PGWP Extension in 2024 For International Students in Canada
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? Under certain situations, you can! In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the PGWP Extension process in 2024.
PGWP Extension 2024 – Another Special Measure Under Temporary Public Policy?
On August 2, 2022, Honorable Minister Sean Fraser first announced an 18 months open work permit extension for people who held a PGWP between September 20, 2021 to December 31, 2022.
Again, on March 17, 2023, Honorable Minister Sean Fraser announced an 18-month open work permit extension for people who held a PGWP between September 20, 2021 to December 31, 2023
Many former international students who were unable to obtain permanent residency or a way to extend their work permit in Canada hoped for a similar announcement in 2024. Unfortunately, on December 7, 2023, Honorable Minister Marc Miller announced that these temporary public policies to facilitate the extension of previous PGWP holders would not be extended in 2024.
Can I Extend My PGWP in 2024?
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.
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:
- Have been eligible for and have received a PGWP
- Have received a PGWP shorter in validity than you were originally eligible for because of the expiry date of your passport
- 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:
- IMM 5583 – Document Checklist (paper-based application only)
- IMM 5710 – Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a worker
- IMM 5476 (if applicable) – Use of Representative
- Renewed Passport – The bio page and all other marked pages
- National ID (if applicable)
- Current PGWP
- Letter of Explanation (if applicable)
- 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:
- Your degree, diploma, or certificate from the PGWP approved program from an eligible DLI
- Your final transcripts
- 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.
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
2024 PGWP Extension Processing Times
Based on 2024 IRCC processing times, PGWP extensions are processed in 106 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.
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.
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:
- 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
If you’re eligible, how you get the 18-month PGWP extension under the temporary public policy is based on your specific situation.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.