International students with expired or expiring post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will qualify to work in Canada longer
Canadian employers want to fill the shortage of high-skilled talent. And, international students in the country want to gain meaningful work experience. To help both parties, Canada has announced an extension of the post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Starting April 6, 2023, international graduates with a recently expired or expiring PGWP will qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional work experience for up to 18 months.
“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support employers who continue to face challenges in hiring the workers they need to grow. At the same time, we’re providing international graduates whose work permit is expiring or has expired with some additional time to stay in Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially qualify to become a permanent resident,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
The PGWP Program allows international graduates to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Foreign nationals whose PGWP has already expired in 2023 and those who were eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional 18-month work permit. Those with expired work permits will be able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period, and will receive an interim work authorization while awaiting the processing of their new work permit application.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) stated that instructions for PGWP holders, who are eligible for the facilitative process, will be available on the IRCC website in the weeks ahead.
Also read: International student to PR: Advice from those who have done it
At the end of 2022, more than 286,000 international graduates were in Canada with a valid post-graduation work permit. About 127,000 PGWPs expire in 2023, though about 67,000 PGWP holders have already applied for permanent residence and won’t need to extend their work permit through this initiative.
International graduates are an important source of future permanent residents. Tens of thousands of international students transition to permanent residence each year, including more than 157,000 in 2021, a record high, and nearly 95,000 in 2022, the second-highest total ever.
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