PGWP Extension 2023 Canada – Everything You Need to Know

A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a type of Canadian open work permit that allows you to work for any employer anywhere in Canada. When it expires, can you extend it? In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the PGWP Extension process in 2023.

PGWP Extension 2023 – Another Special Measure Under Temporary Public Policy?

On March 17, 2023, Honorable Minister Sean Fraser announced new updates regarding PGWP extensions for 2023.

In the announcement, he shared that starting April 6th, international students whose PGWP expired or will expire in 2023 will be able to apply for an 18-month PGWP extension by applying using the IRCC Secure Account.

“When the borders opened back up, we had a few years of worth of applications in the system”

“The average score with so many applications in the system was much higher than was normally the case and people who had completed their studies and were on a PGWP, had a harder time qualifying for PR not because they didn’t have the skills necessary to qualify but because so many applicants were in the system. Those who certainly would have qualified in previously didn’t have the same opportunity. We want to continue to hang on to that talent in Canada.”

“I’m happy to announce a new initiative that offers PGWP holders an opportunity to gain additional work experience. This initiative will be open to post graduate work permit holders with expired or expiring temporary status in Canada and it will allow them to stay longer in Canada and continue to work in Canada.

“Former international students whose PGWP expires in the year 2023 will qualify for an additional or extended work permit of up to 18 months. Those who were eligible for the 2022 post graduate work permit extension will also be qualify for this new measure.”

“Beginning on April 6, PGWP holders who are eligible for a simplified faster process to extend their work permit can opt in using their IRCC Secure account on our website. For those who apply, they will receive by email an interim work authorization which they can affix to an expired PGWP that will
enable them to work in Canada and will have 18 months to remain in Canada and continue to work to apply for PR.”

“Former international students who have had their work permit expire will also be able to apply for this new open work permit. They will also be able to restore their status even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period and they will receive as well the interim work authorization I just described.”

Announcement regarding PGWP – Honorable Minister Sean Fraser

Can I Extend My PGWP in 2023?

Yes. You are eligible to extend your Post-Graduation Work Permit if it was initially cut short due to an early expiring passport.

IRCC does not issue work permits beyond your passport’s validity. If you’re eligible to receive a PGWP with a validity date beyond your passport expiry date, you should first see if you are able to renew your passport. If you cannot renew your passport before applying for the post-graduate work permit, there is no need to worry. We can help you extend it.

PGWP Extension Document

Post-Graduation Work Permit Extension Minimum Requirements

PGWP extension requirements are simple because you’ve already had to meet the requirements for the initial post graduation work permit. You must:

  1. Have been eligible for and have received a PGWP
  2. Have received a PGWP shorter in validity than you were originally eligible for because of the expiry date of your passport
  3. Have a new passport valid for longer than the work permit you are applying for

Post-Graduate Work Permit Document Requirements

PGWP document requirements are:

  1. IMM 5583 – Document Checklist (paper-based application only)
  2. IMM 5710 – Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a worker
  3. IMM 5476 (if applicable) – Use of Representative
  4. Renewed Passport – The bio page and all other marked pages
  5. National ID (if applicable)
  6. Current PGWP
  7. Letter of Explanation (if applicable)
  8. Proof of payment for paper application (paper based application only)
    • Work Permit Extension ($155 CAD) and;
    • Open Work Permit Holder Fee ($100 CAD)

Optional documents include:

  1. Your degree, diploma, or certificate from the PGWP approved program from an eligible DLI
  2. Your final transcripts
  3. Your letter of completion

PGWP Extension Online VS Paper

Paper-based Post Graduation Work Permit Extensions

The official instructions on the IRCC website state that you must apply on paper if you’re extending or changing the conditions of your PGWP.

If you are preparing and submitting your own application, we recommend following IRCC’s instructions when possible.

PGWP Extension Paper Based Application

Online Post Graduation Work Permit Extensions

Anecdotal evidence from previous applicants has shown that IRCC has been accepting and approving PGWP extensions received online. The benefits seem to be the ability to track the application, an easier process, and savings on mailing fees.

