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Applying for post-graduation work permit

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Student Life Office
418 656-2765
etudiantsetrangers@bve.ulaval.ca

Please see this dedicated page to learn more about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the immigration process and on health and hospitalization insurance. 

If you have completed your studies and would like to stay in Canada to work, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This will give you temporary worker status, which will replace your temporary student status.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC has relaxed the post-graduation work permit eligibility requirements. Please also note that restrictions on travelling to Canada are not the same for study permit holders and work permit holders. See the Impacts of COVID-19 on international students page for all the details.

To apply for a post-graduation work permit, you must have met all the requirements of your study program. This includes your program’s language requirements because you need to meet them to be able to graduate. It isn’t recommended that you wait until the end of your program to meet these requirements. It is best to take the appropriate language tests at the beginning of your study program and to take any required courses during your studies.

For graduate students, you will also need to have made both your initial and final thesis submissions and have completed your thesis defence, if applicable. If you stay in Canada during this time, you must have been enrolled for every semester until you graduated. See “International students: Registration for additional semesters after initial submission" on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FESP) website.

Once you have completed the last study requirement (for example, you have finished your last exam or assignment), you can work off campus for up to 20 hours per week as you wait for your marks if you had the right to work off campus during your final semester and if your study permit is still valid. If your study permit expires, you have to stop working.

Once you have written confirmation that you have successfully completed your study program (graduation letter, email from your faculty, final transcript, etc.), you must stop working until you apply to IRCC for a post-graduation work permit. To avoid or minimize any interruption to work between these steps, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit the same day you receive proof of graduation from your program director. However, you will need to meet the following criteria.

When you apply online for a post-graduation work permit, you are allowed to work off campus (without any limit to the number of hours you work) while you wait for a decision on your application if all of these conditions are met:

  • Your study permit was valid when you submitted your work permit application. (Please note that your study permit expires on its expiry date or 90 days after the end of your studies, whichever comes first.)

Important note: When you apply for your post-graduation work permit, if you have maintained status (previously called implied status), that is, if you had applied to renew your study permit before it expired, your study permit then expired, and you are still waiting for a decision on your renewal application, you aren’t allowed to start working while you wait for a decision on your post-graduation work permit application. In this situation, you have to wait until you get your post-graduation work permit before you can work.

If your study permit expires while your post-graduation work permit is being processed, you still retain the right to work under section 186(w) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. If you leave and return to Canada while your application is still being processed, you will be able to continue working. However, make sure you have a valid visa or eTA to be able to return to Canada.

If your study permit expires before you get written confirmation that you have successfully completed your study program, you must apply for visitor status in Canada before your study permit expires. You can apply for this online through your IRCC secure account. Once you have the necessary documents, you can apply online for a post graduation work permit even if you haven’t received a decision on your visitor application yet. However, you will not be able to work until you get your work permit.

 

If you completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD, your work permit will usually be valid for three years. It will be valid for a shorter period of time if you completed part of your studies outside of Canada (for example, you did a semester remotely, you did an exchange semester outside of Canada, you were in a cotutelle (joint supervision) program, or you did a double degree). For all other degrees that are a minimum of eight months long, your work permit will be valid for however long your studies were in Canada.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have met all of the requirements of your study program. These include, if applicable, language requirements, internships, the final submission of your thesis, and thesis defence.
  • Have been enrolled full-time during all mandatory semesters of your study program. Exceptions to this rule can be made only for the last academic semester and if you took an authorized educational leave of up to 150 days.
  • Apply within 180 days of graduating.
  • Have a valid study permit when you submit your application or during the 180 days before the day you submit your application.

You are not eligible if you:

  • Have received certain scholarships, including the ones funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)—this doesn’t apply to people who have received a scholarship through the “Study in Canada Scholarships” program.
  • Took more than 50% of your courses remotely (whether in Canada or abroad).
  • Have already obtained a post-graduation work permit after completing another study program.

How to apply

If you apply from within Canada, you usually have to submit the application ($255) online. You will need to use your IRCC secure account to apply. See the document Applying with a IRCC secure account.

When answering the questions to set up your online application, answer “Yes” to the question “Have you recently graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution for which your study program was full-time and a minimum of eight months?”

For information on processing times, see the IRCC website.

