Canada PGWP holders can now apply for new open work permits
January 27, 2021
Canada is now accepting applications for open work permits from current and expired Canada PGWP holders, under the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) public policy announced earlier on January 10, 2021. The new public policy is aimed at giving international students affected by COVID-19 another chance to gain the work experience they need to be eligible for Canadian permanent residence.
For many Canada PGWP holders, the pandemic’s disruption and uncertainty have jeopardized their chances of obtaining the work experience they need to apply for permanent residence. Under the policy former international students who hold or held a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will have a one-time opportunity to apply for the new PGWP open work permit.
Under the policy Canada PGWP holders whose permit expired on or after January 30, 2020, and are still in Canada, have a six-month window to apply for an 18-month Open Work Permit to help them continue to seek the work experience they need to qualify to stay in Canada long-term.
Why is the policy important for Canada PGWP holders?
You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.
The government of Canada reiterates that international students bring so much to Canada, contributing over $21 billion annually to the economy and supporting the vitality of Canadian communities. More than 58,000 graduates successfully applied to immigrate permanently in 2019.
Yet the pandemic has presented myriad challenges for international students. Canada PGWP holders have lost their jobs or seen their hours cut due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it impossible to accumulate within the mandatory three years, the Canadian experience required to be eligible for Canadian permanent resident.
“Whether as nurses on the pandemic’s front lines, or as founders of some of the most promising start-ups, international students are giving back to communities across Canada as we continue the fight against the pandemic. Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting. This new policy means that young students from abroad who have studied here can stay and find work, while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow. Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”
To be eligible for this open work permit, you must meet the following 5 requirements:
Your post-graduation work permit (PGWP)
expired on or after January 30, 2020, or
will expire within 4 months from the date you apply for this open work permit.
You were in Canada as of January 27, 2021, when the public policy took effect, and have stayed in Canada since then.
have a temporary resident status (this could be from having a valid PGWP, visitor record, or another permit that allows you to stay in Canada), or
lost your temporary resident status, but you’ve already applied to restore it, or
lost your temporary resident status, but you’ll apply to restore it at the same time as applying for this open work permit
You include in your application that you’re applying for an open work permit under this public policy.
You have a valid passport.
The work permit will be issued for up to 18 months from the date of approval or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. For example, if your passport is valid for 6 months, then you will be issued an open work permit for 6 months.
To maximize the duration of the open work permit, make sure your passport is valid for at least 18 months from the date of approval.
How to apply
For this open work permit, you must apply online by July 27, 2021.
You can only get this open work permit once, and it cannot be extended. If your passport is valid for 18 months or longer, then you’ll be issued an open work permit for up to 18 months.
Step 1: Make sure you have what you need
To apply online, you need
a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents