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Applications for Open Work Permits Available to International Students


January 18, 2021

In a bid to attract skilled immigrants, on January 27, 2020 IRCC will allow former international students who currently have or have had a post graduate work permit (PGWP) to apply for an open work permit.  This move seeks to stabilize the precarious situation of those whose chances of obtaining work experience has been jeopardized due to the pandemic.  Canadian work experience is extremely important when applying for permanent residence through Express Entry.  The one time open work permit will be valid for 18 months and allow former international students to remain in Canada to seek employment . 

To apply for an open work permit under the public policy, an applicant must

  • have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date they apply
  • still be in Canada
  • have a valid temporary status, or be applying to restore their status

Applications will be open from January 27 to July 27, 2021.  Details on how to apply will be added to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website on January 27, 2021.