Former International Students Can Now Apply for New Open Work Permit: New Policy
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) finally released the details for former international students with expiring post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) between September 20th, 2021 and December 31, 2022. These foreign nationals can now apply for an additional open work permit of 18 months. Also, those currently in Canada will have the ability to work in the interim period while they wait for their permits.
Please be aware that these measures will affect applicants in different ways. Here you can find the measures for each scenario and how to apply for this public policy.
Measures for foreign nationals with expired or expiring PGWP
1) If your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, your address is up to date and your passport is valid through April 2024:
You don’t need to do anything. Also, when you receive an e-mail message from IRCC to confirm your mailing address, don’t respond. An updated work permit will be issued and will be sent to your mailing address by mid-October.
2) If your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022; but you need to update your address and/or passport validity:
When you receive an e-mail message from IRCC to confirm your mailing address, follow the instructions in the e-mail. In that way, you will let IRCC know that your mailing address needs to be updated.
If your passport validity doesn’t allow IRCC to extend your work permit by 18 months, you will not receive this initial e-mail. However, you will receive a separate e-mail in September.
If you need to update your mailing address or your passport information, you will receive instructions by e-mail in September. In the email, IRCC will tell you how to update your mailing address and passport validity in your online account. Moreover, you will get a two-week window to do so. If you update this information, you will receive an updated work permit in the mail by mid-November.
Note: Check your passport validity and apply to extend it if it expires before April 2, 2024. Also, If you applied for your PGWP using paper application, you have to link your application to your online account.
3) If your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022; but you won’t be able to update your address or passport validity:
You will need to apply online to extend your work permit. You could receive:
- a work permit extended to your passport expiration date, or
- you could wait to apply until you have renewed your passport.
4) If your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022; but IRCC didn’t contact you:
If you do not receive a message from IRCC by mid-September, you are not eligible to have your work permit extended through this special process for other reasons. For example, information has been added to your file about your admissibility to Canada that will need further review.
You may still apply online to extend your work permit.
5) If your PGWP expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to October 1, 2022:
You will need to apply online for a work permit. Applications open today, August 2, 2022. If you are in Canada and your temporary status has also expired, you must apply to restore your status at the same time. Under these special measures, you are allowed to restore your status, even if it expired more than 90 days ago.
You are eligible to apply from abroad if you have left Canada and return after you have been approved.
Special instructions to apply for this public policy
When you fill out the work permit application form
- Select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit you’re applying for in the Details of intended work in Canada section.
- Copy and paste “PGWP PP open” as the Job title.
- Copy and paste “Open work permit” in the Brief description of duties field.
If you’re a representative:
- Use the form Application to change conditions, extend my stay or remain in Canada as a worker.
- Attach a letter explaining that you’re applying under the open work permit public policy for former or current PGWP holders.
Applicants can work in the interim
IRCC will be sending email notices to PGWP holders whose documents have expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to December 31, 2022. The email will indicate that they are allowed to work in Canada in the interim.
Those who receive the email can attach it to their PGWP to show their employer that they are authorized to work in Canada. This one-time measure is intended to ensure that:
- those eligible for the additional 18-month work period can remain working, or
- return to the workforce while they apply for a new work permit.
This interim work period will be in effect until May 31, 2023, IRCC says.
Important: IRCC notes that this email notice only allows the individual to work. It does not restore legal temporary resident status if the person’s status has expired.
If you are outside Canada and have a valid temporary resident visa, it is possible to come back to Canada and be authorized to work. However, the interim work authorization email notice can’t, by itself, be used to return to Canada.
Help for International graduates!
For Post Graduate Work Permits or other international student or graduate options, fill out the following form. Alternatively, please book a consultation session. If you are not an international student or graduate in Canada, fill out our assessment form.
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Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
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