PGWP Extension Public Policy applicants who opted for the streamlined process and received new work permits with error in expiration dates say they were “misled” into applying with a promise of obtaining an additional 18 months on top of their previous expiration dates.
April 15, 2023: On April 6, 2023, Immigration,. Refugees & Citizenship Canada began accepting applications from eligible candidates under the new Public Policy designed to extend their stay in Canada for an additional 18 months. Some applicants were chosen to participate in a ‘streamlined process’ to expedite approvals.
By April 12, 2023, several work permit holders who had ‘opted in’ for the streamlined process began reporting errors with the new expiration dates on their newly issued work permits. Read the full story here.
Update on this:
IRCC has confirmed that changes were made to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website on April 14, 2023, but only to make the policy instructions more clearer.
Initially, according to the program guidelines, candidates who opted to extend their PGWPs through the streamlined process were ‘supposed to’ receive a new work permit with an expiration date 18 months from the date their initial work permit expired, NOT 18 months from the date of approval.
After PGWP extension candidates started reporting errors with their new work permit expiration dates, +1 News covered the issue and contacted Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for an explanation.
IRCC quietly altered the PGWP extension‘s program guidelines to ‘avoid fixing the error’:
A screenshot taken of the “New” program guidelines for the PGWP extension reveals that the IRCC quietly changed the program details to:
“Select opt in to stay and work in Canada for up to an additional 18 months from the date this extension is approved.
- For example, if your PGWP expires in 4 months and your extension is approved, you can expect to get an additional 14 months, for a total of 18 months, for no additional fee.”
While the information on the IRCC webpage now differs from what it was when candidates were asked to apply, many who opted for the streamlined process are upset about losing valuable time in their stay, which could have been used to gain further eligibility for permanent residency.
Jagat Singh, initially interviewed by +1 News on April 12, 2023, shared his thoughts on the matter. “If I knew this was going to happen, I would have never opted in and kept the 7 months that I have now lost”. “I regret trusting IRCC,” Singh added.
Steven Paolasini raises a valid concern about this error with the PGWP extension’s opt in process, noting that it fails to inspire confidence in the department. He highlights the apparent discrepancy in expectations, as clients are required to submit flawless applications while the department itself may not be perfect. He suggests that IRCC should offer candidates the option to withdraw from the opt in process and apply manually, in order to regain the time they have lost. This would help address the issue of numerous individuals facing an expiration status on the same date.
This incident serves as another example of the IRCC’s ‘under-delivering’ where the organization promises one thing but fails to deliver. Clear communication and accountability would have been ideal in this case; however, the IRCC chose to do the polar opposite by discreetly changing the program guidelines instead of correcting the error.
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