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Latest Update: On December 7, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed that holders of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will not be offered additional extensions.


International students who have graduated from their academic program in Canada can obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) that allows them to work in the country.

The permit is valid for up to three years, depending on the candidate’s academic program length, and cannot be renewed except for particular extensions.

Recently, the Canadian government extended the PGWP program to assist international students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension was an open work permit valid for 18 months and granted thrice, the most recent on April 6. The extension was available to PGWP holders whose permits would expire on or before December 31, 2023.

In 2022, 98,000 PGWP holders became permanent residents. Almost 82% of all temporary residents became permanent residents that year. Additionally, when the 2022 data was released, IRCC estimated that in 2023 there would be 268,000 PGWP holders in Canada and that 127,000 permits would expire.

It is important to note that PGWP holders whose permits expired on or before December 31 were still eligible for the extension.

  • PGWP Extension: The new policy allows eligible PGWP holders to extend work permits for 18 months.
  • Eligibility: Applicable for expired or about-to-expire PGWP cases where IRCC didn’t contact.
  • Application Process: You can apply for a PGWP extension starting April 6, 2023. Required documents include a valid passport, proof of fee payment, and an application letter.
  • Spouse Work Permit: Spousal open work permit extension requires demonstrating the principal applicant’s skilled job in Canada and payslips.
  • Paper Application: A paper application option is available, but the online process is more efficient.
  • Passport Expiry/Renewal: If passport validity affects the extension process, instructions will be received via email to update passport information.
  • Restoration of Status: It is possible to restore status even if it expired more than 90 days ago.
  • Extension Outside Canada: A PGWP extension is possible even if the holder is outside Canada. After approval, the holder can return to Canada.

Post-Graduate Work Permit Extension (PGWP)

You can extend a post-graduate work permit with a new temporary policy that allows an eligible PGWP holder to work in Canada for an additional 18 months. Before this policy, obtaining a post-graduate work permit extension was tough. Thanks to the excellent system introduced by the Canadian Government, which will help many applicants with expiring PGWP.

Normally, a PGWP cannot be extended. PGWP holders who wish to extend their employment in Canada must apply for a different kind of work permit as soon as their PGWP expires. For those whose PGWPs were about to expire, prior public policies from 2021 and 2022 offered the chance for an additional work permit.

Eligiblity for PGWP Extension 18 Months Open Work Permit

Candidates can submit an application for the extension on the IRCC website starting on April 6.
Individuals who submit an application will receive an email with a temporary work permit to present to their employers to continue working lawfully in Canada. As of April 6, these people can reinstate their status and obtain a temporary Open Work Permit simultaneously.

PGWP is expired already

The most fantastic thing about the PGWP Extension Temporary Policy is it just works for almost everyone with an expiring or expired PGWP. All you have to do is apply online and wait for the IRCC’s approval. Since it is a temporary policy, you can expect approval within 2-3 months. You can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit Extension if:

  • Your PGWP is expired/expiring  in 2024
  • You are out of status and past the 90-day deadline to restore your temporary resident status. Additionally, you can apply to restore your status at the same time while applying for an extension.
  • You are outside Canada. Applicants who have left Canada because their PGWP expired can also apply for a PGWP extension (18 months open work permit) and return after approval.

PGWP is about to expire

If your Post-graduate work permit is about to expire in 2024, but your address and passport validity are up to date, then you don’t need to do anything. Just wait for IRCC’s official mail (do not reply to this mail) for PGWP Extension Open Work Permit approval. You can receive this email from IRCC any time by mid-October.

PGWP is expiring but IRCC didn’t contact

  • What if you don’t get an email from IRCC?
  • It means you are not eligible for your post-graduate work permit extension through this temporary policy and will need further review.
  • Although you can apply online to extend your work permit.

How to Apply for PGWP Extension 2024?

