International Students With Expiring Work Permits In Canada Can Now Apply For An Extension

This will be a big help for former students, as well as temporary residents!

A student wearing a graduation hat. Right: A Canadian immigration form.
Associate Editor

A student wearing a graduation hat. Right: A Canadian immigration form.

Things just got a little easier for international students in Canada and those looking to transition from temporary to permanent resident status in the country.

The IRCC has announced that former students will have the chance to extend their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) or apply for a new one for an additional 18 months.

The process, which has also been designed to help Canada's current labour shortage, holds only for those whose PGWP expired or will expire between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

PGWPs are normally given for a fixed time, with international students in full-time programs eligible for up to three years. However, this change will allow them to work for an additional 18 months.

This will affect people in different ways, based on their situations:

If the PGWP expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and October 1, 2022, eligible candidates can now apply online for a work permit.

If the PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and a passport is valid until April 2024, the candidate will simply receive an email from IRCC to confirm their mailing address. They don't need to do anything; an updated work permit will be sent by mid-October.

If they need to update their mailing address or passport validity, then they will receive the email from the IRCC, and will have to follow the instructions given.

For a PGWP that expires between October 2 and December 31, 2022 – and if a candidate doesn't receive an email from the IRCC by mid-September, that might mean they're not eligible for a work permit extension for some other reason. They may still apply online though.

From temporary to permanent residents

Those who have been waiting to switch their resident status from temporary to permanent – and perhaps get one step closer to acquiring a Canadian passport – also have some good news.

People in this in-between phase can now apply for an open-work permit while waiting for their permanent residence status to be finalized.

Eligible individuals applying for this permit will receive one with an end-date of December 31, 2024 (provided their passport is valid until then).

If you're within this list, expect an email with details soon. Your updated work permit will then be mailed to you later.

So just keep an eye on your email and make sure your address is up to date!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.