The Government of Canada has announced that foreign nationals with recently expired or expiring post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) can qualify for an additional or extended work permit that will allow them to stay in Canada for up to 18 months.
This program is similar to another measure announced in August 2022 which allowed foreign nationals with post-graduation work permits or work permits that expired between September 20, 2021 to December 31, 2022 to extend their work permit for 18 months. However, the eligibility requirements for this new program are broader. This program will allow those with PGWPs that have already expired in 2023 and are passed the 90-day restoration period to restore their status. These individuals will also receive interim work authorization while their application is being processed. In addition, those who were eligible for the 2022 program can also qualify for this new program and apply for an open work permit to restore their status.
Who Will Be Affected?
This new program is estimated to affect 127,000 PGWP holders whose work permit is set to expire in 2023. The aim of the program is allow international graduates additional time to work in Canada and gain Canadian work experience. However, international graduates are also addressing gaps in Canada’s struggling labour force.
With the on-going labour shortage and disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Canada needs to retain skilled workers to help grow the economy. Additionally, international graduates regularly go on to be permanent residents with over 157,000 transitioning in 2021 and 95,000 transitioning in 2022. Of the 127,000 international graduates with work permits expiring in 2023, 67,000 have already applied to become permanent residents.
When Will the PGWP Extension Begin?
This new PGWP extension measure will start April 6, 2023. Eligible individuals will soon receive an email about how to opt-in and update their personal information on their IRCC Secure Account. Your address and passport information must be up-to-date. Additional instructions for those who were eligible under the 2022 program to restore their status will soon be available.
How We Can Help
If you are worried about your immigration status or are interested in transitioning to permanent residence, it is best to speak to an expert immigration lawyer. The Immigration Law Firm of Matthew Jeffery has over 20 years experience. Please CONTACT US today to see if we can assist you with your immigration matters.