The government body of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a new policy to help international students impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The new policy involved allowing international graduates to renew their Post-Graduation Work Permits if they have expired or are about to expire.
IRCC has been accepting applications since January 27, 2021, and will continue to do so till July 27, 2021. The new policy intends to help international graduates gain Canadian work experience that will make them eligible to apply for several federal economic immigration programs under the Express Entry System, and each provinces’ and territories’ individual Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). With the exception of Nunavut and Quebec Immigration.
The Canadian government places a greater emphasis on retaining international students as permanent residents because they can contribute significantly to the economy long-term, and don’t have challenges integrating into Canada’s multicultural society.
What is a Post-Graduation Work Permit or PGWP?
International students usually apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit after completing their study programs to gain Canadian work experience.
A PGWP is an open work permit that allows international students to work with any employer in any location in Canada.
Gaining Canadian work experience makes international students eligible to apply for over 80 different permanent residence immigration pathways including the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), etc.
Due to the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many international students had to face cuts in their working hours or lose their jobs.
According to IRCC, up to 52,000 PGWP holders may benefit from this new policy. The new policy will allow them to retain their work permit for up to 18 months.