Canada announces extension of post-graduation work permits for up to 18 months to retain high-skilled talent

Foreign nationals with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits will qualify to work in Canada longer

March 17, 2023—Toronto—Employers are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining the workers they need during this period of economic recovery and growth.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that international graduates with a recently expired or expiring post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional work experience for up to 18 months. The PGWP Program allows international graduates to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Starting April 6, 2023, these measures will allow PGWP holders who wish to stay longer to opt in to a facilitative process to extend their work permit and will allow Canada to retain high-skilled talent.

Foreign nationals whose PGWP has already expired in 2023 and those who were eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional 18-month work permit. Those with expired work permits will be able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period, and will receive an interim work authorization while awaiting processing of their new work permit application.

Talented and skilled international graduates play a vital role in addressing Canada’s labour shortage, and those nearing the end of their PGWP are already well integrated into Canada’s labour market. The additional work permit will allow eligible applicants to continue contributing to the Canadian economy while gaining valuable work experience and preparing for the opportunity to apply for permanent residence.

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