A new Ministerial policy has come into force recently. It allows international students who have graduated already to obtain a new one-time international open work permit. This offer is only valid if their pre-existing permit has expired or is about to. The new policy took effect on January 27th, 2021.
Former international graduates who wish to stay in Canada and work are now eligible to apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a new open work permit.
How does an open work permit work?
An open work permit will allow former international students to stay in the country and continue searching for employment. Most employer-specific work permits, require the student remain with one employer. However, open work permits enable the holders to work for any employer of their choosing.
These new open work permits will remain valid for a period of 18 months. This will allow international graduates time to gain work experience and work towards applying for permanent residence.
International students must meet the following requirements in order to apply for an open work permit under new policy:
- Be in Canada;
- Have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30th, 2020, or a PGWP that is set to expire in four months or less after the date of application;
- Have a pre-existing valid status or be in the process or renewing your status;
- Own a valid passport.
Online applications run from January 27th to July 27th, 2021.
This new PGWP guideline is intended to help retain international students as skilled workers following their graduation. An international student who graduates from a Designated Learning Institution (DIL) may be qualified for a PGWP for up to three years depending upon their duration of study in the country. A student can apply for a PGWP only once.
This new open work permit policy will allow them to extend their work experience as they continue to work towards citizenship. Each year they spend working in Canada helps move them closer to obtaining an invitation to apply for permanent residence.