Download the Paper PGWP Extension Cover Letter and Letter of Explanation Guide and Template
Post graduation work permit extension

2023 PGWP Extension Processing Times

PGWP extension processing times 2023

Based on 2023 IRCC processing times, paper-based PGWP extensions are processed in 60 days, and online applications are processed in 159 days.

PGWP Extension 2022 – IRCC Special Measure Under Temporary Public Policy

In 2022, Canada’s immigration minister Sean Fraser announced on Twitter special measures to issue an 18-month Post Graduate Work Permit PGWP extension for international graduates whose permits expired or will expire between September 20th, 2021 and December 31, 2022. This special measure became a lifeline for tens of thousands of former international students who have been negatively impacted by IRCC’s decision to pause Express Entry Canadian Experience Class draws from September 2021 to July 2022.

Canada PGWP Extension 2022

Updates with PGWP Extensions Temporary Public Policy 2022

Aug 02, 2022 – Finally Released – PGWP Extension 2022 Details

On August 02, 2022, IRCC released instructions on the new public policy for PGWP extensions. The instructions affect PGWP holders in different ways based on when their PGWP has expired or will expire. Details can be found here.

Jul 29, 2022 – PGWP Extension Update From Honorable Minister Sean Fraser

Today, IRCC Minister Hon’ble Sean Fraser confirmed that he is hoping to share the good news on temporary policy extending expired PGWPs next week!

“I am hoping to have good news next week that will deliver in a very timely way, an ability for those who were affected by potentially expired PGWP, that will allow them to remain and continue to work in Canada.

Soon as we have the solution nailed down with confirmation that is going to work. We are going to be having a public announcement to share details on how people are going to apply to extend.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

As this is extremely important to the extent people been impacted on some of the challenges, I want you to know that we want you here. We think it’s important that you be able to continue to live in Canada and make positive contribution to the Canadian economy.” – Honorable Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

When asked: Once the PGWP holders are able to apply, will they be instantly placed on implied status where they can return back to work or will they have to adhere to the processing times at the moment? He replied:

“We are working on solution that can apply right now that is going to allow people to work as quickly as possible after the application. For the sake of certainty, I want to finalize one of the details on policy, that we are working on to make sure, that we can implement it, before we create a false expectation, before things are finalized.

We are very close to finalizing the details of this policy, but my goal is to allow people to work as quickly as possible after this application. We do expect to have final details released next week that will give people confidence and to be able to stay in Canada and continue to work.” – Honorable Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

July 19, 2022 – PGWP Extension Update – Memorandum to Honorable Minister Sean Fraser

On July 19, 2022, a memorandum to the minister of immigration was obtained through an ATIP request. Here are the contents of the “Memorandum to the Minister – Measures to Facilitate the Issuance of a New Open Work Permit to Post Graduation Work Permit Holders”

Eligibility Requirements for PGWP Extension Under Temporary Public Policy in 2022

To be eligible for the 18-month Post Graduation Work Permit extension under temporary public policy, you must:

  1. Have had a post-graduation work permit expired from September 20, 2021, to December 31, 2022

How to apply for PGWP Extension Under Temporary Public Policy in 2022

IRCC PGWP Extension Instructions 2022

If you’re eligible, how you get the 18-month PGWP extension under the temporary public policy is based on your specific situation.

  1. Your PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022. Your passport is valid until at least April 2024, and your IRCC Secure Account address is current. You will get an automatic extension and receive your new PGWP in your mail.
  2. Your PGWP expires between October 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022. You need to update your passport and/or your IRCC Secure Account address is out of date. You will have received an email to update your information on your IRCC Secure Account. Once updating your information, you will automatically receive a PGWP extension.
  3. Your PGWP expires between September 20, 2021, to October 1, 2022. You must follow special instructions to apply online for your 18-month PGWP Extension.

Problems With Express Entry – Kicking The Can Down The Road

Despite releasing special measures such as the PGWP extension for 2022, IRCC is still receiving criticism. PGWP holders whose status expired from September 2021 had to either leave or find alternative ways to remain in Canada. For thousands of former international students, this measure is too little, too late.

