Public policy to issue an open work permit to certain post-graduation work permit (PGWP) holders – April 6 to December 31, 2023

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The instructions on this page should be reviewed in conjunction with:

A new temporary public policy came into effect on April 6, 2023, and will expire on December 31, 2023. Under this public policy, PGWP holders whose permit expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2023, will be able to maintain or restore their legal status and obtain an open work permit while in Canada to support themselves and fill labour market needs in Canada.

All applications must be submitted on or before the public policy expiration of December 31, 2023.

On this page

Policy objective

This public policy will address the continued record-low unemployment rates and shortfall in available workers that employers indicate continues to be their biggest challenge. Facilitating access to open work permits may help employers fill those positions and help to prevent some workers from having to quit their jobs and leave the country.

This public policy will permit eligible PGWP holders and former PGWP holders

Interim work authorization

Interim work authorization (IWA) letters were sent on April 5, 2023, to PGWP holders whose permits expire between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2023. The IWA authorizes holders to begin or continue working in Canada until May 31, 2024, while they apply for a new open work permit under the public policy and await a decision on the application.

The IWA does not confer temporary resident status. Therefore, if the IWA holder loses their temporary resident status, time spent working under an IWA without status does not count towards Canadian work experience for the purposes of transitioning to permanent residency or accessing provincial health care services.

Foreign nationals are responsible for holding and maintaining their temporary resident status. The IWA cannot be used to travel or obtain entry to Canada.


To be eligible under this public policy, the foreign national must meet the criteria below.

The foreign national:

Note: Applicants are exempt from the requirements of paragraphs A20(1)(b), A22(2), R182(1), R183(1)(b), R196, R199(a) to (i), R200(1)(b), R 200(1)(c), and R200(3)(e). This includes foreign nationals residing in Quebec.

Receipt of work permit application

Applications must be submitted online. Applicants can only apply on paper if they can’t apply online because of a disability or a problem with the online application.

Applicant instructions are found online on the following pages: Current and former post-graduation work permit holders: How to apply under a public policy if you’re in Canada or Current and former post-graduation work permit holders: How to apply under a public policy if you’re outside Canada

Documentary evidence

Officers should be satisfied that they have the following documentary evidence to make an assessment:

Application assessment

Officers must be satisfied that all eligibility criteria under the public policy and regulations are met at the time of decision on the work permit application.


This public policy waives the requirement of paragraph R200(3)(e), which prohibits the issuance of a work permit where there has been unauthorized work or study. This paragraph is not waived if the applicant’s unauthorized work was for an employer described in section R196.1. Foreign nationals eligible under this public policy are subject to all other legislative obligations and admissibility and selection requirements that are not exempted under this or any other public policy.

Restoring status

Eligible applicants who have lost their status between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2023, must apply for an open work permit and for restoration of temporary resident status at the same time.

The 90-day restoration period is waived for eligible applicants under this public policy.

Final decision


The open work permit will be issued under the authority of A25.2 and R200.

In the Global Case Management System (GCMS), on the Application screen, officers should enter the information below in the specified fields:

Field Selection or input
Case type 20 – open work permit
Province of destination Unknown
City of destination Unknown
Exemption code R01
NOC 99999
Intended occupation 2023 PGWP PP Open

Maximum of 18 months from the date of approval or from the expiry date of the applicant’s PGWP if their PGWP is valid, without exceeding the validity of the applicant’s passport or biometrics

If an open work permit is issued for less than the maximum length of 18 months because the applicant’s passport or biometrics is expiring within 18 months, the officer should include the following explanation in the “Notes” tab in the GCMS:

“WP validity is less than 18 months due to the applicant’s passport or biometrics validity date.”

User remark
Post-Graduation Work Permit Public Policy 2023
Processing fees

Open work permit holder fee EXEMPT – P03

  • The $100 open work permit fee is not required by the IRPR. However, if the applicant has paid this fee, officers will need to initiate a refund.

If an applicant has not previously provided biometric enrollment or their enrollment expires in less than 18 months, a new enrollment is required.


If an officer is not satisfied that all the requirements of R200 are met, including the assessment under the public policy, they must record their reasons and outline the rationale underlying the decision as well as the facts and elements considered. They must also provide an explanation for the decision in a case note.

For assistance, officers can follow the steps in Decision making: Standard of review and process for making a reasonable decision.

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