Work Permit (PGWP)
10 August 2022
The government of Canada has published more details of how certain Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders can apply for a new open work permit or extend their current one, as initially announced in April 2022.
Foreign nationals whose post-graduation work permit expired or will expire from 20 September 2021 to 31 December 2022 will have the opportunity to work in Canada for an additional 18 months by either extending their work permit or applying for a new one. Those currently in Canada will also have the ability to work in the interim period while their permit is being extended or a new one is being issued. Normally, a PGWP is only issued once, and cannot be extended.
Note: Applications for this work permit cannot be submitted at a port of entry. All work permit applications for this public policy must be submitted online by 31 December 2022.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) outlines the following scenarios:
My post-graduation work permit expires from 2 October 2022 to 31 December 2022, my address is up to date, and my passport is valid until the end of April 2024.
You don’t need to do anything. When you receive an email from IRCC to confirm your mailing address, don’t respond. An updated work permit will be sent to your mailing address by mid-October.
My post-graduation work permit expires from 2 October 2022 to 31 December 2022, but I need to update my address and/or passport validity.
When you receive an email from IRCC to confirm your mailing address, follow the instructions in the email to let us know that your mailing address needs to be updated.
If your passport validity doesn’t allow us to extend your work permit by 18 months, you will not receive this initial email, but you will receive a separate email in September.
If you need to update your mailing address or your passport information, you will receive instructions by email in September on how to update your mailing address and passport validity in your online account. You will get a 2-week window to do so. If you update this information, you will receive an updated work permit in the mail by mid-November.
To ensure you will be able to benefit, check your passport validity and apply to extend it if it expires before 2 April 2024. If you applied for your post-graduation work permit using a paper application, make sure you have linked your application to your online account.
My post-graduation work permit expires from 2 October 2022 to 31 December 2022, but I won’t be able to update my address or passport validity.
You will need to apply online to extend your work permit. You could receive a work permit extended to your passport expiration date or you could wait to apply until you have renewed your passport.
My post-graduation work permit expires from 2 October 2022 to 31 December 2022, but IRCC didn’t contact me.
If you do not receive an email from IRCC by mid-September, you are not eligible to have your work permit extended through this special process for another reason, such as information has been added to your file about your admissibility to Canada that will need further review. You may still apply online to extend your work permit.
My post-graduation work permit expired or will expire from 20 September 2021 to 1 October 2022.
You will need to apply online for a work permit. Applications open on 2 August 2022. If you are in Canada and your temporary status has also expired, you must apply to restore your status at the same time. Under these special measures, you are allowed to restore your status, even if it expired more than 90 days ago.
You are eligible to apply from abroad if you have left Canada and return after you have been approved.
Ability to work in the interim
Effective 8 August 2022, individuals with post-graduation work permits that have expired or will expire from 20 September 2021 to 31 December 2022, will receive an email indicating that they are allowed to work in the interim.
Recipients can attach this email to their post-graduation work permit to show an employer they are authorized to work temporarily in Canada. This one-time measure is intended to ensure that those eligible for the additional 18-month work period can remain working or can return to the workforce while they apply for a new work permit. This interim work period will be in effect until 31 May 2023.
Note: This email notice only allows the individual to work, it does not restore legal temporary resident status if the person’s status has expired. It is intended to ensure those with expired and expiring post-graduation work permits can work while they wait for an updated or new open work permit. If an individual is out of status, they must apply to restore their status at the same time that they apply for a new work permit. Eligible applicants may apply for restoration even if it has been more than 90 days since their status expired.
If you have a valid temporary resident visa, but are currently outside Canada, it is possible to come back to Canada and be authorized to work. However, the interim work authorization email notice can’t, by itself, be used to return to Canada.
Work permits for applicants to the temporary resident to permanent resident pathways
Applicants who are part of the temporary resident to permanent resident (TR to PR) pathways, and whose permanent residence application has not yet been finalized, are eligible to apply for an open work permit. This ensures they won’t lose their status or ability to work while they wait for their permanent residence application to be finalized.
Recognizing that the processing of TR to PR applications will continue for some time, those applying for an open work permit can now receive one with an end-date of 31 December 2024, provided their passport is valid through that date.
About 2,500 TR to PR applicants already applied for and received an open work permit through this measure that have an end date of 31 December 2022.
These individuals will soon begin receiving an email telling them that they may be able to get their work permit updated with a longer validity date. If their mailing address is up to date and they are still in Canada, they do not have to do anything. An updated work permit with a validity date of December 31, 2024, will be mailed to them. They should receive it by mid-October.
Applicants with passports that expire before 31 December 2024, will not receive this email and will not be eligible to change the length of their current work permit through the special measure. They are still eligible to apply and seek a longer work permit, either by applying to get a work permit to match the day their passport expires or applying after they have updated their passport.
If the individual needs to update their mailing address, or if they opt out of receiving an open work permit through this process, they will no longer be eligible for the special measure. They will need to apply online.
Canada immigration support
If you are looking to work in Canada and require immigration advice, Smith Stone Walters can help.
Our Global Immigration team is experienced in helping candidates secure permission to work in Canada and will walk you through the entire process.
To speak to a member of the team, please contact us today.