Critics also speculate that IRCC purposefully delayed the release of the 2022 special measures to extend post-graduate work permits. During the beginning of the COVID pandemic, IRCC had previous experience with special measures to extend PGWPs. Many critics point out that it doesn’t make much sense that IRCC has taken this long to provide instructions on this special measure.

These speculations add fuel to fire for the criticisms against IRCC for kicking problems down the road. IRCC currently had over 2.2 million applications backlogged in its system. Critics blame mismanagement of new programs and departmental issues which led to the long pause of Express Entry programs CEC, FSW, and FST.

While PGWP extensions offer some relief to former international students, it doesn’t fix the issue of the growing size of the Express Entry pool which has ballooned in size since the pause of Express Entry draws. Many international students have voiced their frustrations because they feel taken advantage of. “Canada markets their higher education industry and the pathway to permanent residency. Thousands of students like me have bought into that dream only to find out that we will likely never be invited to apply for PR through Express Entry” – says an anonymous international student.

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22 Comments

  1. Hi there,
    Within the last 6 months I had my Express Entry cancelled as in eligible, probably because my score was only 295 or my age as I am 61?
    I have already had my post grad work permit extended in Mar 2012 , and it currently runs out in September this year.
    Would I be able to extend it again under the new arrangements due to released imminently?
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thank you
    Kind regards
    Paul Cunningham

    1. Hi Paul,

      You can’t have your Express Entry profile cancelled for having a low CRS score. It sounds like you may not understand Express Entry completely. To put it simply, Express Entry is not like other immigration programs that are first come first serve.

      To immigrate through Express Entry
      1) First you need to meet the minimum requirements.
      2) If you are eligible, you are allowed to create an Express Entry profile which is your notification to Canada that you are interested in immigrating here
      3) When you create an Express Entry profile, you will also be given a CRS score based on your profile and be placed in the Express Entry Pool.
      4) While you wait in the Express Entry Pool, Canada will invite people with the best CRS scores to submit a PR application. This is called an Invitation to Apply(ITA).
      5) If you get an ITA, you finally submit a PR application and wait for a decision on your application.

      Your profile is being cancelled because you do not meet the minimum requirements for Express Entry (or you have answered some questions wrong). You can check which requirements are making you ineligible by using our eligibility calculator: https://mygration.ca/express-entry-eligibility-checker-tool/

      Regarding whether or not you will be allowed to extend your PGWP again, we’ll need to wait for instructions. However, my initial thoughts are yes.

  2. Hi Kevin,

    My PGWP will expire next year 2023, while by the expiring date I won’t have 1 year of work experience for the CEC application. Is it possible that I can apply for an extension?
    Thanks!

      1. Hi Kevin,
        My PGWP will expire in October this year (2023). I am already in the pool under the Express Entry program currently waiting for an invitation for PR application. Can I apply for an extension for my open work permit? But I actually have a TRV, I applied for it because I went for a short vacation back to the Philippines. If I am not allowed to extend my open work permit, can I still stay legally here in Canada with the TRV that I have which is valid until 2029?

        1. Hello Kristine,

          You cannot apply for an open work permit on the basis that you are in the Express Entry pool. To apply for a bridging open work permit, you must have submitted a PR application (which is after receiving an ITA).

          You also cannot remain in Canada beyond the validity of your current work permit based on having a TRV valid until 2029. A TRV is not a status document, it is an entry document that allows you to enter Canada.

          Please contact us to assess the options you have at remaining in Canada.

          thank you,

          Kevin

  3. Hi Kevin,

    My PGWP is expiring in September 2022, I am curious if incase they do not provide the guidelines to the extension program or do not open the portal for the fact. What are my other options to extend my work permit ?

    Your advise would be really appreciated.

    Thank you in advance

  4. Hi Kevin

    My PGWP expired in December 2021 and my extension was declined in march 2022. I had to return to my home country. Is there any chance my permit will be extended as now I am outside Canada?

    Thanks in advance!
    Have a good one

    1. Hi Pranav,

      If it’s the same eligibility requirements as the Public Policy PGWP Extension in 2021, you would not be eligible. We’re expecting news next week so we’ll have to wait and see whether or not people in your situation will be included.

