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August 17, 2022

IRCC announced special measures for PGWP holders and TR to PR applicants whose applications remain in process

Posted by Alexandra Goncharova - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Great news for former international students whose Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) expired or will expire at any time between 20 September 2021 and 31 December 2022! IRCC is implementing special measures which will provide those qualifying with an opportunity to work in Canada for an additional 18 months. Those former/current PGWP holders who are currently in Canada may also be able to work in the interim, while waiting for their permit to be extended or the new one to be issued.

Important points to remember:

  • Starting 8 August 2022, those eligible for an extension will be receiving an email from the IRCC, and depending on circumstances, may be required to take particular steps to extend their PGWP:
    • Your PGWP will be automatically extended by IRCC if it expires between 2 October 2022 and 31  December 2022, your mailing address is up-to-date with IRCC and your passport is valid through April 2024;
    • If your PGWP will expire between 2 October 2022 and 31 December 2022, but you need to update your mailing address or passport validity, you will receive instructions from IRCC on how to do so, sometime in September 2022. You will only have 2 weeks to update information with IRCC, so if your passport expires before 2 April 2024, you may consider renewing it as soon as possible. Should you be able to provide the updated information re-address/passport validity to the IRCC within the given timeframe, you should receive a new work permit by mid-November 2022;
    • If your PGWP will expire between 2 October and 31 December 2022, but you are not be able update your address or passport validity within the timeframe, you will have to submit a new application to extend your PGWP online;
    • Similarly, if your PGWP expiry date is between 20 September 2021 and 1 October 2022, you will need to submit a new application online for an extension;
    • If you did not receive an initial email from the IRCC, then you are likely not eligible for this special process for a different reason (e.g. concerns with admissibility that require further review). However, you will still be able to submit an online application for extension.
  • You can apply for the extension/renewal of your work permit from inside or outside Canada, but not at a port of entry/border;
  • If you want to apply for extension of your PGWP under this public policy, you must do so before 31 December 2022;
  • If your PGWP has expired but you are still in Canada, although out of status, you will have to apply for a restoration of status together with an application for a new PGWP under this public policy. The good news is that you would be able to apply for restoration of status even if your PGWP expired more than 90 days ago.

IRCC has also announced that applicants who are part of temporary resident to permanent resident (TR to PR) pathways and whose application for permanent residence has not yet been finalized are eligible to apply for an open work permit, up to 31 December 2024, so that they do not lose their status or ability to work while they wait for  their permanent residence application to be finalized.

Further information on these special measures implemented by IRCC can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/measures-post-graduation-work-permits-temporary-resident-permanent-resident-pathways.html

If you think you are eligible for a PGWP extension or an open work permit under TR to PR pathways and require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office.