International students with expiring or expired PGWP can stay longer for additional work experience of up to 18 months.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recently made an announcement stating that international graduates with a soon-to-expire or already expired post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will be eligible for additional or prolonged work permits to stay and gain valuable Canadian work experience for up to 18 months. The PGWP program enables foreign graduates to obtain an unrestricted work permit for Canadian market labour experience.
Beginning April 6, 2023, these measures will enable PGWP holders wishing to extend their stay to opt in through a simple process to expand their work permit and ensure Canada retains high-skilled talent. PGWP holders who meet the requirements for the facilitative process will get messages inviting them to log into the IRCC Secure Account starting April 6, 2023, to opt-in and update personal info. Foreign nationals whose PGWP has already expired during the year 2023 and those eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitate measures will also have the opportunity to apply for an extra 18-month work permit. Those with expired permits can restore their status regardless if they are past the 90-day restoration period. They will receive provisional authorization while awaiting the processing of their new work permit request.
International graduates are a crucial source of permanent residents- thousands get permanent residence each year, including 157,000 in 2021 (a record) and 95,000 in 2022 (second highest total). A PGWP is only sometimes extendable, and those who wish to carry on working in Canada usually need to apply for another work permit once their PGWP expires. Policies that were implemented in 2021 and 2022 provided a chance for additional work permits for those whose PGWPs were due to expire.
Highly skilled international graduates contribute to addressing Canada’s worker shortage, and those finishing up their PGWP are already well merged into Canada’s labour market. This extension on the current work permit allows qualified applicants to go on contribute to the Canadian economy while getting valuable work experience and preparing themselves for a chance at securing permanent residence status.
More than 286,000 international graduates will have valid post-graduation work permits by the end of 2022, and around 127,000 of these permits expire this year-however 67,000 have already applied for permanent residence, so they don’t need to use this initiative to extend their current work permit.