On March 17, 2023, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that international graduates with a recently expired or expiring post-graduation work permit (“PGWP”) will quality for an additional or extended work permit of up to 18 months. The PGWP Program allows international graduates to obtain an open work permit upon graduation from certain Canadian post-secondary institutions. Because the PGWP is open by nature, it allows Employers in Canada the flexibility to easily hire these foreign nationals without any required Employer support.
Beginning April 6, 2023, certain PGWP holders who wish to stay longer will be allowed to opt-in to a facilitative process to extend their work permit.
Foreign nationals whose PGWP has already expired in 2023 and those who were eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional 18-month work permit. Those with expired work permits will be able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period, and will receive an interim work authorization while awaiting processing of their new work permit application.
There are currently two ways to obtain this post-graduation work permit extension. Applicants must either opt into the simplified process or apply for a work permit under a public policy.
The Simplified Process
Some current and former post-graduation work permit holders may qualify for a simplified process to get a post-graduation work permit. This is an easier and faster method to get an open work permit. To do so, applicants must opt in through their myCIC account before May 20, 2023 and ensure to opt in before their work permit expires. The opt in period begins April 6, 2023. Those likely to be eligible will receive an email from either @cic.gc.ca or @notifications.canada.ca. On review of the conditions included in the letter, as long as the TFW is eligible, they may login to their myCIC and apply online for the Post-graduation work permit holder: Extend your open work permit (up to an additional 18 months) and opt in to stay and work in Canada for up to an additional 18 months.
Applying for a Work Permit Under a Public Policy
If an applicant does not opt in before their current WP expires, or they are not eligible to opt in, they must apply for the work permit. Note that unlike the last PGWP public policy, an applicant can obtain a PGWP under this new public policy even if they had already obtained one under a previous public policy, as long as their original PGWP expired on or after September 20, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2023.
These measures will be helpful to Canadian Employers who rely on foreign nationals to assist their businesses during this current shortage of Canadian employees. Employers are encouraged to make any applicable employees aware of these options.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
The Firm gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Selina Habib, an Articling Student in the firm’s Toronto office.