Got Your PGWP? You Can Apply for an Open Work Permit in Canada

By Logan Bright Modified on February 12, 2021

To help international students thrive in Canada, the open work permit process is being expanded.

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To help international students thrive in Canada, the open work permit process is being expanded.

Last year, the federal government of Canada made it easier to receive a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) for international students forced to study online due to the pandemic.

Having a PGWP means you're able to work in Canada for up to three years after graduating — great if you want to build your resumé here in Canada — and also lets you work towards becoming a Permanent Resident, and perhaps eventually, Canadian citizenship.

PGWP program expansion

Now, in an effort to continue supporting international students like you, who add so much to the fabric of this country, the federal government is expanding the PGWP program.

If you've got a PGWP already, or you had one, but it expired, you can now apply for an open work permit directly. An open work permit is valid for another 18 months, and lets you stay in Canada to work.

"This new policy means that young students from abroad who have studied here can stay and find work, while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow," said Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Thousands of grads stay in Canada permanently every year

Canada welcomes students from around the world with open arms. In 2019, over 58,000 graduates chose to stay in Canada permanently, contributing to the strength of this diverse country.

The government estimates around 50,000 grads could benefit from this new open work permit policy. To apply, you must:

  • have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, OR a PGWP that expires within 4 months of the date of your application
  • still be in Canada
  • have a valid temporary status, or be working towards restoring your valid status

So if you've got an expired PGWP, or a PGWP that's expiring soon, and you're still in Canada, think about applying for an open work permit! The program runs until July 27, 2021.

This announcement is just one way Canada is doing its best to welcome and support international students from around the world.


Learn more about open work permits in Canada

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