April 13, 2023: On March 31, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began inviting selected PGWP Extension candidates to participate in a streamlined process to extend the validity of their Post Graduate Work Permits (PGWPs) for up to 18 months. This special measure allowed eligible candidates to receive a work permit extension with a new validity period of 18 months from the original expiration date, or until their passports expire, whichever comes first.
However, on April 12, 2023, numerous PGWP holders reported receiving approved work permits with incorrect expiration dates. These permits were mistakenly issued with an expiration date set 18 months from the approval date, rather than 18 months from the original PGWP expiration date.
Many PGWP Extension candidates are loosing Valuable time:
As a result, many candidates are concerned about losing valuable time that could be used to gain eligibility for permanent residency (PR). The policy guidelines for the PGWP extension clearly state that eligible workers should receive an additional 18 months of validity from their original expiration date.
For example, a PGWP holder with a status set to expire in September 2023 who opted into the streamlined process and was approved on April 13, 2023, should have received an extended work permit valid until February 2025. Instead, the permit is only valid until October 2024. It is estimated that hundreds of PGWP holders have been affected by this error.
Jagat Singh, a PGWP holder whose permit was set to expire on November 11, 2023, received a new work permit today, valid only until October 10, 2024.
Singh expressed his concerns to +1 News, stating, “I applied early because the policy was meant to add an additional 18 months onto my current validity. Now, I am short 7 months of valuable time that I had on my current Post Graduate Work Permit.”
Update: Mailing Address Error Affecting Some PGWP Extension Candidates in Streamlined Process
This is a developing story, and +1 News will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
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On March 19, 2023, Minister Sean Fraser announced a special measure for post-graduate work permit (PGWP) holders. This measure allows eligible PGWP holders to extend their stay in Canada for up to an additional 18 months, providing them with more time to gain Canadian work experience, build their professional networks, and potentially apply for permanent residency.
This PGWP extension was desperately awaited by thousands of Post Graduate Work Permit holders who were unable to transition to permanent residency amid IRCC’s backlogs and temporary inflation of CRS scores in the Express Entry draws. Minister Sean Fraser also acknowledged the mental health issues these delays had caused to the PGWP holders with statuses already expired or set to expire soon.