As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to support international students through this challenging time, Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that former international students who hold or held a PGWP will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit.

These will be valid for 18 months and allow former international students to remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country.

“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,” Mendicino said. “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.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada estimates that as many as 52,000 graduates with expired or expiring PGWPs could benefit from the public policy. Of nearly 61,000 PGWP holders whose work permit had an expiry date between January and December 2020, about half either have already become permanent residents or have a permanent residence application in processing, a media statement said.

To apply for an open work permit under the public policy, an applicant must:

  • Have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date they apply
  • Still be in Canada
  • Have a valid temporary status, or be applying to restore their status

Applications will be open from January 27 to July 27, 2021.

Details on how to apply will be added to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website on January 27, 2021.

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