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Should the Canadian Government Allow International Students to Renew their Post Graduate Work Permit Amidst a Global Pandemic?

As the pandemic continues, measures need to be put in place from the Government of Canada to continuously support international students.

A public policy that was put into place on March 3rd, 2021, supports trying to help international students and temporary residents who are in Canada, stay and work as travel restrictions continue.

A one-time work permit can be issued of up to 18 months, allowing you to work anywhere in Canada. This applies to those who are for example, currently in Canada, on a post graduate work permit and or a temporary resident authorization and meet the requirements to apply under this policy.

Who can Apply for This Open Work Permit?

To be eligible for this open work permit, you must meet the following 5 requirements:

  • Your post-graduation work permit (PGWP)
  • expired on or after January 30, 2020, or
  • will expire within 4 months from the date you apply for this open work permit.
  • You were in Canada as of January 27, 2021, when the public policy took effect, and have stayed in Canada since then.

You either:

  • have temporary resident status (this could be from having a valid PGWP, visitor record, or another permit that allows you to stay in Canada), or
  • lost your temporary resident status, but you’ve already applied to restore it, or
  • lost your temporary resident status, but you’ll apply to restore it at the same time as you apply for this open work permit
  • You include in your application that you’re applying for an open work permit under this public policy.
  • You have a valid passport.
  • The work permit will be issued for up to 18 months from the date of approval or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. For example, if your passport is valid for 6 months, then you will be issued an open work permit for 6 months.
  • To maximize the duration of the open work permit, make sure your passport is valid for at least 18 months from the date of approval.

Why the Government of Canada Needs to Support International Students?

International students that are approved for a study permit are considered to be skilled migrants. They can speak either French or English or both, and they carry a post-secondary credential.  These factors are exactly what is needed to help the country’s labour market. In small or big communities.

In December 2019, it was recorded that there were over 642,000 international students in Canada, an increase of 185% from 2010. 

International students fill the gap, as do immigrants. Now more so than ever, Canada will need to continuously make changes to their public policies throughout this pandemic to ensure international students feel safe in knowing that they will be supported by the government of the country they are choosing as their study destination.   

Nadia Bhuptani

Nadia Bhuptani is the Director of the International Student Department at Canadim Law Firm. She has helped people come to Canada to study and thereafter immigrate to Canada.

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