Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a Temporary Public Policy and extended Post Graduate Work Permit of the workers who had their status expiring on or before Dec 31, 2022.
A large number of Post Graduate Work Permit holders were specifically excluded from this Public Policy & this decision mounted frustrations among the Permanent residency candidates who were nearing their Permit expiry & continuously waiting for the Invitation to apply for Permanent residency.
International workers across Canada were calling on the Federal Government to grant a PGWP extension to workers with statuses expiring in 2023, like their peers in 2021-22.
During COVID-19 Pandemic, the IRCC rolled out a TR to PR pathway for applicants employed in essential occupations and received almost 100,000 applications. During this period of time, the regular Express Entry draws were also paused, due to which there was a high influx of candidates in the Express Entry pool of candidates.
This accumulation of large number of candidates in the Express Entry system sent the cut-offs through the roof, which some say is ‘Unachievable’ for a Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.
February 6, 2023: Post Graduate Work Permit holders demonstrated outside of the venue where Minister of Immigration Honorable Sean Fraser was set to make an announcement Extending the Work Permits of Hong Kong Nationals, citing the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong.
The Protestors were calling on the Minister of Immigration to Extend their Work permits like their peers in 2021-22, & to conduct Canadian Experience Class (CEC) draws to lower the entry requirements. The Minister was informed about the urgency of the situation & was handed a Letter by the Organizer of this protest Yogesh Tulani explaining their concerns & proposals to help resolve their Issues.
The Minister acknowledged the Mental Health issues workers were facing due to the IRCC’s delays & recognized their importance in the Canadian Economy. The Minister further told the International workers:
“We are facing a unique challenge, The CRS scores are very high right now due to the pauses in the Express Entry draws months back. As you understand Immigration sector has been challenging given the delays caused by COVID-19 & I expect the scores to go down gradually. We are also looking into options to keep the workers in Canada who will help us fill Essential roles in the Economy & we will clear path for these high skilled candidates who will become awesome Canadians one day.”
This assurance from the Minister Fraser reached the PGWP communities across Canada very quickly & the International workers were happy to get some clarification from the Minister of Immigration after months of trying to voice their concerns through peaceful demonstrations across Canada.