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Temporary Policy for PGWP Extension for PGWP Holders in Canada

Updated: May 15

Temporary policy for International students who are currently in Canada with their Post-Graduate Work Permit expiring soon can now obtain a PGWP extension under a new public policy came into force on January 27, 2021, and it will be in effect until July 27, 2021.


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Temporary Policy for PGWP Extension for PGWP Holders in Canada

Special Temporary Policy during COVID: (This is a time-bound policy)


A new temporary policy was announced for former international students in Canada who have an expiring Post-Graduate Work Permit. This policy allows them to obtain a one-time work permit extension for 18 months.


This public policy comes into force on January 27, 2021, and it will be in effect until July 27, 2021. To be considered under this public policy, applications must be submitted between January 27, 2021 and July 27, 2021.


Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Canada is now accepting applications submitted by former international students for the PGWP extension if their Post-Graduation Work Permit is expired or about to expire.


This PGWP extension will enable international students to stay in Canada and continue to look for work. As this is an Open Work permit, it is not tied to any single employer in Canada, and Work Permit holders can work for any employer they choose.


Eligibility Criteria for PGWP Extension

To apply for an Open Work Permit, the former international student must meet specific criteria met by IRCC as follows:

  1. have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of application;

  2. be in Canada;

  3. have a valid temporary status or be applying to restore your status;

  4. have a valid passport.

  5. You apply before the deadline July 27, 2021


LAST DATE TO APPLY UNDER THIS POLICY: JULY 27, 2021 Please note that PGWP cannot be renewed otherwise, this was a special policy announced by IRCC for a limited time. PGWP can only be extended if you did not get the full length because your passport was to expire. You may have to look for other options to renew for work permit. If you are looking to discuss this, we suggest that you book a consultation on our website.

This new temporary policy is part of Canada's efforts to attract international students to stay in Canada as permanent residents. A PGWP is essential in helping international students in Canada gain skilled work experience that eventually helps them in applying for their PR. Please note that this is a temporary policy and is valid till July 27, 2021 ONLY. Students who complete their studies in Canada at a DLI may apply for a PGWP for up to 3 years. COVID-19 has put recently graduated students in a difficult position where they are not able to gain the Canadian experience they need to apply for Permanent Residency. A significant number of new graduates have not been able to secure work, been laid off, or seen a reduction in their working hours. The Canadian government hopes to help international students with this foreign policy by introducing measures to address the decline in the number of international students who have been able to study, live, and work in Canada during the pandemic.




A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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