Your PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit) about to expire.

Your PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit) about to expire.

Recently, on December 7, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shared important updates about Canada’s international student agenda.

Among them, the department has assured that it will not present any further extensions to holders of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

IRCC has shown PGWP work permit extensions three times over recent years. It presented the measure following labour market disturbances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and during post-pandemic recovery. It allowed PGWP holders to continue operating in Canada while IRCC was experiencing processing holds and had paused Express Entry draws.

In the past, IRCC granted three extensions to PGWP holders due to challenges in the job market driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. This permitted them to keep working in Canada when there were delays in processing and Express Entry draws were temporarily stopped.

The last attachment occurred on April 6, and it’s valid for 18 months for PGWP holders whose permits expire on or before December 31, 2023. IRCC highlights that those whose permits expire by this date are still qualified for this extension.

PGWPs allow international students to stay and work in Canada after concluding their studies. Normally, the permit is valid for up to three years, depending on the measurement of the academic program, and is not usually renewable.

In 2022, 98,000 PGWP holders became permanent residents, making up nearly 82% of all provisional residents who achieved permanent residency that year. IRCC counts that in 2023, there will be 268,000 PGWP holders in Canada, and 127,000 permits will expire.

How does this affect Express Entry prospects?

Express Entry is one of the most famous options for PGWP holders who want to get permanent resident positions in Canada. If you’re a PGWP holder in Canada and want to evolve a permanent resident through Express Entry, there are some essential things to know. Many of them may have worries about the end of extensions as their PGWP expiry procedures. As your PGWP expiration date gets closer, you might worry about the prospect of not getting an extension.

Candidates who have not yet accepted an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and have an expiring PGWP could soon lose their eligibility to operate in Canada. The recent unexplained pause in Express Entry draws that stayed from October 26 until December 6 is causing extra stress for some PGWP holders in the Express Entry pool because, without an ITA, they cannot apply for permanent resident status or held status while IRCC processes their application.

IRCC operated three Express Entry draws between December 6 and December 8, it’s crucial to note that two of those draws were category-based selection draws for prospects with French-language proficiency (1,000 ITAs) and those with work experience in STEM professions (5,900).

The all-program draw on December 6 invited 4,750 candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 561, which is higher than it has been in other recent all-program marks.

What to Do If Your PGWP is Expiring?

If your PGWP is about to expire, Express Entry prospects have a few options to remain in Canada until they get a conclusive decision from IRCC on their application.

However, candidates might be required to quit working while staying for an ITA and for IRCC to process their application.

  1. Visitor Record:

Apply for a visitor record and register at least 30 days before your PGWP expires. This permits you to stay in Canada for up to six months, though the duration can vary.

  1. Apply for Another Work Permit:

While staying for an Express Entry draw, you can apply for a new work permit. This might take time and apply additional costs.

If you want to keep operating, you can explore opportunities for a different type of Open Work Permit. You may also ask your employer to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a closed work permit, authorizing you to continue working in Canada, but only for the same employer.

  1. If You’ve Submitted a PR Application:

If you’ve submitted a permanent residence (PR) application but haven’t obtained a decision from IRCC, you might be suitable for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). BOWPs allow PR candidates to support working in Canada while waiting for the final decision. This involves those who have used economic immigration schedules like Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Quebec Skilled Workers, or the Agri-Food Pilot Program.