Open Work Permit

How to Apply for an Open Work Permit with an Expiring Open Work Permit?

With effect from April 6, 2023, some current and previous Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders may stand eligible for a 1.5-year open work permit. It is expected that the application window will be open until December 31, 2023. The perk of attaining this Open Work Permit permits qualifying individuals to be able to work in any occupation and for any employer in Canada for up to 18 months additionally.

The Eligible Applicants will be able to:

  • Choose a simplified process to extend their work permit
  • Apply to extend their work permit
  • Apply to reinstate their status and get a new work permit

Even if an applicant does not qualify to choose, they still stand eligible for a work permit.

Process of Simplified Extension

Recently, IRCC has sent emails to the candidates who are eligible for the simplified process to extend their work permits. IRCC highlights taking the necessary action before May 20, 2023, before the work permit expires.

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To stand eligible for the simplified process, one must:

  • Must be living in Canada
  • Visit your IRCC secure account to make sure:
  • Your mailing address is up to date
  • Your passport information is up to date and has an expiration date of June 2025 or later
  • You have opted for up to an additional 18 months

In case, you do not have an account, you must register for an IRCC Secure Account and link your recent PGWP application to your account before May 20, 2023.

What is Open Work Permit Extension?

Last month, the Canadian immigration minister announced that IRCC will enable qualifying former and current PGWP holders to evaluate a new open work permit. Typically, a PGWP is non-renewable and candidates with an expiring PGWP are required to find another way to stay in Canada or leave the country. However, the immigration minister mentioned the purpose of this special public policy is to assist employers across Canada address labour shortages and to offer PGWP holders more time to transition to permanent residence.

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PGWP also permits eligible international graduates to work for up to three years after the completion of their studies in Canada. The ideal duration of a PGWP completely depends upon the duration of the program completed by the international graduate.

Most of Canada’s economic class immigration programs reward applicants with Canadian work experience since the Statistics Canada research shows that such experience that help support labour market integration by garnering permanent residence.

This is why immigration programs like Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other economic class pathways give more preference to candidates with Canadian experience by offering them more points and dedicated streams. Canada saw a record number of 800,000 international students in the previous year.

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Out of all the temporary residents who attained permanent residency in 2022, about 82% were holders of Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) with approximately 98,000 making the move. IRCC introduced a special policy update that explains by the end of the year there were over 286,000 PGWP holders in Canada.

According to the department’s estimates, around 127,000 PGWPs will expire in 2023. However, approximately 67,000 PGWP holders have already applied for permanent residency, which means they will not require a new Open Work Permit under this special policy measure.

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