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Editor’s note: In this report, we have used data, opinions, and inputs offered by several work permit holders, industry experts, and credible online sources such as Statistics Canada and the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE).
In this investigative report, we dig into the current uncertain situation faced by International Workers, who hold a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada in Canada. The absence of a clear announcement from the government regarding the extension of their PGWP validity has left these individuals in a state of stress and anxiety, uncertain about their future in Canada.
Our investigation sheds light on the struggles faced by International workers, with status set to expire in 2023, who are at risk of losing their status or have already lost it, and the need for action from the government. This report also highlights the impact of the pause in Express Entry draws, which is creating difficulties for inland Permanent residency candidates.
In this report, the results of a survey conducted on Twitter with over 400 responses from individuals in this situation are presented, showcasing the urgency of the issue. The report also highlights the potential consequences of this uncertainty, such as the risk of these applicants becoming victims of some immigration practitioners participating in LMIA fraud. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the situation faced by International workers in Canada and serves as a call to action for the government to support these individuals.
Pause in Express Entry Draws
The pause in Express Entry draws is creating difficulties for International workers in Canada who are currently on a work permit. These individuals are waiting for an invitation under Express Entry to apply for permanent residency, but are unable to do so due to the ongoing pause and previous pauses. As a result, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores have been inflated to levels that are unachievable for an ordinary work permit holder.
The issue started when the Federal Government paused the Express Entry draws for a period of 10 months between 2021-2022. Post-Graduation Work Permit holders are only given a limited amount of time on their work permits, which can be up to 3 years. This makes securing an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency a highly time-sensitive matter.
The lack of clarity around this issue has put International Workers who hold a PGWP in a difficult situation, leaving many unsure of how they will continue to live in Canada or if they should look for opportunities elsewhere.
On August 02, 2022, the IRCC announced a public policy allowing certain International workers to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months. Individuals with work permits set to expire on or before December 31, 2022 were eligible to apply for this 18-month extension. While this decision helped tens of thousands of International workers, tens of thousands were excluded from this policy.
Current Situation of International Workers in Canada
In recent months, the situation of many International Workers in Canada has become increasingly uncertain. These individuals are facing a great deal of stress and anxiety as they wait for news about whether they will receive work permit extensions or not.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a unique opportunity for international students who have completed their studies in Canada to gain valuable work experience in their field. However, since PGWPs are not renewable, obtaining an employer-specific work permit through a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is the only option for workers seeking to extend their stay in Canada as a worker.
Unfortunately, as workers desperately search for job offers supported by a positive LMIA, they can become vulnerable to some predatory immigration practitioners who exploit their situation. Some workers may even resort to participating in LMIA fraud, paying for a fake job offer in order to secure their status.
Twitter Survey Results
To gain insight into the status of International Workers whose work permits have either expired or are set to expire soon, a Twitter survey was conducted. The survey received over 400 responses from people in this situation, providing a snapshot of their current circumstances. The results of the survey are concerning, with more than 50% of respondents reporting that they either lost their status or will lose it within 90 days.
Uncertainty Leads to Adverse Effects
These figures highlight the urgent need for attention from the government to support these individuals who are facing an uncertain future due to circumstances beyond their control. The uncertainty surrounding their status pushes these applicants into a corner and forces them to fall prey to some immigration practitioners who are partaking in LMIA fraud. This situation is affecting a significant number of people and deserves more attention from the government and media.
Contribution to the Economy and Society
International students and workers play a crucial role in the Canadian economy and society. According to a report by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), international students contribute over $21 billion to the Canadian economy and support nearly 170,000 jobs. These students also bring a diverse set of skills and perspectives, enriching the Canadian fabric.
It’s essential to recognize the significant contributions made by these workers to our economy and society and provide them with adequate support during these challenging times. These individuals need more resources and attention from media outlets to raise awareness of their struggles and the urgent need for action from the government.
In conclusion, the current situation of PGWP holders in Canada is alarming and requires immediate attention. The government must take decisive action to address the systemic issues plaguing the immigration system and provide clarity to these individuals about their future in Canada. The significant contributions made by these workers to our economy and society must be recognized, and they must be given adequate support during these challenging times. The results of the Twitter survey and the report by the Canadian Bureau of International Education serve as a reminder of the importance of international students and workers in Canada, and the need for immediate action to support them.
Sources: Angrez Angurana, RCIC, Steven J. Paolasini, RCIC, Stats Canada, Canadian Bureau of International Education and surveys conducted among PGWP holding communities.