Immigration Update: Great News for Eligible Holders of Post-Graduation Work Permits (January 11, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT)

CILF is here to support you with respect to all of your immigration needs with information to keep you informed. Our firm is always available to focus on your immigration needs.

Each year, tens of thousands of international students receive a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after completing an eligible postsecondary program in Canada. The PGWP then allows the graduate to earn Canadian work experience and potentially qualify for permanent residence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the ability of many PGWP holders to gain Canadian work experience, and accordingly, has scuttled their plans to settle in Canada permanently. PGWPs cannot be extended and individuals are only allowed to receive one PGWP in their lifetime.

IRCC has announced that starting January 27, 2021, PGWP holders that meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply for an open work permit valid for 18 months:

  • Have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020 or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of application
  • Have valid temporary resident status or be eligible to restore their status

Additional details will be released on January 27, 2021, but at this time we know that applications will be accepted from January 27 to July 27, 2021. This means that the target population of this program are individuals with a PGWP that expired or expires between January 30, 2020 and November 27, 2021.

If you or someone you know has a PGWP that expires between these dates, please contact our office for guidance.

We continue to recommend that anyone (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents) seeking to enter or exit Canada speak with an immigration lawyer before doing so. Our lawyers can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;;;;

Please contact your lawyer at CILF for additional details or specific questions.