If you apply for a work permit from within Canada, it doesn’t include a temporary resident visa (TRV). Once you have your new work permit, you must apply for the visa. There is a fee ($100) to get the visa. However, once your work permit is approved, you will be issued a new eTA automatically.

When you apply for a work permit in Canada, the permit will be mailed directly to your mailing address in Québec. If your mailing address changes after you have submitted your application, you must let IRCC know.

You can also apply from outside of Canada either online or through a visa application centre (VAC).

It may also be possible to apply for a work permit at the border, but IRCC doesn’t recommend doing this.

 

Requested documents for an online application (a customized list of documents will be created in your IRCC secure account)

1) “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]” form

The form must be validated (with barcodes) in order to upload it. (You don’t have to sign it.)

To help you complete the form correctly, read the Instruction Guide.

Here are some guidelines to help you complete the form:

  • First section of the form
    • Box 1: UCI: You will find it on your current study or work permit.
  • “COMING INTO CANADA” section
    • Box 4: This number can be found in the top right-hand corner of your current permit. Study permit numbers start with the letter F, and work permit numbers start with the letter U; they are followed by nine digits.
  • “DETAILS OF INTENDED WORK IN CANADA” section
    • Box 1: Select “Post Graduation Work Permit.”
    • Box 2: You don’t have to have found a job already. You can indicate that you are looking for a job.
  • “EDUCATION” section
    • Enter the most recent post-secondary degree you have completed.
  • “EMPLOYMENT” section
    • Box 1: Enter your main activities or jobs from recent years.

2) Passport: A clear copy of the ID page as well as all pages where there are stamps, visas, or entries.

3) Photo: It must be in colour and show the full front view of your head, with your face in the middle of the photo, and include the top of your shoulders. You can take it yourself with a digital camera. The image pixel size must be at least 420 x 540.

4) Recent transcript: Recent official transcript that shows all your grades (order through monPortail or make a request in person at the Registrar’s Office—cost $9).

5) Proof of graduation letter: A letter from your faculty or program director stating that you have met all the requirements of your study program, or an “attestation de diplomation” [proof of graduation] (in French only) from the Université Laval’s Secretary General’s Office.

6) A medical exam is sometimes required, for example, if you lived in an specified country for more than six months in the last year or if you want to work with certain clients.

7) Biometrics:

  • Citizens of all countries (except the United States and other minor exceptions) have to give their biometrics to get a work permit. If you have already given your biometrics for a Canadian visa or permit application, those biometrics are valid for 10 years.
  • Important: The biometrics you give for a biometric passport aren’t the same as the biometrics you have to give for your Canadian visa application.
  • You will have to pay the biometric fee ($85), when you apply for your work permit.
  • Within hours of submitting your application, you will receive the instruction letter that you must bring with your passport to a Service Canada office in order to give your biometrics (appointment necessary).
  • You should complete this step as quickly as possible because your application processing time starts only once the biometrics have been collected.

If you need to renew your visa, you have to do this after getting a post-graduation work permit. If you are visa-exempt and need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead, when your new study permit is approved, an eTA will be issued automatically at no additional cost. You have to submit your application ($100) to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you still have a valid student visa in your passport, it remains valid until it expires even if you now have temporary worker status.

Once you have entered Canada, you don’t have to have a valid temporary resident visa. Your work permit is the document that gives you legal status in Canada.

However, a valid visa is required if you leave Canada and want to return. If you plan to travel outside of Canada and your visa will expire while you are abroad, it may be best to apply for a new visa before you leave Canada.

Your visa will expire at the same time as your work permit.

Processing times change constantly; under “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working),” see “Visitor visa (from inside Canada).” In addition to the processing time indicated, it takes two to four weeks to send your passport to Ottawa and have it sent back with the new visa.

How to apply for a visa

If you are applying for a visa from within Canada, you have to apply online. However, you can submit a family application by mail. You will need to use a IRCC secure account to apply. For more information about applying online, see the document Applying with a IRCC secure account.

Once the online application for your temporary resident visa has been approved, you will need to send your passport to IRCC so they can put the visa in your passport.

