International students who have not been able to meet the Canadian work experience requirements of their PGWP will be able to apply for a new one.
The Toronto Star is reporting that a new policy will be launched today, January 8, 2021, by the Government of Canada that will allow international students with an expired or expiring Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) to apply for a new permit. The new permit will be valid for 18 months.
International students who complete their post-secondary education in Canada can apply for a PGWP, which allows them to gain work experience in Canada after their studies for a maximum of three years.
The Government of Canada offers the PGWP Program as part of its efforts to attract international students and retain them as skilled workers. PGWP holders can use all their years of Canadian experience toward an application for immigration.
The PGWP is highly coveted among international students since surveys suggest some 60 per cent want to transition to Canadian permanent residence. They often need to obtain professional Canadian work experience to be eligible for a skilled worker immigration pathway. The PGWP enables them to gain such experience and then go on to submit a skilled worker immigration application to the likes of Express Entry, Quebec Experience Program, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and many other streams that reward candidates with Canadian work experience.
Canada recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has put students graduating in 2019 and 2020 at a disadvantage due to the weakened labour market. A significant number of international graduates have been laid off. As a result, it has become difficult for them to meet the Canadian work experience requirement of the PGWP.
“This new policy means that young students from abroad who have studied here, can stay and find work, while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told the Star.
Although the long-term impact of COVID-19 on international students is still difficult to assess, it is widely recognized that their participation is crucial to the country’s economic vitality.
International students contribute to the local economy as they study in Canada, and provide a large pool of highly educated people who can become permanent residents and contribute to the workforce.
Almost one-third of international students who got Canadian bachelor’s degrees and almost half of international students who graduated with master’s degrees became permanent residents in the 10 years after they got their first study permit.
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