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Canada's PG Work Permit Extended

clock iconCreated At:19 March, 2023
write iconCreated By:Allaa Ashraf

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The Canadian government declared on March 17th that it will permit international graduates whose work permits have expired or are soon-to-be expired to extend their stay in the country for 18 more months.

From April 6th, post-graduate work permit holders will have the option to choose to extend their visas. Moreover, individuals whose PGWP expired in 2023 and those who qualified for or have already extended their visas through a policy introduced in 2022 will be able to apply for an extension.

The latest policy measures have been introduced to address Canada's labour shortages. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, stated that it is crucial to employ all possible solutions to support employers in hiring workers for growth while also providing international graduates with valuable work experience and the opportunity to qualify for permanent residency. 

Typically, PGWP holders need to apply for a different work permit after their visa expires to remain in Canada. 

The President and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Larissa Bezo, expressed a warm welcome to the news, citing that the extension of post-graduate work permits up to 18 months is an excellent opportunity for international students to establish meaningful connections and gain valuable work experience in Canada.

According to Philipp Reichert, Director of Global Engagement at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, the recent update is great news as it provides current work permit holders with the opportunity to work and gain experience, potentially qualifying for various PR stream options, and relieves any stress they might have about their interim work authorization. 

As of the end of 2022, there were over 286,000 international graduates in Canada holding a valid post-graduation work permit, and approximately 127,000 PGWPs are estimated to expire in 2023, with 67,000 already applying for permanent residency and not needing to extend their work permit under this program. 

Eligible visa holders will be notified by IRCC to log into their immigration account and opt-in. Extending work permits provides international graduates with the chance to gain Canadian work experience, which can lead to permanent residency in the country. 

According to IRCC, immigrants will soon make up 100% of the growth of the country’s labour force, and they could make up half of Canada’s total population within the next decade. 

Although Canada accepted a record 437,000 new permanent residents in 2022, some experts have cautioned that the country may not have the capacity to accommodate the number of international students seeking to become Canadian residents.


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