The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced on March 17 that it would renew foreign nationals’ Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) that were to expire in 2023 or expired in 2022. The move, said Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, is “to support employers who continue to face challenges in hiring the workers they need to grow.”
Starting April 6, Canada will grant PGWP holders the option to prolong their stay in the nation for an additional 18 months. This will be done through a facilitative process.
Eligible PGWP holders will receive messages about logging into their online IRCC Secure Account and updating key information.
“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support 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,” Fraser said in a press release.
Foreign nationals whose PGWP is no more valid in 2023 and the ones eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure can leverage the Canadian government’s new initiative and apply for an additional 18-month work permit. Moreover, individuals with expired work permit status will be allowed to restore it. They will receive an interim work authorization while anticipating the processing of their new work permit application.
International graduates are an essential source of future permanent residents. They can acquire an open work permit through the PGWP Program to gain beneficial job experience in Canada.
Tens of thousands of these workers successfully transition to permanent residence each year, including more than 157,000 in 2021, a record high, and nearly 95,000 in 2022, the second-highest total ever.
With a valid PGWP, over 286,000 foreign graduates were in Canada at the end of 2022. Roughly 67,000 PGWP holders have already sought their permanent residency option, so they won’t need to renew their work permits through this scheme. In addition, however, 127,000 PGWPs expire in 2023.