Canada Uplifts Former International Students By Offering Work Permit Extension

As a top official in the higher education department, you very well know how much a post-graduation work permit matters to an international student. The work permit program allows a recent graduate to gain work experience. In addition to this, the program is a gateway for international students to obtain a permanent residency.

Recently, the Canadian government has brought in a few measures that benefit former international students who hold/held a post-graduate work permit (PGWP). Since the onset of the pandemic and the disruptions that came with it, many former international PGWP holders lost the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience.

Keeping this in mind, the government announced that former international students whose work permits have expired or are about to expire have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit. The open work permit is valid for 18 months and allows such students to stay and continue to seek employment in Canada.

According to many higher education officials, they say that such measures have certainly provided a ray of hope for all these students who want to make a career in Canada. Additionally, these measures will also greatly contribute to economic growth, post-Covid.

Who Is Eligible For The Open Work Permit?

All those former international students whose PGWP permits have expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022, are eligible to apply for an open work permit.

Criteria To Apply For The Open Work Permit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has listed some criteria to apply for an open work permit. Some of these include:

  • If a former international student’s work permit expires between October 2 and December 31 this year and his/her passport is valid through April 2024, IRCC directly updates the permit.  It also sends the permit to the concerned individual’s address. The student doesn’t need to apply online.
  • If a former international student’s permit has already expired or will expire before October 2 this year, the student needs to apply online on the IRCC website for the open work permit.

Can Students Work While Waiting For Their Open Work Permit?

The government has permitted these students to work until they get their open work permits. An email from the concerned department is sent to the eligible students that indicates the students are allowed to work temporarily in Canada until they get their open work permit. This email can be attached with their expired or expiring post-graduate work permit to tell an employer that they are permitted to work temporarily.

Apart from this, students who have applied for the temporary resident to permanent resident program and whose permanent residency application hasn’t been finalised yet, such individuals can apply for an open work permit. This way, they are able to work until their permanent residency is finalised.

Canada has been a popular destination for Indian students for a number of years, attracted by high-quality education coupled with the ability to stay on after graduation and gain work experience. This move shows once more Canada is responsive to the needs of International students ensuring those who studied through the pandemic will not lose out on that key opportunity. Many students choosing Canada are looking to build a life there attracted by the opportunities it offers but it is still important that they are making the right choices with the right support and guidance to fulfil their aspirations. Acumen and our partner universities ensure that Indian students make the right choices to help them attain their career goals. and build the future they dream of”. – Delia Heneghan,
Vice President, Global Education Practice – Acumen

If you are looking to expand your university’s reach to fields afar, Acumen, part of the Sannam S4 group, can help you. As your internationalisation partner, we help you enter, expand, and explore markets in South and Southeast Asia, and beyond. Our services include student enrollment support, market insights research to inform decision-making, identification and facilitation of transnational education opportunities, and many others. Overall, we provide the guidance and expertise to develop effective in-country strategies and actions in your target markets.