Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted an Express Entry draw on February 2, 2023 under the Federal Skilled Worker category. The IRCC sent 3300 Invitations to apply in this draw and lowest cut off score was 489.
A large number of Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holding community spoke out after this draw, majority of the PGWP community claims the cut off scores are way too high and are almost unachievable.
They claimed the scores are high due to the high influx of candidates resulting from the pauses in the Express Entry draws, which were supposedly due to technical glitches & the impacts of COVID-19 on the delivery of IRCC’s services.
All these scenario lead to a large number of PGWP holders to experience difficulties with their transition to Permanent Residency, eventually running out of time on their Work Permits. The members of Post Graduate Work Permit holding community were seen protesting in different parts of Canada.
Recently, around 200 PGWP holders were protesting in Winnipeg, Manitoba and calling on the Manitoba Government to remove the Risk Factor from Manitoba’s PNP stream which deducted 200 points from a candidate’s eligibility, pushing them behind in their race to secure a Nomination from the Province of Manitoba. These workers were also calling on the Federal Government to extend their Post Graduate Work Permits like their peers with status expiring in 2022.
On the other side of the country, workers under the Federal Government’s Express Entry pathway were seen protesting in Toronto. This group of workers were calling on the Federal Government to extend their Post Graduate Work Permits & to Resume Express Entry draws under the Canadian Experience Class category.
The desperation among the Post Graduate Work Permit holding community is at an all time high & the uncertainty of their future is eating them alive, many claim.
On behalf of all the Post Graduate Work Permit community, I have sent this letter to Minister of Immigration & Citizenship Honorable Sean Fraser.
Please read the Open letter below.
Text version of the open letter for better viewability:
Feb 6, 2023
The Honourable Sean Fraser
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Confederation Building, Suite 733
House of Commons
Subject- URGENT: Request to Extend the PGWP for Candidates Expiring in 2023 & Conduct CEC Specific
Dear Minister Fraser,
We represent hardworking members of the Post Graduate Work Permit holding community across
Canada and are highly skilled individuals representing a large portion of the current labour force. We
fulfill the needs of Canadians employers and businesses through various different professions. Among
us, are healthcare professionals, engineers, pest control technicians, food service supervisors/managers
and various other professions which are critical to keep the Canadian economy on the path to recovery
and serve the needs of everyday Canadians.
Minister Fraser, the last few years have been challenging for all Canadians and temporary residents due
to the unprecedented challenges that we have all experienced because of COVID-19 and the resulting
Global Supply Chain crisis. Canadians and all temporary residents across many nationalities did a
phenomenal job in sticking together to put us on the right track to a strong economic recovery under
your government’s leadership.
I commend your leadership and achievements in the immigration sector by significantly reducing
backlogs and achieving record numbers of permanent residents in the year 2022. I also commend the
various policies you rolled out in 2022 to address critical labour shortages across Canada; including
allowing international students to work beyond part-time hours to ensure they can survive in these hard
times when cost of living has skyrocketed. Also, your action in granting an 18-month extension to PGWP
holders with status expiring before December 31, 2022, allowing them to gain more valuable Canadian
work experience while helping Canadian businesses combat labour shortages, and the list goes on.
Through this letter, I would like to point your attention towards tens of thousands of temporary workers
across Canada who were excluded from your policy to extend their work permits for the same amount
of time like their peers in 2022. Those are, the PGWP holders with work permits expiring in 2023. We
have worked incredibly hard and helped countless Canadian businesses thrive during the extreme times
of COVID-19 and along Canada’s path to a strong economic recovery.
As you are aware, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine have had an impact on the delivery of IRCC’s
services. I commend your leadership in addressing these backlogs and would like to congratulate you on
your achievements thus far. However, through these series of events, the PGWP holder community was
one of those which was severely affected and their perceived ability to transition to permanent resident
status vanished due to the high influx of candidates in the Express Entry system because of candidate
accumulation during the period of time when draws were paused.
For many of us, getting an invitation to apply for permanent residency through Express Entry is
extremely important and time sensitive. Given that we are only given a limited amount of time on our
PGWP without extension, these pauses have an immense effect on a PGWP holder’s ability to transition
to permanent residency and realize our Canadian dream while contributing to this great country. We are
requesting you to kindly look into this issue and offer us some resolution.
We have mentally and emotionally suffered due to the unprecedented times everyone went through
and have done everything possible to ensure various essential services stay afloat during the times of
need. I believe in your leadership and believe you will give us all a fair chance to thrive in this country
most of us now consider home. Here are some proposals we believe would be helpful in resolving our
Grant a PGWP Extension just like the one in 2021 and 2022 to give us more time to gain valuable
Canadian work experience and increase our time to be eligible to transition to Permanent
Conduct separate Canadian Experience Class draws to prioritize the inland candidates who have
contributed to Canada’s growth and helped fill labour shortages at times of need.
Introduce new pathways for international students to transition to permanent residency. We
have invested our life savings, hard work and sweat into growing this beautiful country.
It would also be a great initiative to make PGWP renewable given that the candidate has a
permanent job offer in Canada (without the need of a LMIA). This would significantly decrease
the rampant black market for LMIA’s in Canada and the abuse of the integrity of the system that
exists when the intention is to facilitate businesses hiring foreign workers.
I sincerely believe you will consider our proposals to allow us to continue to contribute to the Canadian
economy, solidify our future in this country, and help us obtain a permanent status to end all our
worries about what will happen to us tomorrow.
Member of PGWP Community in Canada