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Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has made a big announcement for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders.

The Canadian government has extended the work permits of PGWP holders up to 18 months. The immigration minister announced that those with an expiring post-graduation work permit will be able to apply for an Open Work Permit extension as of April 6, 2023.

The Open Work Permit extension will be available to anyone whose PGWP expires in 2023.

It will also be available to those whose PGWP expired in 2022 and who applied for IRCC’s Open Work Permit extension last year.

From 6 April, candidates will be able to apply for the extension on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

After applying for the extension, the applicants will receive an email with an interim work permit authorisation which they can show employers to continue working legally in Canada.

What is PGWP?

Post-Graduation Work Permits are available to international students who graduate from an eligible educational programme at a Canadian-designated learning institution (DLI). DLIs colleges, universities, and other educational institutions approved by the government to welcome international students.

PGWPs enable international graduates to work for any employer of their choice in Canada. The maximum duration they can work is for three years. PGWPs are highly coveted by international students due to the nature of Canada’s economic class immigration programs. Many of these programs reward candidates who have studied and worked in Canada.

A PGWP is typically not extendable. PGWP holders who want to extend their stay in Canada as a worker are usually expected to apply for another type of work permit as their PGWP expires.

According to the Canadian immigration department, more than 286,000 international graduates were in Canada with valid post-graduation work permit as of 2022. About 127,000 PGWPs expire in 2023, though about 67,000 PGWP holders have already applied for permanent residence and won’t need to extend their work permit through this initiative.

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