Visa Crunch

Up to 52,000 people eligible for new 18-month Canadian work permit

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), new guidelines have been laid forth to provide relief to struggling immigrants. IRCC has announced that it would start considering applications for the extension of PGWP for eight more months, owing to the unprecedented situation of crisis.

The department will consider those individuals whose work permit has expired during COVID or is on the verge of expiry. The decision to do so has come after considering the plight of thousands of former international students who could not get a chance to gain work experience due to the pandemic. 

The program that began on January 27, 2021, is slated to run up to July 27. IRCC estimates that 52,000 former international students might benefit from this drive. The motivation behind this strategy is to give PGWP holders more opportunity to get the Canadian work experience that they need to get qualified for a Canadian migration program. Government research shows that former international students tend to integrate quickly into the Canadian job market upon gaining permanent residence.

Given the downturn brought about by the COVID-19 emergency, PGWP holders might be attempting to acquire the work experience that they need for Canadian PR. PWGP is issued only once in a lifetime, and hence, the government needed to reconsider expiring PWGPs. The pandemic has implied that those affected may not be in a situation to stay in Canada and apply for a permanent residence, due to the lack of work experience. This new liberal arrangement will permit them to get open-work permits that will be substantial for as long as a year and a half. 

If you are willing to apply as a beneficiary, do keep in mind that the eligibility criteria includes:

  • The candidate must possess a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that will expire within 4 months of the date of the candidate’s application.
  • The candidate was in Canada on January 27, 2021, when this policy took effect and continues to stay in the country.
  • The candidate has valid temporary status in Canada, or has applied to restore their status, or will be applying to restore their status.
  • The candidate mentions in their application that they are applying for this new open work permit.
  • The candidate has a valid passport. IRCC encourages you to ensure your passport is valid for at least 18 months from the date your application is approved. If your passport expires in under 18 months, the open work permit you obtain will be for the corresponding length of time as your passport’s validity period.

This strategy is core to Canada’s revival policies to ensure a hospitable environment for immigrants in the country. Canada is planning to welcome more than 400,000 new migrants for every year under its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023. The constant influx of migrants and their contribution in various fields is essential for Canada’s economic functionality. In alarming times like these, it has become all the more important for Canada to take steps for the much-needed economic revival of a stagnant economy. 

Shlok Talati

Shlok Talati

A student of journalism, and more.

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