As part of several recent announcements regarding Canada’s international student program, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed that it will not be granting any additional extensions to holders of Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs).
In recent years, IRCC has extended PGWP work permits three times due to labor market disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now IRCC notes that PGWP holders whose permit expires on or before December 31 are still eligible for the extension and the permit is valid for up to three years.
Interestingly, this development has impacted some Express Entry candidates because many of them may have concerns about the end of extensions as their PGWP expiry approaches.
Candidates with expiring Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) in Canada, who have not received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in recent Express Entry draws, face potential job eligibility loss.
The holding draws from October 26 to December 6 has intensified pressure on PGWP holders, as without an ITA, they cannot apply for permanent resident status. Although three draws occurred between December 6 and December 8, most were category-specific, leaving some candidates in the Express Entry pool without invitations.
The all-program draw on December 6 had a higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score requirement of 561, impacting the eligibility of certain candidates.
What to do if your PGWP is expiring
If you wish to stay in Canada, you can apply for a visitor record at least 30 days before your PGWP expires. With the help of this, you can stay in Canada for six months
Candidates awaiting an Express Entry draw can apply for a new work permit to continue working in Canada. While it involves time and additional costs, exploring options for an Open Work Permit is one avenue. Additionally, candidates can ask their employer to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a closed work permit, allowing them to maintain eligibility for work in Canada, albeit limited to their current employer.