The Federal Government has announced new measures for foreign nationals with expired or expiring Post Graduate Work Permits (“PGWP”) and for TR to PR permanent residence pathway applicants. These measures are outlined in further detail below.
Measures for Foreign Nationals with an Expired or Expiring PGWP
Foreign nationals who hold a PGWP which expired or will expire between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022 will be eligible for a work permit valid for an additional 18 months. If currently in Canada, these foreign nationals will also be able to work while waiting for their permit to be extended or for a new one to be issued.
Which steps a foreign national must take in order to receive this open work permit will depend on when their PGWP expires/expired, whether their address is up-to-date, and whether their passport is valid through April 2024.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022, the foreign national’s address is up-to-date, and their passport is valid through April 2024:
- No action is required – the foreign national will be sent a new work permit to their mailing address.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and the foreign national’s address and/or passport validity needs to be updated:
- Once they receive an email from IRCC to confirm their mailing address, the foreign national should inform the IRCC of their new address. If the foreign national’s passport is not valid for at least 18 additional months, the foreign national will receive a separate email from IRCC in September. The foreign national will receive instructions via email on how to update their mailing address and/or passport validity in their online account. If the information is updated properly, the foreign national will then receive a new work permit.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022, but the foreign national is unable to update their address or passport validity:
- The foreign national will need to apply online to extend their work permit.
- If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022, but IRCC does not contact the foreign national:
- The foreign national may not be eligible to have their work permit extended through these measures. The foreign national may still apply online to extend their work permit.
- If the PGWP expired or will expire between September 20, 2021 and October 1, 2022:
- The foreign national will need to apply online for a new work permit. If the foreign national is in Canada and their status has expired, they must also apply to restore their status at this time. Note that the foreign national is able to restore their status regardless of whether it expired more than 90 days ago.
All applications submitted online under this policy must be submitted by December 31, 2022.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has now also clarified that individuals who applied under a previous PGWP public policy may not be eligible to apply for an extension under this current public policy. Specifically, individuals who applied under a previous PGWP public policy and whose original PGWP expired before September 20, 2021 cannot apply under this current public policy. However, individuals who applied under a previous PGWP public policy and whose original PGWP expired on or after September 20, 2021 may still apply.
TR to PR Pathway Applicants
TR to PR pathway applicants whose applications have not yet been finalized are eligible to apply for an open work permit. These applicants are eligible to receive an open work permit valid to December 31, 2024 as long as their passport is valid through this date.
TR to PR pathway applicants who already received an open work permit through this measure with an end date of December 31, 2022 may also be eligible for a work permit with a longer validity date through this special measure, depending on whether their mailing address is up-to-date, whether they are still in Canada and depending on the expiry date of their passport.
Further information on these updates can be found in the Government of Canada’s news release here.
These changes will be very helpful to Employers with Employees falling into these two categories: these work permit extensions will be possible without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
If you have any questions about this topic, or any questions relating to workplace law generally, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.