The Canadian government has recently announced a new extension program for post-graduate work permits (PGWPs) that allows international students who have completed their studies in Canada to work in the country for an extended period of time. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the PGWP extension program, eligibility criteria, and what it means for international students in Canada.
Canada is extending graduated students’ PGWPs to address long-term workforce shortages, especially as the country has an ageing population. The extension program allows skilled and educated individuals to remain in Canada, contribute to the economy, and establish a life. Additionally, the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship is currently dealing with a significant backlog of citizenship and permanent residence applications. By offering automatic extensions to PGWPs, the government can ease some burden on employers who may be concerned about losing valuable employees and workers who wish to remain in Canada but face processing delays for their paperwork.
PGWP: What Is It, and How Does It Work?
A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a document that permits international students who have completed their education in Canada to work and stay in the country. The validity of PGWPs usually ranges from two to three years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government has extended them in the past.
Canada’s New PGWP Extension Program
Under the new extension program, international students with PGWPs that expired in 2022 or will expire in 2023 can extend their permits for an additional 18 months. This extension program aims to address long-term workforce shortages in Canada by allowing skilled and educated individuals to remain in the country and contribute to the economy.
Who Is Eligible for PGWP Extension?
International students who have completed their studies at a Canadian educational institution and have a PGWP that either expired in 2022 or will expire in 2023 are eligible for the extension program. If you are a PGWP holder, you will be provided with information to update your details online to extend your permit. It’s important to keep an eye on your email for updates, as the processing of extensions will begin on April 6, 2023. While your new PGWP is being processed, you will be granted an “interim work authorization.”
If you have applied for permanent residence in Canada and hold a PGWP, you won’t require an extension for your permit.
What Is the PGWP “Restoration Period”?
Typically, if a PGWP expires, there is a 90-day window to restore it by reaching out to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. However, for this extension program, the 90-day restoration period is not applicable. Regardless of the status of your PGWP, you will still be able to apply for an extension when contacted.
Canada’s new extension program for post-graduate work permits is good news for international students who wish to work in the country after completing their studies. With this extension program, PGWP holders with expired or expiring permits can stay in Canada for an additional 18 months. This is an excellent opportunity for international students to gain valuable work experience, contribute to the Canadian economy, and potentially obtain permanent residency.