Congratulations on completing your degree requirements!
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.
A PGWP is an open work permit available to eligible study permit holders after program completion. 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.
COVID-19 note: please continue to monitor IRCC’s COVID-19 webpage for important updates and interim measures stemming from the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please also review the COVID-19 notes in the instructions below.
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
- You MUST include BOTH:
- a program completion (PGWP) letter from Schulich (request online), AND
- a copy of your official transcripts
- COVID-19 note: official transcripts are not currently available. You can obtain an unofficial transcript by emailing email@example.com.
- Please monitor the York U transcript website for updates to this process
- You may want to include a letter with your PGWP application explaining that you cannot obtain official transcripts at this time due to COVID-19 and are submitting a university-provided transcript copy
- Wait until all your grades have been posted before requesting
- Please allow at least 3-5 business days for your documents to be prepared
- Please fully review your documents for accuracy before submitting
- If there are any gaps in your transcript (i.e.: terms off other than scheduled breaks), please book an immigration advising appointment before applying
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 (other than your final term), you are encouraged to book an immigration advising appointment before applying (undergrad advising; grad advising)
- Apply on time! You must apply either:
- Within 90 days of program completion 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 (visitor, work, study) OR apply from outside of Canada
- As a reminder, your study permit becomes invalid 90 days after program completion. If applying after this date from within Canada, you must ensure you have valid status
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. You do not need a job offer to apply
- COVID-19 note: Please expect significant processing delays at this time. If you are required to provide biometrics, you will be given an automatic extension of 90 days as the biometric collection centres in Canada are currently closed.
- You do not need to complete biometrics before applying! Submit your application and you will then receive a biometrics request.
- If applying from outside of Canada, please contact International Relations for additional details on the out-of-Canada process.
- IMPORTANT: due to COVID-19, you cannot apply for your work permit at the border at this time. Do NOT attempt to “flagpole”.
Step 4: After Applying (Travel and Extension of other documents)
- Travelling while waiting: IMPORTANT NOTE: There currently is a global travel advisory in place. Non-essential travel outside of Canada should be avoided during this time. You may get stuck abroad and re-entry to Canada is not guaranteed. Once the travel advisory has lifted, review IRCC’s travelling while waiting information.
- Working while waiting: you may be able to start working full time work as soon as you submit your PGWP application. To qualify, you must submit your application while your study permit was still valid (see note above on study permit validity)
- Extend other documents: Once you obtain your PGWP, you will need to extend your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and may need to apply for a new TRV (if applicable)
- 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
- Review and extend any accompanying family members immigration documents as needed. Please note, an accompanying spouse can only extend their work permit if meeting the eligibility requirements.
- Ensure you understand your eligibility for ongoing health insurance coverage and be sure to obtain appropriate health coverage once your UHIP expires.
- Review IRCC’s “after you apply” information
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 12 May 2020.