Canada’s new policies will help international students holders of a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). The pandemic’s disruption and uncertainty have jeopardized their chances of getting the work experience they need to apply for permanent residence. 



Recognizing that students contribute so much to Canada, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino, has announced that former international graduates with post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit.


Woman looking sad using a computer

Many international students were affected by the pandemic and found not find a job to obtain the work experience they need to apply for a permanent residence in Canada.


Those affected by the pandemic with an expired or expiring PGWP will have a unique chance to apply for another open work permit. These will be valid for 18 months and allow former international students to remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country.



In 2019, more than 58,000 graduates successfully applied to immigrate permanently bring strong employment and language skills, bolstered by their Canadian education and work experience, so they are typically well positioned to apply for permanent resident status.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada estimates that as many as 52,000 graduates with expired or expiring PGWPs could benefit from the public policy.



For international students to be eligible for the open work permit, they must be in Canada and also:

  • Have either a PGWP that expired on or after 30 January 2020 or a PGWP that expires in four months or less from the date of application;
  • A valid temporary status or be applying to restore their status.

The application process will open on 27 January and remain open until 27 July 2021. Details will soon be posted on the IRCC website.