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

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.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible under this public policy and for the open work permit, the foreign national must

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.

Application assessment

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.

Note: Applicants are exempt from the requirements of paragraph R200(1)(c), paragraph R200(3)(e) and paragraph 199(a) to (i). This includes foreign nationals residing in Quebec.

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.

Final decision


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

Field Selection or input
Case type 20 – open work permit
Province of destination Unknown
City of destination Unknown
Exemption code R01
NOC 99999
Employer Open
Intended occupation PGWP PP open
Duration 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
User remarks
Post-Graduation Work Permit Public Policy
Processing fees
  • $155 work permit processing fee
  • $85 biometric fee, if applicable
  • P03 open work permit holder fee exemption code

Important: Applicants are not required to pay the $100 open work permit holder fee. If paid, this fee should be refunded.

  • Identify any situations that may warrant a refund.
Biometrics 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.

Validity period

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

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.”

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