After the study of international students, Canadian firms also benefit significantly from PGWPs.
In addition to its world-class learning system and high norm of living, Canada offers added stability to international students: introduction to a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation.
The PGWP is nothing but an open work permit that can gain Canadian work experience, a precious asset in achieving permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.
Obtaining work practice in Canada is often part of helping candidates successfully fit for several immigration applications programs, including Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Express Entry is Canada’s original immigration pathway to PR, a points-based system and depends on human capital factors. Work activity in Canada gives valuable additional points. It can increase their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), making them more competitive from other potential candidates in the pool.
If you have both a degree and Canadian work experience, you will also have a better chance of success when applying under the PNPs or, in the event of having studied in Quebec, under the Quebec Experience Program (or PEQ).
It is also important to international students, Canadian employers also avail significantly from PGWPs. Typically, to choose a foreign national, Canadian employers must go by a long and expensive method known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which is the attention they must submit to demonstrate that they have tried to select a Canadian but have been helpless to do so. The procedure is long for Non-Canadian but it is a simple process for the PGWP holders.
While the initial process of hiring someone on a PGWP may not require much legwork on the part of the employer, the same cannot be said if the employer would like the foreign national to continue working beyond the date of the PGWP’s expiry. Work permits have a limited duration and this is where the problem with the PGWP often lies.
In the vast majority of cases, a PGWP cannot be extended and an LMIA application must be submitted and approved before the worker can apply for a new, employer-specific, work permit.
This, however, is about to change. On January 8, 2021, the Canadian government introduced a new policy that will allow former international students with an expired or expiring PGWP to apply for a new open work permit.
Specifically, the new policy will allow individuals who meet the following conditions to apply for an 18-month open work permit:
- have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of application
- be in Canada;
- have a valid temporary status or be applying to restore your status.
The application process is set to open tomorrow, January 27, and will run until July 27, 2021.
This policy change will enable many Canadian employers who employ foreign nationals on a PGWP to do so without having to go through the lengthy and costly process that was usually required in the past. For many Canadian employers who are benefiting from foreign talent, this means that they will not need to compromise the quality of their labour force as a result of Canadian immigration constraints. Being able to keep on the workers they need, regardless of nationality or immigration status, will prove invaluable for many Canadian companies and the Canadian economy as a whole.