The Canadian Government has introduced a new policy on 8th Jan 2021, that allows former international students with expired or expiring Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), to apply for another open work permit.
The introduction of the policy was aimed at assisting PGWP holders in gaining the work experience required to apply for Canadian Immigration. The policy will provide more time to PGWP holders who either lost their jobs during COVID-19 or had their hours cut. A research conducted by the Government revealed that international students are able to integrate with the Canadian Market rather quickly, after gaining residency, due to their Canadian work experience and education.
The policy outlines that the new open work permits will be valid for a period of 18 months, during which, the former international students will be able to continue their stay in Canada and look for more work opportunities.
While closed work permits lock an international worker to a specific company in the country, open work permits allow the international worker to work under any company of their choice.
Canadian Open Work Permit Eligibility Criteria
In order to apply for the new work permit under the new policy, the former international students will be required to meet certain eligibility criteria for the Canadian Open Work Permit.
Applicants with a PGWP which expired on or after 30th Jan 2020 or a PGWP which expires in 4 months or less from the date of application.
Applicants should be in Canada
Applicants should possess a valid temporary status or should have applied for the restoration of their status.
The government announced that the application process will commence operations from 27th January 2021 to 27th July 2021.
An estimation of 52,000 graduates with expired or expiring PGWPs are expected to benefit from the new policy, as claimed by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC data shows that nearly half of the 61,000 PGWP holders with an expiration date between January and December 2020, were either able to become permanent residents or have applied for the permanent residency.
The Post-Graduate Work Permit by the Canadian Government is a method of attracting more international students to the country and keep them as skilled workers to meet the demands of the market. The PGWP allows international students to work in Canada and gain experience for up to 3 years, subsequently, helping them to apply for a Canadian Immigration.
Many international students often lookout for the Post-Graduate Work Permit after completing their studies in the country. With an ambition to become a Canadian citizen, the PGWP provides them with a pathway to their dreams, through the skilled worker immigration pathway. The PGWP pathway also allows the students to gain the necessary work experience and subsequently submit a skilled worker application organisations such as Quebec Experience Programme, Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Programme among others, that offers applicants with a Canadian Work Experience.
The Canadian Government has realised the effects of COVID-19 on the labour markets and especially the graduating student students 2019 and 2020, who either have not been able to find a job or lost their jobs during the pandemic. In turn, this affected their ability to meet the required work experience criteria of the PGWP.
In a press release, the IRCC further stated that the new policy will help in meeting the skilled worker demand of certain industries such as technology, healthcare and more. Attracting more international skilled workers to the country will be the priority for the government, it added.