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18 Month PGWP Extension for International Students + More Immigration Updates

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Study Permits and Student Visas

18 Month PGWP Extension for International Students + More Immigration Updates


In an announcement issued April 22, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) outlined an 18 month PGWP extension for international students and other new measures that will be taken to help Canada recover from the pandemic and ensure "that businesses and employers have access to the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed." The new immigration measures announced impact:

  • international graduate students
  • federal Express Entry applications
  • applicants for permanent residence
  • TR to PR applicants

PGWP Extension for International Students

International students whose PGWPs are expiring will get an 18 month extension. IRCC is providing an 18-month PGWP extension for international students who have a post-graduation work permit that expires in 2022. IRCC said that to help ensure there are enough workers to help Canada recover from the pandemic, the new temporary policy:

will give recent international graduates with expiring temporary status an opportunity to stay in Canada longer, so that they can continue to gain work experience and have a better chance at qualifying for permanent residency.

According to the announcement, Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) extension applications:

  • can be submitted starting in summer 2022
  • PGWPs expiring between January and December 2022 will qualify for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months
  • a simplified, expedited process will be implemented to process applications
  • more details will be coming soon
About 95,000 post-graduation work permits expire between January 31 and December 31, 2022. While many former students with expiring work permits have already transitioned to permanent residence, applied for permanent residence or successfully applied for a different type of work permit, we anticipate as many as 50,000 applicants could benefit from this temporary measure.

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    Express Entry to Resume In July

    IRCC also announced that the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said that Express Entry draws will "soon resume and that invitations for candidates to apply for permanent residence will begin in early July."

    There has not been a federal Express Entry draw since December 2020. Fraser committed that

    Invitations to apply will resume in early July, and the vast majority of new applications will be processed within the 6-month service standard.

    TR to PR Update

    The IRCC announcement also provided updates for applicants to the temporary resident to permanent resident pathway. TR to PR applications closed in November, but effective this summer:

    • Applicants will not be required to remain in Canada while their application is being processed.
    • Applicants who apply for an open work permit while waiting for their permanent residence application to be finalized will be able to get work permits valid until the end of 2024 to ensure that all permanent residence applications will be finalized before applicants need to apply to extend their temporary status again.
    • To support family reunification, immediate family members who are outside Canada and were included in the principal applicant’s permanent residence application will be eligible for their own open work permit.

    Permanent Resident Applications

    Canada has doubled the number of permanent residence decisions made in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same time period in 2021.

    • From January 1, 2022, to March 31, 2022, Canada made over 156,000 final decisions on permanent residence applications.
    • Canada welcomed over 113,000 new permanent residents in the first quarter of 2022.


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    Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

    Founder/Managing Lawyer

    Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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