Canada will allow international graduates with recently expired or close-to-expiring work permits to stay in the country for an additional 18 months, the government announced on March 17.
Announcement serves to underscore Canada’s desire to retain high-skilled talent from coast to coast to coast
Starting April 6, current post-graduate work permit holders will be able to opt into extending their visas. Additionally, foreign nationals whose PGWP expired in 2023 and those who already extended or were eligible to extend their visas under a similar policy announced in 2022 will be able to apply for an extension.
The announcement is the latest in a series of policy developments aimed at tackling Canada’s labour shortages.
“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support employers who continue to face challenges in hiring the workers they need to grow,” said Sean Fraser, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
“At the same time, we’re providing international graduates whose work permit is expiring or has expired with some additional time to stay in Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially qualify to become a permanent resident.”
Normally, PGWP holders need to apply for a different type of work permit if they wish to remain in the country after their visa expires.
Larissa Bezo, president and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, said the organisation ‘warmly welcomes’ the news.
“Today’s announcement serves to underscore Canada’s desire to retain high-skilled talent from coast to coast to coast,” she said. “The extension of post-graduate work permits for up to 18 months creates further opportunity for our international students to establish meaningful connections across our communities and to gain valuable Canadian work experience.”
Philipp Reichert, director of global engagement at University of British Columbia Okanagan, said it is a “great update” that will “help many current holders continue to work and gain experience and potentially then qualify for the various PR stream options”.
英属哥伦比亚大学欧肯那根分校(University of British Columbia Okanagan)全球事务主管菲利普•瑞切特(Philipp Reichert)表示，这是一次“伟大的更新”，将“帮助许多现有持有者继续工作，积累经验，然后可能有资格获得各种PR流选项”。
It also “relieves a lot of stress for many of them with the interim work authorisation”, he said.
Universities Canada also said it was pleased by the announcement.
“This change reflects the essential role of international university graduates in securing Canada’s future growth, by filling critical labour shortages and enriching our communities,” a spokesperson said.
“In a global competition for people and ideas, Canada must take measures such as this to attract and retain international talent and secure a prosperous future.”
Approximately 127,000 PGWPs expire in 2023
At the end of 2022, there were more than 286,000 international graduates in Canada with a valid post-graduation work permit.
IRCC estimates that approximately 127,000 PGWPs expire in 2023. Of these, 67,000 have already applied for permanent residence and will not need to extend their work permit through this initiative.
Eligible visa holders will receive a message from IRCC instructing them to log into their immigration account and opt in.
Extending permits will give international graduates the chance to gain additional Canadian work experience, which can provide a pathway to permanent residency in the country.
IRCC predicts that immigrants will soon represent 100% of the growth of the country’s labour force and that they could make up half of Canada’s total population within the next decade.
The country 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 work permits extended for international graduates
International students who have a post-graduate work permit expiring between January and December 2022 will qualify for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months in new measures outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on April 22, 2022.
Recent international graduates will be offered the chance to stay and work in Canada for longer, the government has announced.
The policy has been set out in order to address labour shortages, with the number of job vacancies in Canada reaching 900,000 in January, partially as a result of curbs on immigration during the pandemic.
The government estimates that approximately 95,000 post-graduation work permits expire between January 31 and December 31 2022 and that up to 50,000 applicants will benefit from this temporary policy.
In a statement, IRCC also said that this would “allow applicants to continue contributing to the Canadian economy, helping address our labour shortage while gaining valuable work experience and preparing their express entry profiles”.
This new policy is due to start in “summer 2022” and IRCC says it is “exploring a simplified, expeditious process for this”, with details being made available “in the weeks ahead”.
The government also announced that express entry draws – through which skilled workers can apply for permanent residence – will resume in July.
These had been paused due to a backlog of applications, which the government says has now been cut by more than half.
Some international graduates whose visas expired between September 2021 and January 2022 – when express draw entries were halted –are unhappy that they will be excluded from the policy and potentially miss out on the chance to apply for permanent residency.
Notice on new adjustments for Chinese visa(2023-03-13)
In order to facilitate the people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, new adjustments for Chinese visa read as follows, effective from 12:00 p.m. on March 14, 2023 (EDT):
I. You can use valid visa issued before March 28, 2020 to enter China.
II. You can apply for all categories of Chinese visa including tourist visa (L). For specific visa application and inquiry, please contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (https://www.visaforchina.org/) in your area directly.
III. Port visas are no longer suspended.
IV. Hainan visa-free policy, visa-free policy specified for foreign cruise-group-tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong or Macao SAR, and Guangxi visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries are no longer suspended.