Canada expands pathway to residency for work permit holders

Canada has announced a policy for former international students with post-graduation work permits to apply for open work permits in a bid to retain talent as it seeks more international graduates to become permanent residents.

As part of the plan, individuals who hold or held a PGWP on or after January 30 will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit lasting an additional 1.5 years.

“Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”

The “unique chance” for foreign nationals to apply for another open work permit will allow them to “remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country” for an additional 18 months, IRCC noted.

“The newly announced policy flexibility pertaining to the PGWP program is important in ensuring the presence and viability of this important pathway for international students who seek to gain Canadian work experience post-graduation,” Bezo noted.

“It is hoped that this policy flexibility shall position Canada as a continued trusted partner and key destination for learning and work experience.”

International graduates are “typically well positioned” to apply for permanent resident status, and the new policy will “help even more former international students build their futures in Canada, contributing in ways large and small to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity”.

Applicants must hold a PGWP that expired on or after January 30 or have a permit that expires in four months or less from the application date to be eligible.

Additionally, applicants must still be in Canada and have a valid temporary status, or be applying to restore their status.

Applications for the new policy will be open from January 27 to July 27, 2021.

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