Open Work Permits for Certain Current and Former Post Graduate Work Permit Holders and TR to Pathway Applicants

On August 2, 2022, IRCC announced it would be expanding work permit opportunities for certain former or current post graduate work permit holders, as well as Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (“TR to PR”) Pathway applicants. Beginning on August 8, 2022, individuals whose post graduate work permit expired on or after September 20, 2021, or will expire by December 31, 2022, will qualify to apply for an eighteen-month work permit by either extending their status or applying anew. Furthermore, IRCC will provide the opportunity for both groups to work in Canada while their application is being processed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic and in light of the resulting restrictions, many former international students found it extremely difficult to secure suitable employment in Canada before their post graduate work permits expired. They were therefore unable to gain the necessary Canadian work experience to qualify for permanent residence under Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class). IRCC has emphasized its commitment to easing the current labour shortage by allowing skilled foreign nationals to join the labour force. The new policy is intended to facilitate this goal and provide graduates with a fair opportunity to meet the Canadian Experience Class’s requirements. The transition from a post graduate work permit to permanent residence status is a commonly utilized pipeline, with 88,000 graduates gaining permanent residence in this fashion in 2021. Under this system, individuals who have recently graduated apply for a post graduate work permit in order to gain qualifying work experience so they become eligible for permanent residence under the Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class).

The date on which the international graduate’s current work permit expires will be key to the manner in which the measures will affect them. Some applicants will be required to formally apply for the work permit extension online whereas others, whose work permits expire between October 2, 2022 and December 31, 2022, will receive an email from IRCC which may necessitate some action on their part if their mailing address or passport information needs to be updated. Provided that they can comply with IRCC’s requirements, they will subsequently receive their extended work permit in the mail between October and November. Individuals with passports expiring before the 18 month extension date (April 2, 2024) will be required to submit an application online and will only receive an extension to the expiry date of their passport. This is a one-time only work permit which cannot be extended so to maximize the benefit of same, it is strongly recommended that applicants whose passports are nearing expiry try to renew their passports before applying. Qualifying individuals residing in Canada whose temporary status has expired must apply online to restore their status at the same time as applying for their work permit. Under these special measures, applicants whose status expired more than 90 days ago will be eligible to apply for restoration of status. Starting August 8, 2022, qualified international graduates will receive an email from IRCC indicating that they may continue to work in the interim while their renewal application is underway; however, this privilege will expire on May 31, 2023. Furthermore, IRCC has emphasized that all applicants must apply for this work permit online on or before December 31, 2022 and will not be allowed to do so at a port of entry. The open work permit fee of $100 will not apply to this work permit. Applicants are only required to pay the work permit processing fee of $155.

IRCC has additionally announced that temporary residents with pending permanent residence applications under the TR to PR Pathway may receive an email informing them that they qualify for an open work permit valid to December 31, 2024, subject to passport validity. This provision is intended to allow such temporary residents to retain valid temporary status in Canada while they wait for their permanent residence application to be finalized. The previous measure which existed in this regard permitted the issuance of a work permit valid to December 31, 2022.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss post-graduation work permits, or any other immigration needs we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;