Canada announces open work permit for PGWP holders

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  • August 9, 2022

It was announced by Canada on August 2 that candidates with expired or expiring Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) will be able to access open work permits. Candidates on the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR to PR) Pathway, whose applications have not yet been finalized, will also have access to open work permits.

With the new measures, thousands more foreign workers in Canada are eligible for open work permits, which allow them to continue working in the country for a specific time period.


Open Work Permits For PGWP Holders

There will be an additional 18-month grace period for candidates whose PGWP expired or will expire between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

Those currently in Canada can also work in the interim, while their permit is being extended or a new one is being issued.

These measures will affect individual applicants in different ways. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers the following scenarios:


  • Scenario 1: Candidate’s PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, their address is up to date, and their passport is valid until April 2024.

There is no need for these candidates to do anything. According to the IRCC, do not respond to emails asking for your mailing address. “An updated work permit will be sent to your mailing address by mid-October.


  • Scenario 2: The candidate’s PGWP expires from October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, but he or she needs to update his or her address and/or passport validity.

A confirmation email from the IRCC will be sent to these candidates, and they should follow the instructions to let officials know that their mailing address needs to be updated.

The candidate will receive a separate email in September if their passport validity does not allow them to extend their work permit by 18 months.

Email instructions will be sent to candidates in September about updating their mailing address or passport information. A 2-week period will be provided to update information, with those who do so receiving a new work permit by mid-November.

If the validity of their passport expires before April 2, 2024, candidates should apply to extend it.


  • Scenario 3: A candidate’s PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022 and he or she is unable to update their address or passport validity before then.

It will be necessary for these candidates to apply for an extension of their work permits. Their work permit could be extended until the expiration date of their passport or they could wait until they have renewed their passport before applying.


  • Scenario 4: The candidate’s PGWP expires on October 2, 2022, but IRCC did not contact them.

Candidates who do not receive an email from IRCC by mid-September are not eligible to have their work permit extended through this special process for another reason, such as information has been added to their file about admissibility to Canada that will need further review. They may still apply to extend their work permit.


  • Scenario 5: The candidate’s PGWP expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and October 1, 2022.

Candidates will need to apply for a work permit. The application period will open on August 2, 2022. It is necessary for a candidate who is in Canada and whose temporary status has also expired to apply simultaneously to restore their status. They may restore their status under these special measures, even if it expired more than 90 days ago.

 It is possible to apply from abroad if the candidate has left the country and then returned once approved.

This work permit cannot be applied for at a port of entry. Before December 31, 2022, all work permit applications relating to this public policy must be submitted online.



Interim employment is available to Candidates

PGWP holders whose documents have expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022 will receive email notices from IRCC. The email will indicate that they are allowed to work in Canada in the interim.

Candidates who receive the email can attach it to their PGWP to show their employer that they are authorized to work in Canada. The purpose of this one-time measure is to allow those who qualify for the additional 18-month work period to continue working or return to work while they apply for a new work permit. According to IRCC, this interim work period will last until May 31, 2023.

According to IRCC, this email notice only allows the individual to work. A person’s legal temporary resident status cannot be restored if it has expired. Those with expired or expiring PGWPs can work while awaiting an updated or new open work permit. Candidates who are out of status must apply for a new work permit and restore their status simultaneously. Candidates who qualify may apply for restoration even when their status expired more than 90 days ago.

An individual who is outside of Canada and has a valid temporary resident visa could return to Canada and be authorized to work. However, the interim work authorization email notice can’t, by itself, be used to return to Canada.


Work Permits For TR to PR Pathway Applicants

While waiting for their permanent residence application to be approved, TR to PR Pathway candidates can apply for an open work permit.

Those applying for an open work permit can get one with an end date of December 31, 2024, provided their passport is valid that long.

Through this measure, about 2,500 TR to PR applicants already have open work permits until December 31, 2022.

Soon, these individuals will receive an email informing them that they may be able to extend the validity date of their work permits.

This email will not be sent to applicants whose passports expire before December 31, 2024, and they will not be able to extend their current work permits.

In either case, they are still able to apply for an extension of their work permit if they do so before their passport expires or if they do so after their passport is updated.


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