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PGWP holders can now apply for a new open work permit

Mohanad Moetaz - 27 January, 2021

PGWP holders can now apply for a new open work permit
PGWP holders can now apply for a new open work permit

International graduates who are in Canada with an expiring Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) can now submit an application for an open work permit.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they are now accepting applications by international graduates who wish to obtain a new open work permit. The graduates must have an expired PGWP, or one that is about to expire.

The newly issued work permit will be valid for up to 18 months, allowing graduates to stay in Canada and look for work.

An open work permit allows foreign nationals to work for any employer of their choosing. With employer-specific work permits, holders can only work for a single employer.

To be eligible to apply for an open work permit, international graduates must:

Graduates will have until July 27, 2021 to submit their applications online.

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What is the PGWP?

Canada offers international students who complete their post-secondary education in Canada the chance to submit an application for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). This helps graduates gain valuable Canadian work experience.

The PGWP allows holders to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation. 

The program is part of Canada's efforts to retain international students as skilled workers. The years of work experience that graduates gain during their time in Canada can be used to apply for permanent residence.

Graduates with little to no work experience who gain Canadian work experience and integrate into the Canadian labour market often have a good chance of becoming eligible to become permanent residents. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the federal Express Entry system is a popular economic class immigration program among international graduates.

The PGWP cannot be extended. For that reason, it is important that holders gain work experience so that they are able to apply for permanent residence. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted many recent graduates who are unable to obtain work due to the current weak labour market. Many graduates have also been laid off, or have seen their hours reduced. 

For this reason, this new policy was introduced to give international students who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a second chance to work in Canada.

Contact us for assistance on your Canadian work permit

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