Individuals with expired or expiring work permits allowed to work in Canada for 18 more months

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OTTAWA: Canada announced that foreign nationals whose post-graduation work permit expired or will expire from September 20, 2021, to December 31, 2022, can finally apply to extend their permits starting Tuesday, nearly four months after the federal government announced plans to offer these extensions.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said that PGWP holders whose permits have already expired, or will be expiring will be able to apply online for an extension or a new permit lasting up to 18 months.

Those currently in Canada will also have the ability to work in the interim period while their permit is being extended or a new one is being issued.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says these individuals won’t need to do anything to get the 18-month extension unless they need to update their mailing address or passport validity. “Individuals with post-graduation work permits that have expired or will expire will receive an email indicating that they are allowed to work in the interim starting August 8, 2022.”

Recipients can attach this email to their post-graduation work permit to show an employer they are authorized to work temporarily in Canada. This one-time measure is intended to ensure that those eligible for the additional 18-month work period can remain working or can return to the workforce while they apply for a new work permit. This interim work period will be in effect until May 31, 2023.

However, this email notice only allows the individual to work, it does not restore legal temporary resident status if the person’s status has expired. It is intended to ensure those with expired and expiring post-graduation work permits can work while they wait for an updated or new open work permit. If an individual is out of status, they must apply to restore their status at the same time that they apply for a new work permit. Eligible applicants may apply for restoration even if it has been more than 90 days since their status expired.

If you have a valid temporary resident visa, but are currently outside Canada, it is possible to come back to Canada and be authorized to work. However, the interim work authorization email notice can’t, by itself, be used to return to Canada.

IRCC  says you may not apply for this work permit at a port of entry. All work permit applications for this public policy must be submitted online by December 31, 2022.

Work permits for applicants to the temporary resident to permanent resident pathways

Applicants who are part of the temporary resident to permanent resident (TR to PR) pathways, and whose permanent residence application has not yet been finalized, are eligible to apply for an open work permit. This ensures they won’t lose their status or ability to work while they wait for their permanent residence application to be finalized.

Recognizing that the processing of TR to PR applications will continue for some time, those applying for an open work permit can now receive one with an end-date of December 31, 2024, provided their passport is valid through that date.

About 2,500 TR to PR applicants already applied for and received an open work permit through this measure that have an end date of December 31, 2022.

These individuals will soon begin receiving an email telling them that they may be able to get their work permit updated with a longer validity date. If their mailing address is up to date and they are still in Canada, they do not have to do anything. An updated work permit with a validity date of December 31, 2024, will be mailed to them. They should receive it by mid-October.

Applicants with passports that expire before December 31, 2024, will not receive this email and will not be eligible to change the length of their current work permit through the special measure. They are still eligible to apply and seek a longer work permit, either by applying to get a work permit to match the day their passport expires or applying after they have updated their passport.

If the individual needs to update their mailing address, or if they opt out of receiving an open work permit through this process, they will no longer be eligible for the special measure. They will need to apply online.