If you have already received an email of confirmation from IRCC, you can simply follow the following steps to apply for Post-Graduate Work Permit PGWP Extension 2024:

1. Gather Documents and a Payment Card: You need to have all

  • The documents required for PGWP Extension include scanned copies of your valid passport, post-graduate work permit, proof that you paid your fees, a copy of postal or courier tracking information, and a letter that says you’re applying for an open work permit under this Public Policy.
  • Also, you must have a valid debit or credit card to make application fee payment. Make sure to use a Mastercard or Visa card, as AMEX  debit cards are not working correctly with the system.

2. Fill out the application form

  • You have to fill out the PGWP Extension form. You can follow these guidelines to fill out the form carefully. Also, you must follow special instructions while you fill out the work permit application form:
  • Details of intended work in Canada section: “Open Work Permit.”
  • Job title: “PGWP PP open”
  • Brief description of duties field: “Open work permit.”

3. Pay application fees

  • Create an account if you haven’t already, log in to, and select Work Permit fee: $155 CAD.
  • Please note that you are exempt from paying the additional open work permit holder fee of $100 CAD.

4. Start an online application

  • If you don’t have an online account, create one and click the “Start your application”  option.
  • After that, click on “Apply to come to Canada.”
  • Scroll down to the “I do not have a personal reference code” option.
  • Click the “Visitor visa/ study and/or work permit” option.
  • Complete and apply.
Post Graduate WOrk permit Extension Guide
PGWP Extension Guide
PGWP Extension Open Work Permit Fee Exemption

PGWP Spouse Open Work Permit Extension

For you spouse to be eligible for a spousal open work permit extension, you must meet the general requirements for the Spousal Open Work Permit. You as a principal applicant must have a skilled job in Canada and can show at least three payslips to demonstate this. If you can show this, you can apply for both your and your spouses’ open work permits at the same time.

PGWP Extension Paper Application

You can apply for PGWP Extension 18 months through a paper based application. But since the new online process is fast and reliable, you won’t need the paper application. So unless you are not able to apply online due to a disability, you must apply online.

PGWP Extension Passport Expiry (Renewal Process)

  • If your passport validity does not allow us to extend your work permit by 18 months, IRCC will send a separate email.
  • You will receive instructions by email on updating your mailing address and passport validity in your online account if you need to do so.
  • Your work permit must be extended online. If your passport expires, you can apply for a work permit extension or wait until your passport is renewed.

Restoration of temporary resident status

If your temporary status is expired, you must restore your status when apply online for PGWP Extension. Under these special measures, you are allowed to restore your status, even if it expired more than 90 days ago.

PGWP Extension Outside Canada

You can apply for a PGWP Extension even if your post-graduation work permit has expired or will expire in 2024 and you are not in Canada anymore. If you get a confirmation, you can return to Canada.

Open Work Permit for TR2PR Applicants

PGWP Extension Open Work Permit can also be applied for by candidates who are a member of the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR2PR) pathways and whose PR application has not yet been approved.

By taking this precaution, TR2PR applicants can continue to work while they await a decision on their application for Canadian permanent residence.

According to IRCC, “Those requesting for an open work permit may now receive one with an end-date of December 31, 2024, if their passport is valid through that date.” This is because it is anticipated that processing TR to PR applications may take some time.

Need help?

Our team has helped hundreds of PGWP applicants to get an open work permit for them and their spouses too. You can contact our experts here. Elaar immigration is led by an experienced immigration consultant, Keshav Sharma (RCIC). We will help you carefully apply for Post-Graduate Work Permit extension and take the benefit to 18 months of open work permit.

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  • Gabriel Invinzor Sibud says:

    Good Day,

    I received an email from IRCC last August 10, 2022 that I am eligible for an 18-month extension. Since I received that email, I did not do anything except to wait for another notification from IRCC on how to change my current mailing/residential address. It’s almost the end of the year and I still have not received any update from them. What should I do now? My PGWP expired last October 28, 2022 but I have the interim work authorization until May 31, 2023.

    Thank you for your assistance.


    Gabriel Invinzor Sibud

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