By Shelby Thevenot
Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders whose work permit expires between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022 may be eligible for the upcoming one-time PGWP extension.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser extended the eligibility start date of the previously-announced PGWP extension from January, 2022 to September, 2021.
The new policy is beneficial to anyone who has an expiring PGWP. The change is mainly intended to accommodate Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates who have not had the opportunity to apply for immigration through Express Entry since September 21, 2021. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) paused draws for these candidates, who are oftentimes PGWP holders, in an effort to address the backlog in immigration applications. Draws for these candidates are expected to resume July 6.
Normally, PGWPs are a one-and-done deal. International student graduates of eligible full-time programs can get an open work permit for up to three years. However, the new measure will allow eligible PGWP holders to apply for a new open work permit for a validity period of up to 18 months.
The special measure was announced in April, however, details on how to apply are still not available.
Meanwhile, PGWP holders are seeing their documents expire, potentially putting them in precarious situations. They may have to get a new work permit, quit their jobs, or even leave Canada.
Tens of thousands of PGWP holders become permanent residents each year. They are already well-integrated into the Canadian labour market because of their Canadian study and work experience. In 2021, more than 88,000 PGWP holders became permanent residents.
The government has said more than 50,000 people could benefit from this measure.
Source: CIC News