Exploring Legal Pathways for PGWP Holders Facing Expiry in 2024


This article was originally posted on Parush Mann Law’s website by Parush Mann, Canadian Immigration Lawyer

As the expiration date looms for Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders in Canada, it’s essential to explore viable options for those not granted the 18-month extension. Despite the challenges, several pathways exist for international graduates to continue their journey in Canada.

Please note the information contained in this blog is not intended as legal advice. It is intended to be for educational purposes only. In the meantime, let’s delve into some of the legal options:

1.Temporary Resident Permit and Open Work Permit

Under limited circumstances you may seek an open work permit. Open work permit can be granted to those that have been granted a temporary resident permit, with a duration of 6 months or more. The temporary resident permit application is highly complex and it requires you to demonstrate a justification to enter or remain in Canada.

2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Numerous provinces across Canada offer PNPs tailored to international graduates seeking to settle in specific regions. These programs, often integrated with the Express Entry system, provide additional points towards the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, expediting the process towards permanent residency.

3. Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

Designed for recent graduates from Atlantic post-secondary institutions, the AIP offers a direct pathway to permanent residency. Candidates are required to have completed a qualifying program and hold a job offer in one of the Atlantic provinces. The program’s advantage lies in its flexibility, allowing applicants to apply even before commencing work.

4. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

Targeting graduates from publicly funded post-secondary institutions in select rural communities nationwide, the RNIP offers a unique residency opportunity. Candidates must meet specific educational requirements and spend a minimum duration in the community. Each participating rural community has its own set of eligibility criteria.

5. Temporary Work Permits

For PGWP holders not eligible for permanent residency yet, temporary work permits provide an interim solution. Under Canada’s International Mobility Program (IMP) and Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) option to work exists  with or without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Additionally, bridging open work permits are available for those awaiting permanent residency application finalization.

6. Pursue Further Education

Engaging in a fresh post-secondary program enables individuals to stay in Canada while working part-time. This provides an alternative avenue, particularly for those awaiting assessment for federal or provincial permanent residence programs, with guidance from a Canadian immigration lawyer.

7. Explore Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Consider exploring entrepreneurial avenues such as starting a business or participating in startup programs. Certain provinces offer entrepreneur immigration streams that facilitate permanent residency for individuals willing to invest and establish businesses in Canada.

8. Seek Professional Guidance help from a Canadian Immigration Lawyer

Every situation is different, and it is important to have a lawyer to review your circumstances. It is also important and crucial to remember that maintaining valid status is essential for remaining in Canada legally. While navigating these legal options may seem daunting, seeking professional advice can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

While the expiration of the PGWP may pose challenges, international graduates have several avenues to explore in their pursuit of staying in Canada. With the guidance of a Canadian immigration lawyer, comprehending and utilizing these legal pathways, individuals can navigate a path towards sustained prosperity and assimilation within the Canadian realm.

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