Be sure to follow the mailing instructions for applicants in Canada:

1.    Buy two Canada Post Xpresspost Regional envelopes (24 cm x 32 cm).
2.    Make a note of the tracking number on each envelope.
3.    Write your name and your full mailing address in the “To” field of the envelope that will be used to send your passport back to you. The address must be in Canada.
4.    Put this envelope inside the envelope that you will use to send your documents.
5.    Include your passport and the letter you received in your IRCC secure account confirming that your visa was approved.
6.    Address the envelope to:

Temporary Resident Visa Section
CTP-Ottawa (e-Application)
PO Box 9640
Ottawa, ON
K1G 6T2

Important
When you send your passport to Ottawa, remember to also print and send the confirmation you received in your IRCC secure account that your visa was approved.

 

Requested documents for an online application (a customized list of documents will be created in your IRCC secure account)

1) Application for Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257]” form

Despite its name, this is the correct form to fill out, even when you apply from within Canada.

The form must be validated (with barcodes) in order to upload it. (You don’t have to sign it.)

To help you complete the form correctly, read the Instruction Guide.

Here are some guidelines to help you complete the form:

  • First section of the form
    • Box 1: UCI: You will find it on your current work permit.
  • “PERSONAL DETAILS” section
    • Box 7: If you are currently in Canada, your current country or territory of residence should be Canada.
  • “DETAILS OF VISIT TO CANADA” section
    • Box 1: Select “Returning Worker.”
    • Box 2: If you are currently in Canada, enter the current date and the expiry date of your permit.
  • “EDUCATION” section
    • Enter the most recent post-secondary degree you have completed.
  • “EMPLOYMENT” section
    • Box 1: Enter your main activities or jobs from recent years.

2) Passport: A clear copy of the ID page as well as all pages where there are stamps, visas, or entries.

3) Photo: It must be in colour and show the full front view of your head, with your face in the middle of the photo, and include the top of your shoulders. You can take it yourself with a digital camera. The image pixel size must be at least 420 x 540.

4) Canadian work or study permit : Provide a copy of the most recent permit.

5) A medical exam is sometimes required, for example, if you lived in an specified country for more than six months in the last year or if you want to work with certain clients.

If you are in Québec with family members (partner or children), you may be able to renew their status (visitor, student, or worker) when you apply for your work permit. When answering the questions to set up your online application, answer “Yes” to the question “Do you want to submit an application for a family member?” Important: You will need to be in a skilled job for your spouse to be able to apply for an open work permit. For more information, see the section on Getting authorization documents for your family members.

The post-graduation work permit allows you to access the Régime d’assurance maladie du Québec [Québec’s public health insurance plan] (RAMQ). To register, you must go to a RAMQ office as soon as you get your post-graduation work permit. When you first apply, the RAMQ may impose a waiting period of approximately three months before your coverage starts. So, you should complete this formality quickly as soon as you get your work permit.

Your membership with Université Laval’s Desjardins health and hospitalization insurance for international students will no longer be valid at the end of your studies. The Registrar’s Office will send you an email about this with the exact date the coverage ends. You will receive a refund for the months you didn’t use. You must take out private insurance while you wait for your RAMQ coverage. A list of private insurers is available on the BVE website.

Remember to bring your passport and work permit to a Service Canada office to have the period of validity for your SIN extended.

Service Canada offices – contact details

3229, chemin des Quatre-Bourgeois
Québec City (Sainte-Foy district)

Bus route from Alphonse-Desjardins building (Université Laval): Take bus 800 or 801 towards Marly (west) and get off at Duchesneau.

Du Littoral Complex, Suite 101
2500, boulevard Montmorency

Québec City (La Cité-Limoilou district)

Bus route from Alphonse-Desjardins building (Université Laval): Take bus 800 towards Beauport, get off at the Canardière/Mailloux intersection, and walk to the Courtemanche/Sainte-Anne intersection (5 to 8 minutes walk).

 

If you have a post-graduation work permit, you can continue to use your foreign driver’s licence, but only for six months, unless you also have an international driver’s licence. Because of this, it is a good idea to take the necessary steps to get a Québec driver’s licence.

The Immigration section of this website is intended to provide general information on current procedures, which may change at any time without notice. The laws and regulations in force in Québec and Canada, as well as the websites of Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [Québec’s ministry of immigration, francisation, and integration] (MIFI) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), take precedence over this page.

Last updated on: 2021-11-22