      Thanks,

      Kevin

  5. for those who already extended their PGWP in 2021 last year under public policy , will this work for them ? or this is only for the new PGWP holders?

      1. I was refused pgwp a few weeks ago, on the basis that I previously had an extension of my pgwp in 2021, so it seems as if this second public policy only applies to new pgwp holders. Mind you, my pgwp extension ended on September 8, 2022 and I applied for another extension on September 7th, 2022 because the public policy in 2022 did say pgwp holders whose permits expired between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022 were eligible for an extension…really confusing. what are my options please?

        1. Hi Hall,

          If you applied under a previous public policy for PGWP holders, depending on when your original PGWP expired, you may have been eligible for this extension.

          If your original PGWP expired on or after September 20, 2021, you can apply under this public policy.

          If your original PGWP expired before September 20, 2021, you cannot apply under this public policy.

          If you want to continue to work in Canada, you need to apply for another work permit. Please book a consultation if you’d like to take a look at your options. Book a Consultation

          Thank you,

          Kevin

  6. Hello sir ,
    Are those eligible for this pgwp policy 2022 ,who already got the pgwp extension policy last year in 2021, because there so many like use who are waiting for cec draws and its still so high and those who got extension last year they are most affected. So is there any chance to apply ,please let us know

  7. Hello,

    I read the following news on City news:

    CityNews asked IRCC for clarification and to make explicit whether all recipients of the 2021 extension are ineligible to apply for the 2022 program.

    In response to that inquiry, IRCC says that some 2021 extension recipients may qualify for this year’s program as well.

    They say last year’s extension allowed people with permits expiring up to Nov. 27, 2021 to apply. This year’s extension allows those whose permits expired from Sept. 20, 2021 onwards until Dec. 31, 2022 to apply.

    As such, there is an overlap period between the dates of eligibility for last year and this year’s extension program. So only those who received the extension last year and have permits that expired between September and November, 2021 could be eligible for this year’s extension as well.

    Anyone whose permits expire outside of that two month overlap period and who received a permit extension under the 2021 public policy is not eligible for an extension again under the 2022 PGWP extension program.

    If my original PGWP expired on Oct 2021 and got the extension, am I able to be covered for this year 2022 extension ?

    Thanks!

  8. Hello! Your website has been super helpful in figuring all this out but I do have some questions.

    My PGWP expires at the end of October but I have not received any emails yet. I strongly think that its because my passport on file from my existing PGWP has expired but I have since renewed it.

    I would like to update that information but in my account I only have the option to change my email. Is there any guidance around how to do that?

    Because of that I am applying under the policy but also wondering whether I need to apply to extend my status separately or will I have implied status after October. Your help is much appreciated!

  9. My son submitted an application for an extension to his PGWP (which was issued for the life of his old passport) since 13th December 2022 and today (8th March 2023) has heard nothing even though the processing time was stated as being 60 days?

    What might be the problem and what should he do?

  10. Hello,
    I qualified for and followed the process for the automatic PGWP special measure extension application (my PGWP expired Nov 2022) I did not recieve any hardcopy work permit in the mail to date. I have been following up with IRCC agents after Nov as I did not recieve it in the mail, they said to be patient they are processing a high number of applications. Yesterday March 15 I called IRCC again and one agent told me to do a manual application (even though it is after the deadline) apply for restoration and provide an LOE and to continue working until the May 31st interim work authorization date. I called again, today March 16 and the IRCC agent i spoke to told me to stop working and leave the country immediately. What do I do? Is anyone else in this same situation?

  11. Hello,
    I applied for my pgwp together with my spouse and children, my spouse is on open work permit while me and the kids are on study permit. Its been 4days after applying for my pgwp, and I did not the automated letter to continue working while my pgwp is under processing. What should I do

    1. The temporary work authorization letter called IMM 0127 E – WP-EXT for PGWP is sent out by an automated system when your application satisfies all the conditions. If you do not receive the letter, you need to be 100% certain that you meet all the requirements to begin working on maintained status or you may be breaking the conditions of your stay in Canada.

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