Extended Open Work Permits for PGWP Holders impacted by COVID19


On 8 January 2021, the Government of Canada introduced a public policy to help prior international students currently holding a post graduate work permit (PGWP), who may have been impacted by COVID19. According to this policy, the current post graduate work permit holders can apply for an open work permit that will be valid for another 18 months. This would provide the international student workers an opportunity to meet their work experience requirements to be eligible to apply for various permanent residence programs.

Eligibility to Apply

In order to be eligible to apply for an open work permit under this policy, the applicant must:
  • have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of application.
  • Still be present in Canada
  • Have a valid temporary status in Canada. Or be applying to restore their status (i.e. must meet eligibility to restore status).

How to apply

The applications for work permit under this policy will open on January 27, 2021. That is when the applications instructions will be revealed.

How international students impact Canadian Economy

International students add over $21 billion annually to Canadian economy. They support numerous businesses, create new ones, and fulfill labour shortages. International students in Canada are well equipped to become highly contributing members of the Canadian society given their young age and strong Canadian education background.

An interesting fact shared by IRCC : 

In 1971, there were 6.6 people of working age for each senior. However, given the current scenario, by 2035, there will be only 2 workers for every retiree. Without immigrants younger Canadians will end up paying more to take care of the aging population.

Hence, immigration is important.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding this policy as application process is revealed by IRCC.

About the Author

Dhruv Sharma is a Regulated Canadian Immigation Consultant in good standing with Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. He is the director and chief consultant of an immigration consultancy firm, Effizient Immigration Inc. based in Ontario, Canada. Dhruv is authorized to represent and advice clients on matters relating to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Citizenship Act, in front of Immigraiton Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). Dhruv also holds a designation as a Commissioner of Oath in the province of Ontario and is eligible to commission documents related to immigration matters.


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