Canada Extends Interim Work Authorization for International Graduates

#studentvisa #workpermit

International grads in Canada can now exhale with relief as they await word on their work permit application. The Canadian government recently gave these grads' temporary work authorization letters an extension of validity.

With this extension, foreign graduates navigating the Canadian employment market will have more flexibility and assurance knowing that these authorization letters will be valid for 180 days after the application is submitted. The validity period was formerly 120 days, but this change gives graduates more time to find employment while their work visa applications are being reviewed.

Understanding Interim Work Authorization in Canada

Through interim work permission letters, foreign graduates in Canada can begin working before the final acceptance of their work permit application. With the help of these letters, graduates can work full-time without requiring a work visa while Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processes their applications.

Graduates can begin working immediately without waiting for the IRCC's final judgement by submitting an application for a work permit before the expiration of their study permit and fulfilling certain prerequisites.

Eligibility Criteria for Interim Work Authorization

International graduates must fulfil certain eligibility criteria before applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). These include:

  • Holding a valid study permit when applying for their work permit
  • Successfully completing their study program
  • Meeting the criteria for working off campus without a work permit, including being enrolled as a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), completing a qualifying program lasting at least 8 months, obtaining a degree, diploma, or certificate, and adhering to the permissible hours of work for full-time students in Canada.

Those with interim work authorization can continue working in Canada even if they temporarily leave and return, though they may need a valid temporary residence visa. It's important to note that interim work authorization is not a travel document.

Implications of a 180-Day Delay in Decision

Applicants may use the IRCC webform to request continuous confirmation of their work permission from the IRCC if their work permit application is not decided upon after 180 days. In the interim, as they wait for a decision on their work permit application, applicants are guaranteed the ability to continue working lawfully in Canada.


Can foreign grads work in Canada while their application is being reviewed, even without a work permit?

Yes, foreign graduates who have been granted an interim work permission letter by the IRCC can work in Canada without a work permit. This permits them to begin employment before completing their work visa application.

What occurs if the 180 days pass and the work permit application is not decided upon?

To continue working lawfully in Canada, applicants may ask IRCC to continuously affirm their work authorization if 180 days go by without a response to their work permit application. This can be done online using the IRCC web form.


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