Government of Canada Announces New Policy to Assist Former International Students
One of the great advantages of pursuing a post-secondary education in Canada is access to the Post-Graduate Work Permit (“PGWP”) program after graduation. The PGWP is an open work permit that can be used to gain Canadian work experience and allow international students to have a stronger chance in obtaining Permanent Residence (“PR”) in Canada.
This work experience allows potential candidates to successfully qualify for Express Entry and Provincial Nomination Programs. These programs assign more points to profiles that have Canadian work experience. Having these extra points makes one a much more competitive candidate and allows the candidate to have a higher chance of receiving an invitation to apply for Permanent Resident status.
The PGWP also greatly benefits Canadian employers as it allows them to hire from a large selection of candidates without having to worry about obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”). Because the PGWP is an Open Work Permit, it means that the individual with the PGWP can work anywhere and the employer can easily hire them without worrying about the cost and time burdens that come with an LMIA.
Unfortunately, a PGWP usually cannot be extended and an individual can only have one PGWP in their lifetime. If they want to continue working in Canada after their PGWP expires, they will then have to obtain an Employer-Specific Work Permit, which most of the times require an LMIA. This older policy had previously negatively affected a great deal of international students who wished to gain more Canadian work experience than their PGWP allowed so that they could be competitive PR applicants.
However, on January 8, 2021, the Government of Canada announced a new policy that will allow former international students with an expired or expiring PGWP to apply for a new Open Work Permit.
The purpose of this new policy is to allow PGWP holders more time to gain work experience they need to be eligible and more competitive for Canadian Immigration programs such as Express Entry and the PGWP.
To apply for this Open Work Permit under the new policy, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020 or you must have a PGWP that will expire in 4 months or less from the date you submit an application;
- You need to be residing in Canada at the time of the submission of your application;
- You need to have valid temporary status or be in the midst of applying to restore your status at the time of submitting your application.
This application process will be open from January 27, 2021 to July 27, 2021
This new policy is an excellent opportunity for former international students to continue obtaining Canadian work experience so that their path to Permanent Residence is smoother.
Are you interested in taking advantage of this new policy and applying for an Open Work Permit as a former international student? Do you have further questions about the Post Graduate Work Permit program? We at AP Lawyers are always happy to help our clients with these applications. Contact us today to book your consultation at (905) 492-7662 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://ycanada.ca to start the process.
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May 5, 2022
November 24, 2021