“Canada Grants International Graduates an 18-Month Extension on Post-Graduate Work Permits”
Canada has announced an extension of 18 months to the post-graduate work permit (PGWP) for international graduates with recently expired or close-to-expiring permits. Starting from April 6, the current PGWP holders will be able to extend their visas, while foreign nationals whose permits expired in 2023 and those who were eligible to extend their visas under a similar policy announced in 2022 can also apply for an extension. The decision is aimed at tackling Canada’s labor shortages and to retain high-skilled talent from coast to coast. The extension will allow international graduates to gain additional Canadian work experience, which can provide a pathway to permanent residency in the country.
“Canada’s Growing International Graduate Workforce and Concerns for Capacity”
There were more than 286,000 international graduates in Canada with a valid post-graduation work permit at the end of 2022, and the IRCC estimates that approximately 127,000 PGWPs will expire in 2023. Out of these, 67,000 have already applied for permanent residency, so they do not require an extension of their work permit through this initiative.
The extension comes in a series of policy developments aimed at tackling Canada’s labour shortages, and immigrants are predicted to represent 100% of the country’s labour force’s growth in the future. The country had accepted a record 437,000 new permanent residents in 2022, but some have warned that Canada does not have the capacity for the number of international students who want to become Canadian residents.
“Canada’s Extension of Work Permits Receives Positive Feedback”
Larissa Bezo, president and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, has warmly welcomed the announcement, highlighting that the extension of post-graduate work permits for up to 18 months creates further opportunities for international students to establish meaningful connections across the communities and gain valuable Canadian work experience. Philipp Reichert, director of global engagement at University of British Columbia Okanagan, has praised the decision, saying that it will help current holders continue to work and gain experience, potentially qualifying for the various PR stream options, and relieve stress for many with the interim work authorization.