Canada has released instructions that certain expired Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holders will now be eligible to apply for a new open worker permit – or extend the one they currently have.
The instructions are applicable to candidates whose PGWP expires between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022. Post-Graduate Work Permits are generally one-and-done deals, where international graduates under a full-time program are eligible to apply for an open work permit for up to 3 years. However, the new instructions will also allow PGWP holders to extend their work permit – or apply for a new open work permit for an additional 18 months.
All work permits applied under this public policy must be submitted online by December 31, 2022. Candidates currently in Canada will also be allowed to work in the interim period while a new work permit is issued, or their work permit is being extended.
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This recent update will affect candidates in 5 different ways. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers the following scenarios:
SCENARIO 1: 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.
When you receive an email from the IRCC to confirm your mailing address – do not respond. IRCC will issue you an updated work permit, which will be sent to your e-mail by mid-October.
SCENARIO 2: Your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, but you need to update your address and/or passport validity.
Follow the guidelines in the email received by the IRCC and let them know if your mailing address needs to be updated. If the validity of your passport does not allow the IRCC to extend your work permit by 18 months – you will not receive this email. You will receive a separate email in September.
If you want to change your mailing address or your passport information, you will receive an email in September on how to do so. You will have a two-week window to update your credentials. Once updated, you will receive your updated work permit by mid-November.
SCENARIO 3: 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 be required to apply to extend your work permit online. You may receive a work permit that is extended to the date of your passport expiration date – or you may have to wait to apply until you have renewed your passport.
SCENARIO 4: Your PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, but IRCC didn’t contact you at all.
If you don’t receive an e-mail by mid-September, you are not eligible to apply for a work permit extension under the new process. IRCC may be required to further review your case, and such information has been added to their file about the admissibility to immigrate to Canada. You may still apply to extend your work permit online.
SCENARIO 5: Your PGWP expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to October 1, 2022
You will be required to apply online for a work permit. Applications for PGWPs open on August 02, 2022. If you’re currently in Canada, and your temporary status has expired, you must apply to restore your status at the same time. Under the new instructions, you are eligible to apply for a restoration, if your status has expired for more than 90 days.
IRCC will be sending out notices to PGWP holders whose documents have expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to December 31, 2022. Apart from the above-mentioned instructions, this email will indicate that they are allowed to work in Canada in the interim.
Candidates that receive the e-mail can attach it to their Post-Graduate Work Permit to show their eligibility to work in Canada - to their employer. This one-time measure will make sure that candidates eligible for the additional 18-month work period can remain working or return to the workforce while applying for a new work permit. This interim work period will be in effect until May 31, 2023.
This notice will only allow candidates to work, and does not restore legal temporary resident status, if expired. It is designed for candidates with expired or expiring PGWPs who want to work while they wait for a new or updated open work permit. Under the new instructions, candidates are eligible to apply for a restoration, if their status has expired for more than 90 days.
Candidates that are a part of the recently launched Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR2PR) pathway, whose permanent residence applications have not been finalized are also eligible to apply for an open work permit.
According to IRCC, “Recognizing that the processing of TR2PR applications will continue for some time, those applying for an open work permit can now receive one with an end-date of December 31, 2024, provided their passport is valid through that date.”
Also, IRCC noted that about 2,500 TR2PR candidates have already received an open work permit under this new measure. Such work permits will have an end-date of December 31, 2022. Eligible holders will soon receive an email stating they may be able to get their work permit updated with a longer validity date.
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