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Working in Canada

Work in Nova Scotia after graduation

Upon graduation, many students are eligible to work in Canada. Explore career and employment services.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

Upon graduation, many students are eligible to work in Canada under the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP). To be eligible for the PGWPP, you must:

  • have a valid study permit.
  • have studied full-time and completed a program that was a minimum of eight months long.
  • apply for the PGWPP within 180-days of receiving written confirmation (a transcript or an official letter) from NSCC indicating that you’ve met the requirements for graduation and are eligible to obtain your diploma or certificate.

The maximum length of this work permit is three years; however, your PGWPP will be based on your length of studies.

  • If the official length of your program of study is less than two years but more than eight months, you may get a work permit for a period no longer than the length of your program of study (for example, if you studied for nine months, a work permit may be issued for a period of nine months).
  • If the official length of your program of study is two years or more, a work permit may be issued for three years.

Important: If you are interested to stay in Canada after you graduate, please ensure you choose a program that is eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP-eligible program:

  • is offered at a designated learning institution.
  • is at least 8 months long.
  • awards a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • has at least 50% of classes in person.

In order to be eligible for a PGWP, you must have:

  • completed a PGWP-eligible program.
  • maintained full-time status throughout your program.

Read more about PGWP eligibility.

If you have questions about the PGWPP, view the Post Graduate Work Permit Application (PDF 246KB).

COVID-19 changes to PGWP eligibility

There are temporary changes to the eligibility criteria for a PGWP because of COVID-19. Check the COVID-19 page for international students before you apply to get the most current information about who’s eligible.

Work while you study

To work part-time (off-campus) while studying, your study permit must contain the condition that authorizes you to be employed. If it doesn’t, you can either apply to renew or amend your study permit.

You can work:

  • up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions.
  • full-time during regularly scheduled academic breaks.
  • on campus in addition to working off campus.

You must:

  • have started your program of study to be eligible to work.
  • maintain full-time academic status, except during the final term of study.

Note: You need a co-op work permit to complete your NSCC program; your study permit only authorizes you to work jobs not connected with your studies.

Learn more

Immigrate to Canada

Nova Scotia Nominee Program: If your skills and experience match our province’s needs, you’ll have a fast-tracked opportunity to immigrate after graduation. Learn about the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.

Learn about federal immigration programs like Express Entry and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

Please note: We can provide immigration advice and support on study permits and work permits that relate to studies in Canada. This includes study permits, co-op work permits and post-graduation work permits. We cannot provide immigration support and advice on permanent residency in Canada to current students. Instead, we provide online resources and information sessions with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Nova Scotia Immigration. Additionally, our partner immigration consultants can support you and provide advice on permanent residency, but you will be responsible for their consulting fees.