Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC) Sean Fraser announced that select Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders whose work permit has expired can now apply for a new open work permit. The provision applies to the PGWP holders whose permit expired between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022. Per the official statement by IRCC, post this new measure, the holders of PGWP could extend their work permit for an additional 18 months. Such candidates need to submit the work permit applications online by December 31, 2022.
Status of Interim Work
Candidates currently residing in Canada can continue to work in the interim period during which the application for a new work permit is being processed. Those outside Canada who hold a temporary resident visa can come back to the country to work. This interim work period would remain in effect till May 31, 2022.
IRCC also announced that they would send email notices to PGWP holders whose permits expired or will expire during the approved duration. This notice would indicate the candidate’s eligibility to work in Canada during the interim period.
This new measure requires candidates to consider different scenarios before applying for a new work permit.
- If a PGWP holder’s permit expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022, their address is up to date, and the passport validity is till April 2024, they don’t need to do anything. IRCC would send a confirmation email and they need not respond to it. Upon confirmation of the mailing address, an updated work permit would be issued by mid-October.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and the candidate needs to update their mailing address or passport validity. In this case, IRCC would send an email to confirm the mailing address and they need to follow the steps mentioned in the email to inform IRCC that the address has to be changed. The email would be sent by September to update the mailing address or passport information and they are required to do the needful within a two-week window. Upon updating the necessary information, a new work permit would be issued by mid-November.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022, but the candidate won’t be able to update their mailing address or passport validity. They need to apply online for an extension of the work permit. If the passport is being renewed, then they need to wait to apply for a new work permit which can be extended till the expiration of the passport.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022, the candidate did not receive an email from IRCC by mid-September. This means that the PGWP holder is not eligible to apply under this new measure.
- If the PGWP expires between September 20, 2021, and October 1, 2022, candidates need to apply for the new work permit online. They can start applying from August 22, 2022, onwards. However, if the temporary residence status in Canada expires, applicants must restore their status if it expired 90 days ago.
Work Permits for Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway Applicants
Also, applicants who are part of the temporary resident to permanent resident (TR to PR) pathways are eligible to apply for an open work permit. This ensures they won’t lose their status or ability to work while they wait for their permanent residence application to be finalized, as per the statement.
Recognizing that the processing of TR to PR 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. About 2,500 TR to PR applicants have already received an open work permit through this measure.
The measure was first announced in April and came as Express Entry draws for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates were put on hold since September 2021, before being resumed in July 2022. As a result, many PGWP holders whose permits were about to expire were compelled to seek a new work permit, abandon their jobs, or leave the country. The measure will provide relief to around 50,000 PGWP holders.
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