Open Work Permit Gives Students a Second Chance to Obtain Work Experience Needed for Permanent Residence
The Federal government has announced a new policy designed to give international students affected by COVID-19 another chance to gain work experience in Canada. This work experience is needed to become eligible to apply for permanent residence. .
The new policy, which was introduced on January 8, will allow former international students with an expired or expiring Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) to apply for a new open work permit in 2021. The application process will be open from January 27 to July 27, 2021.
An open work permit allows foreign nationals to work for any employer of their choice in Canada. Open work permits differ from closed work permits, which require foreign workers to remain with just one employer in Canada.
The new open work permits will be valid for 18 months. During this time, permit holders will be able to remain in Canada while they continue to look for work.
In order to receive one of the new open work permits, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Must have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of your application
- Currently reside in Canada
- Must have a valid temporary status or be in the process of applying to restore your status
Why It’s Important
The goal of this new initiative is to provide PGWP holders who lost jobs, had hours decreased, or lost out on work opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic with more time to gain work experience and become eligible for permanent residence status.
Helping international students remain in Canada permanently after their studies have concluded has long been a top priority for the Canadian government, as immigration helps employers fill labour shortages and recruit new talent.
However, because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the number of international students coming to Canada in 2020, Immigration Minister Mendicino has announced many new policies over the past several months to help offset the decline.
In fact, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has estimated that around 52,000 international student graduates with expired or expiring PGWPs will benefit from this new policy.
“Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here,” said Mendicino.