Canada to allow some international graduates to extend their work permits for up to 18 months

Foreign nationals who have post-graduation work permits that have expired or are about to expire will now be able to work in Canada.

Friday, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that international graduates with a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) that has recently expired or is about to expire can qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay for up to 18 months and gain additional work experience.

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Graduates from other countries can use the PGWP Program to obtain an open work permit and gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Typically, a PGWP cannot be extended. As soon as their PGWP expires, holders who wish to extend their stay in Canada as a worker are typically expected to apply for a different kind of work permit Public policies previously adopted in 2021 and 2022 provided the opportunity for an additional work permit for those with expiring PGWPs.

“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support/help 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,” Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said.

The IRCC stated that during this period of economic recovery and growth, employers are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining the workers they require. Additionally, the move was intended to fill crucial labor gaps.

These measures will enable PGWP holders who wish to remain for a longer period of time to opt in to a facilitative process to extend their work permit, allowing Canada to retain highly skilled talent beginning on April 6, 2023.

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Starting on April 6, eligible PGWP holders will be notified to log into their online IRCC Secure Account to opt in and update important personal information.

Those with expired permits

Foreign nationals who are eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure and whose PGWP has already expired in 2023 will also be able to apply for an additional 18-month work permit.

Even if they are past the 90-day restoration period, people who have expired work permits will be able to get an interim work authorization while they wait for their new work permit application to be processed.

With the additional work permit, eligible applicants will be able to continue making a contribution to the economy of Canada, acquire valuable work experience, and get ready to apply for permanent residence.

“Students from other countries are a significant source of potential permanent residents. Every year, tens of thousands make the successful transition to permanent residence, with over 157,000 in 2021, a record, and nearly 95,000 in 2022, the second-highest total ever, according to the IRCC.

More than 286,000 international graduates with valid post-graduation work permits were in Canada at the end of 2022. Although approximately 67,000 PGWP holders have already applied for permanent residence and will not need to extend their work permit through this initiative, approximately 127,000 PGWPs will expire in 2023.

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