Canada | Immigration | New policy for PGWP holders came into effect

Foreign nationals who are affected by the global pandemic with expired or expiring PGWP will now have a unique chance to apply for another work permit.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now accepting applications from former international students who are willing to obtain a new open work permit irrespective of their Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) validity status.

The Canadian Government has announced that as a part of its efforts to support international students during this challenging time, former international students whose PGWP expired or about to expire can submit applications for a new open work permit.

The new open work permits are valid for eighteen months. The students can start applying online from January 27, 2021, until July 27, 2021.

It will encourage former international students to remain and continue searching for work in Canada. Openwork permits allow foreign nationals to work for any employer they choose. It is unlike employer-specific work permits, where a foreign worker is restricted to a single employer in Canada.

International students must meet certain conditions to qualify for an open work permit under the new policy.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The foreign students’ PGWP must have expired on or after 30 January 2020 or a PGWP expiring in 4 months or less of from the date of application submission
  • They must be residing in Canada with a valid temporary resident status or be applying to restore their status
  • Possess a valid passport.

The foreign students who graduate from Designated Learning Institutions(DLI’s) of Canada may qualify to apply for PGWP. The validity of the PGWP depends on the length of the study program. The maximum validity can be up to three years. As part of its efforts to attract foreign students and retain them as Skilled Workers, IRCC offers the PGWP.

International student graduates can search for and secure jobs from any employer across Canada if they obtain a PGWP. It is then possible to use all the years of Canadian job experience they gain, for an immigration application.

Having Canadian work experience and already being incorporated into a local labour market can also be the deciding factor for students with little to no work experience in assessing whether they will be eligible for permanent residency under Canada’s immigration programs.

Significant efforts have been made by the government to attract foreign students to permanently live in Canada as they help build employment and fill work shortages. They bring good jobs and language skills, enhanced by their experience in Canadian education and work. These factors make them well qualified to apply for permanent resident status.

In 2019, more than 58,000 graduates successfully applied to permanently immigrate. Their preferences to living in Canada will help solve major demographic challenges of Canada.

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