online from within Canada.  Review processing times for PGWP applications (select “work permit extension – new employer”). You do not need a job offer to apply
  • If you wish to travel before applying or while waiting for your work permit, or if you wish to apply from outside of Canada, please connect with our International Student Support Specialist
  • Working while waiting: you may be able to start working full time work as soon as you submit your PGWP application, IF you submitted your application while your study permit was still valid (see note above on study permit validity)

Step 4: Extend other documents

  • After receiving your PGWP, you will need to extend your Social Insurance Number and may need to apply for a new TRV
  • You must obtain your PGWP before applying for a new TRV from within Canada.  Note: you can keep using your current TRV until it expires
  • Be sure to extend any accompanying family members immigration documents as needed

A sincere congratulations from all of us on the International Relations team on completing your degree at Schulich! It has been a pleasure to work with you during your time here and we wish you all the best as you pursue your professional and personal goals.  You’ve always been part of the Schulich family but now we can officially welcome you to the alumni community!


Disclaimer: This blog post was prepared by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in compliance with section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). This is not a legal document and is for informational purposes only, intended for students at the Schulich School of Business. Information may change without notice and it is your responsibility to refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information. Information valid as of 18 April 2019.