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In a recent article posted on Mar 17, 2023 by Helen Packer, the government of Canada announced that it will allow international graduates with recently expired or close-to-expiring work permits to stay in the country for an additional 18 months. Starting April 6, current post-graduate work permit holders will be able to opt into extending their visas. Additionally, foreign nationals whose PGWP expired in 2023 and those who already extended or were eligible to extend their visas under a similar policy announced in 2022 will be able to apply for an extension.

The announcement is the latest in a series of policy developments aimed at tackling Canada's labour shortages. “In a global competition for people and ideas, Canada must take measures such as this to attract and retain international talent and secure a prosperous future.”

At the end of 2022, there were more than 286,000 international graduates in Canada with a valid post-graduation work permit. IRCC estimates that approximately 127,000 PGWPs expire in 2023. Of these, 67,000 have already applied for permanent residence and will not need to extend their work permit through this initiative.

Eligible visa holders will receive a message from IRCC instructing them to log into their immigration account and opt in. Extending permits will give international graduates the chance to gain additional Canadian work experience, which can provide a pathway to permanent residency in the country.

IRCC predicts that immigrants will soon represent 100% of the growth of the country's labour force and that they could make up half of Canada's total population within the next decade.

The country accepted a record 437,000 new permanent residents in 2022, but some have warned that Canada does not have the capacity for the number of international students who want to become Canadian residents.


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