Canada Immigration Policy Update

On Friday, March 17, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced new facilitative measures for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders struggling to become Permanent Residents or wish to stay longer in Canada.

Based on the policy, foreign nationals with expired or expiring PGWPs can extend their work permits for up to 18 months. This includes the opportunity to extend their statuses as workers through further Open Work Permits and restore their status if they have lost their status in Canada by previously not having the means to extend their PGWP.

The applications for the program are set to begin on April 6, 2023, and are to be made online.


Who is eligible:

  • People whose PGWPs have already expired in 2023 are eligible to apply for restoration of their status and will receive an interim work authorization letter to begin working while their application is being processed, even if the 90-day restoration period has lapsed.
  • Anyone with a post-graduation work permit that expired between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022, and who did not apply under the previous public policy for PGWP extensions ahead of December 31, 2022.


  • Based on this policy, there should be no immediate need to assess for alternative work authorization routes (i.e., GTS LMIA, or other LMIA-exempt work permit pathways) for people holding a PGWP expiring this year.
  • When asked to assess the options for a candidate/employee holding a PGWP, EIG will also contemplate and present the option to extend the PGWP if applicable.
  • Although the PGWP is normally not extendable, under this policy, more and more employees holding the PGWP status will let you know that they will be extending their permit on their own or with the company’s assistance (if applicable). If the PGWP is shared with EIG, we can assess and confirm whether the policy applies to them [Some additional information from the IRCC is still pending].


Erickson Insights

We expect the IRCC to release additional information on the eligibility criteria and any deadlines we should keep in mind for these measures. As a reminder, from a compliance perspective, employers are responsible for ensuring their employees have proper work authorization. Employers should please not hesitate to reach out to EIG in case of any doubt regarding employees’ eligibility to work/continue working under this policy.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.