Public policy to facilitate the issuance of an open work permit to former or current holders of post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) – June 13 to December 31, 2022
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
These instructions apply to IRCC employees. Given that applicants cannot submit their applications at a port of entry, these instructions do not apply to border services officers.
The instructions on this page should be reviewed in conjunction with the following:
A temporary public policy to facilitate the issuance of an open work permit to certain former or current post-graduation work permit holders came into effect on June 13, 2022, and expired on December 31, 2022.
IRCC recognized the effects on the Canadian labour market and on PGWP holders when the department paused the invitations to apply for federal high-skilled streams under Express Entry (including federal skilled workers, federal skilled trades and the Canadian experience class). Under this temporary public policy, eligible PGWP holders could apply for an open work permit that may have been valid for up to 18 months.
All applications must have been submitted on or before the public policy expired on December 31, 2022.
On this page
- Public policy objectives
- Eligibility requirements
- Application assessment
- Final decision
Public policy objectives
The work permits of many PGWP holders had expired by the end of 2022. Without facilitative measures, Canada risks losing this large pool of qualified individuals who have completed post-secondary programs in Canada.
By providing the opportunity to obtain an open work permit, former PGWP holders will benefit from the ability to maintain legal status in Canada, to support themselves and to fill acute labour market needs in Canada. Open work permits will also afford them with mobility that may be needed to address the current volatility of the labour market caused by COVID-19.
To be eligible under this public policy and for the open work permit, the foreign national must
- held a PGWP (administrative code C43) that had expired by December 31, 2022
- have valid temporary resident status or be eligible for the restoration of their status if applying from within Canada
- have requested consideration under this public policy and have indicated the duration of the work permit they are seeking in their application (maximum of 18 months)
- have submitted the work permit application online whether inside or outside Canada, unless they are exempt
Note: Applicants are not eligible to apply at a port of entry because the public policy requires that applications be submitted online. Applications at the port of entry are “in person” and as such are not eligible.
Officers should confirm, through the use of an integrated search of the Global Case Management System (GCMS), that the applicant was issued a work permit in the post-graduation category, under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), administrative code C43, with an expiry date between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022 (inclusive).
Officers should confirm that the applicant under the temporary public policy has valid temporary resident status or that they are eligible for restoration.
If the applicant is eligible for restoration, the officer may restore their status and make a decision on their work permit application.
This public policy waives the regulation stated in paragraph paragraph R200(3)(e), which prohibits the issuance of a work permit where there has been unauthorized work or study. This regulation 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.
An open work permit under this public policy will be issued to an eligible applicant only once, and it cannot be extended.
The work permit will be issued under the authority of section 25.2 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and section R200.
In the Global Case Management System (GCMS) under the Application screen, officers should enter the information below in the specified fields
|Selection or input
|20 – open work permit
|Province of destination
|City of destination
|PGWP PP open
|Maximum of 18 months, as stated in the instructions in the Validity period section or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier
|Post-Graduation Work Permit Public Policy
Important: Applicants are not required to pay the $100 open work permit holder fee. If paid, this fee should be refunded.
|Required unless a standard exemption (for example, the 1 in 10 rule) applies
If an officer is not satisfied that all the requirements of section R200, including the assessment under [Reg section], are met, 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.
Refusal reasons should clearly indicate which criteria or what requirement of section R200 was not met and explain how the conclusion was reached. For assistance, officers can follow the steps in Decision making: Standard of review and process for making a reasonable decision.
Applicants who are approved under this public policy may be issued an open work permit for a maximum duration of 18 months.
The validity date of the open work permit will depend on the expiry date of the applicant’s PGWP. At the time of decision, if the PGWP
- is expired, the open work permit will be valid starting on the date it is approved
- is valid, the open work permit will be valid starting on the expiry date of the PGWP
If an open work permit is issued for less than 18 months because the applicant’s passport validity date is earlier, the officer should include the following explanation in the “Notes” box in the GCMS:
“The open work permit is being issued for less than 18 months due to the applicant’s passport validity date.”
- Date modified: