From April 6, 2023, some current and pre-graduation work permit (PGWP) holders may be eligible for an 18-month open work permit.
More information can be found on the IRCC website.
The application window will remain open till December 31, 2023.
The advantage of obtaining this open work permit is that qualified individuals will be able to work in Canada for up to 18 additional months in any occupation and for any employer of their choice.
IRCC’s website notes that qualified candidates will be able to:
- opt for a simplified process to extend their work permit, or
- apply to extend their work permit, or
- Apply to reinstate your status and obtain a new work permit
Even if a candidate is not eligible to opt in, they can still apply for a work permit.
What to do if you are eligible for simplified extension
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recently sent emails to people who may be eligible for a simplified process to extend their work permit.
The messages are coming from email addresses that end with @cic.gc.ca or @notifications.canada.ca.
IRCC notes that such individuals should take action before May 20, 2023, and apply before their work permits expire.
To be eligible for the simplified procedure, you must:
1) live in canada
2) Log in to your IRCC secure account:
- Make sure your mailing address is up to date
- confirm that your passport information is up to date and has an expiration date of June 2025 or later, and
- Opt in for an additional 18 months
If you do not have an account, you must register for an IRCC Secure Account and link your latest PGWP application to your account before May 20, 2023.
About this Open Work Permit Extension
In March, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that the IRCC would enable eligible former and current PGWP holders to access a new Open Work Permit.
Typically, a PGWP is non-renewable, and people whose PGWP expires need to either find another way to remain in Canada or leave the country entirely.
However, Fraser said the purpose of this particular public policy is to help employers across Canada address their historic labor shortages and to provide PGWP holders with more time to potentially transition to permanent residency.
PGWPs allow qualified international graduates to work in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies.
The final duration of the PGWP depends on the duration of the program completed by the International Graduate.
PGWPs are popular because they allow international graduates to strengthen their eligibility for permanent residency in Canada.
Many of Canada’s economic class immigration programs reward candidates who have Canadian work experience because Statistics Canada research shows that obtaining permanent residency helps support labor market integration.
This explains why Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other economic class pathways offer more points and/or dedicated streams to people with Canadian experience.
Last year, Canada hosted an all-time record 800,000 international students.
Nearly 98,000 PGWP holders transitioned to permanent residence in 2022, which is approximately 82 percent of all temporary residents who transitioned to permanent residence.
In announcing this particular policy measure last month, the IRCC noted that there were more than 286,000 PGWP holders in Canada at the end of last year.
The Department estimates that some 127,000 PGWPs will expire in 2023, although approximately 67,000 PGWP holders have already applied for permanent residence, and therefore, need to apply for new Open Work Permits through this special policy measure. Will not happen.