Can I Extend or Renew My Post-Graduation Work Permit? Exploring Eligibility and Options

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As international students, navigating the maze of post-graduation work permits (PGWP) in Canada can feel like a thrilling adventure. We’ve all been there, wondering about the validity, extensions, and the perplexing options when facing the expiration of our work permits. Let’s unravel the mystery together and find out if you can extend or renew your PGWP.

Understanding the Basics of PGWP

Post-Graduation Work Permits are the golden tickets for international students completing eligible programs at Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in Canada. It opens the doors to almost any job in the Great White North and sets the stage for a potential journey towards permanent residence.

How Long is a PGWP Valid?

The duration of your PGWP is directly tied to the length of your completed academic program:

Program LengthPGWP Validity
8 months to 2 yearsSame as program length
2 years or moreMaximum 3 years

Combining multiple programs over 8 months each may extend your PGWP.

Approaching the Finish Line: What’s Next?

As your PGWP clock winds down, questions arise, especially if you lack sufficient Canadian work experience for that coveted Permanent Residency.

Who Can Extend Their PGWP?

Two specific groups get a lifeline for PGWP extension:

  1. PGWP holders with an expiring passport:
    If your passport is expiring, you can apply for an extension. Include details in a letter of explanation with your application.
  2. Temporary PGWP extension policy:
    Effective April 6, 2023, a temporary policy grants an 18-month extension for those whose permit expired in 2023 or between Sept 20, 2021, and Dec 31, 2022. This includes open work permit eligibility for applicants residing in Canada.

Note: Extension outside Canada requires a regular work permit application.

Options If You Cannot Extend Your PGWP

For those ineligible for an extension, don’t fret! Canada has welcoming options to explore.

1. Visitor Visa:

A Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) grants six months’ entry into Canada. Discover more about this visitor-friendly option here.

2. Visitor Record:

Extend your stay with a Visitor Record. Apply at least 30 days before your PGWP expires. Find detailed information on Visitor Records .

3. Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP):

Stay in Canada while awaiting your PR application decision by obtaining a BOWP. Eligibility criteria and additional information are available .

4. Other Work Permit Options:

Explore various work permit options based on eligibility. Discover more about open work permits exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Wrapping It Up: Your PGWP, Your Future

As we conclude our journey through the twists and turns of PGWP extensions, remember that the path to staying in Canada is diverse. Whether it’s a Visitor Visa, Visitor Record, Bridging Open Work Permit, or other work permit options, each avenue offers a unique adventure.


1. Can I extend my PGWP if I have less than a year of work experience in Canada?
Unfortunately, standard PGWP extensions don’t consider work experience. Explore other visa options mentioned in this article.

2. Is the temporary PGWP extension policy applicable to all expired permits?
Yes, the policy covers PGWP holders whose permits expired in 2023 or between Sept 20, 2021, and Dec 31, 2022.

3. Can I apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit without a PR application?
No, to be eligible for a BOWP, you must have applied for permanent residence in Canada.

4. Are Visitor Visas only for single-entry?
No, Visitor Visas can be issued as single-entry or multi-entry, offering flexibility for your travel plans.

5. How soon should I apply for a Visitor Record before my PGWP expires?
To ensure a smooth transition, submit your Visitor Record application at least 30 days before your current status expires.

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