Occasionally students who have graduated from Canadian colleges or universities believe they can work full time immediately. Such is not the case because CIC has very specific rules about post-graduation work.
Section 222 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations indicates that a study permit becomes invalid 90 days after the day on which a student completes a course or program of study.
Section 186(v) of the Regulations states that a foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit if they are the holder of a valid study permit and they are a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution.
After completion of their program, student permit holders can continue to work off-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week until the student permit becomes invalid (90 days after notification of program completion).
In order to be authorized to work full time after the completion of their studies, students must apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Regulation 186(w) allows students who have completed their program of study to work while they are waiting for a decision on their PGWP application as long as they were a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program and they did not exceed the allowable hours of work.
Students who are not eligible to apply for a PGWP may continue to work off-campus for a maximum of 20 hours/week until the student permit becomes invalid (90 days after notification of program completion).
So once a student has graduated, he or she can carry on working on the 20 hour per week provision, during the validity of the permit and can only begin to work full time once the post-graduation permit has been issued.