Up to 52,000 people eligible for new 18-month Canadian work permit

Certain PGWP holders in Canada can apply for the new open work permit until July 27, 2021.

In order to aid former foreign students who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic while living in Canada, the Canadian government has a new program in place.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has approved applications from holders of the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) since January 27, who have had their permits expire or are about to expire.

The goal of this policy is to provide more time for PGWP holders to get the Canadian job experience they need to become eligible for a Canadian immigration program. The retention of former foreign students as immigrants is strongly emphasised by federal and provincial governments. The explanation for this is that government analysis indicates that after obtaining permanent residency, former foreign students appear to integrate easily into the Canadian job market.

PGWP holders may be struggling to gain the job experience they need for Canadian immigration, given the recession triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. This new public policy would make it possible for them to receive open work permits valid for up to 18 months.

The IRCC estimates that this policy may benefit up to 52,000 PGWP holders. Candidates must request an application for this new work permit by July 27, 2021.

Eligibility criteria includes:

Have a PGWP that expires on or after 30 January 2020, or a PGWP that expires within 4 months of the date of the submission.

On January 27, 2021, you were in Canada when this policy took effect and remains in the region.

In Canada, you have a valid temporary status or have applied to restore your status, or may apply to restore your status.

In your submission, you state that you are applying for this new open work permit.

You’ve got a valid passport here. The IRCC advises you to ensure that your passport is valid for at least 18 months from the date of acceptance of your application. If your passport expires in less than 18 months, the open work permit you receive will be your passport’s validity period for the corresponding amount of time.

The PGWP is popular with former international students because research shows that most of them want to apply for immigration from Canada. Those graduating from a Specified Learning Institution (DLI) can apply for a period of three years to obtain a PGWP.

In many of Canada’s over 100 distinct skilled worker paths, the post-graduate job experience they obtain in Canada is highly sought. Express Entry, the Quebec Experience Program, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) all award applicants with experience in Canada.

Generally speaking, only once in a lifetime will one get the PGWP. This has indicated that those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will not currently be able to continue as immigrants in Canada because of the weaker labor market as they may have been laid off, struggled to find jobs, or had their working hours cut.

This initiative is part of Canada’s overall efforts during and after the pandemic to promote high levels of immigration. Under its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Programme, Canada expects to accept over 400,000 new immigrants each year. Enabling international graduates to pursue Canadian work experience during the pandemic will provide Canada with a larger pool of global talent to choose from in support of its post-COVID economic recovery as it seeks to achieve its high immigration targets.

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