Canada has issued instructions on how specific holders of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can register for an additional open work permit or renew their current one.
In April, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser first announced the special measures. The minister stated last week that a technical glitch delayed the release of additional instructions.
The guidelines are applicable if the expiration date of your PGWP is between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022. Typically, PGWPs are one-time offers. International student graduates of qualified full-time programs are eligible for a three-year open work permit.
However, the new legislation will allow eligible PGWP holders to renew their work permits for 18 months or enroll in an additional open work permit.
According to IRCC, you cannot apply for this work permit at an entrance port. By December 31, 2022, all work permit applications for this policy should be submitted online.
Those who are currently in Canada will also be permitted to work until their permission is renewed or a new one is approved.
These measures will have varying effects on individual candidates. IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) outlines the following instances:
1. Your PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022; your address and your passport are valid until April 20, 2024.
You don’t have to do anything. Do not respond to an IRCC email requesting confirmation of your mailing address. An updated work permit will be granted and mailed to your address by the middle of October.2.
2. Your PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022; however, you must change your address and passport validity.
The IRCC will send you an email to verify your mailing address. Follow the directions in the email to inform IRCC that your mailing address has changed.
If IRCC cannot renew your work visa by 18 months due to the validity of your passport, you will not get this initial email, but you will receive another email in September.
In September, you will receive an email with instructions on how to change your mailing address and passport details in your online account if you need to. You will have two weeks to do this. If you change this information, an additional work permit will be mailed to you by mid-November.
Check the expiration date of your passport and submit a request to extend it if it expires before April 2, 2024. If you submitted a paper application for the PGWP, your application must be linked to your online account.
3. Your PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022; you cannot update your address or passport validity.
You must submit an online application to extend your work permit. You might receive a work permit extension until the expiration date of your passport, or you could wait to apply until your passport has been renewed.
4. Your PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022, but IRCC didn’t contact you.
If you do not receive a message from IRCC by the middle of September, you are ineligible to have your work permit extended by this special process for another reason, such as new information regarding your admissibility to Canada that requires additional consideration. You may still apply for a renewal of your work permit online.
5. Your PGWP expired on September 20, 2021, or will expire on October 1, 2022.
According to IRCC, you must apply online for a work permit. The application period begins on August 2, 2022. If you are in Canada and your temporary status has expired, you must simultaneously apply to reinstate your status. Under these provisions, you can reinstate your status even if it expired more than 90 days earlier.
If you have left Canada and returned after being approved, you can apply abroad.
Applicants can work in the interim.
Between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022, IRCC will send email notifications to PGWP holders whose documents have expired or will expire. The email will say that they are temporarily authorized to work in Canada.
Those who get the email can attach it to their PGWP to demonstrate that they can legally work in Canada with their employer.
This one-time measure is intended to allow persons eligible for the further 18-month work period to continue working or re-enter the workforce while applying for an additional work visa. This intermediate work period will last through May 31, 2023, according to the IRCC.
The IRCC states that this email only permits the individual to work. It does not reinstate a person’s legal temporary resident status if such status has expired.
It is meant to ensure that persons with expired or expired PGWPs can continue working while awaiting an extended or extension of open work permit. If you are out of status, you should apply to restore your status simultaneously with your work permit application. You can enroll for restoration even if it has been more than 90 days since your status expired if you are qualified.
If you are outside of Canada and possess a valid temporary residence visa, you can return and be authorized to work. However, the email notification of an interim work authorization cannot be used to return to Canada.
Work permits for the temporary resident to legal resident pathway applicants
Applicants who are part of the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR2PR) pathway and whose permanent residency application is pending could also apply for an open work visa.
This approach assures that TR2PR applicant will not lose their right to work while awaiting a decision on their application for permanent residence.
IRCC states, “Recognizing that the assessment of TR to PR applications will continue for some time, anyone applying for an open work permit now can get one with an expiration date of December 31, 2024, provided their passport is valid until then.”
In addition, the immigration administration reported that approximately 2,500 TR to PR candidates had already obtained an open work permit due to this approach.
These work permits expire on December 31, 2022, and their holders will shortly get an email informing them that they may be able to extend the validity of their work permit.
If these employees have an updated mailing address and stay in Canada, they are exempt from further action. They may be mailed a revised work permit with an expiration date of December 31, 2024. According to IRCC, they should receive it by mid-October.
Applicants whose passports expire before December 31, 2024, will not get this email and will be ineligible to extend their current work permit under the special measure.
They are still eligible to apply for a lengthier work permit, either by applying for a work permit that expires on the same date as their passport or after having their passport renewed.
The individual will no longer qualify for the special measure if they need to amend their mailing address or opt-out of getting one through this process. They must submit their application online.
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