[Updated]: Canada Open Work Permits for International Graduate Students

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

This article was originally published on 27 April 2022 and was updated on 8 August 2022 to reflect new information.  

8 August 2022 Update: The government of Canada will implement measures for certain post-graduate student and permanent resident applicants to apply for an additional 18-month open work permit.  

The government also clarified open work permit application requirements for post-graduate students based on when their current work permit and passport are due to expire. Eligible applicants currently located within Canada, who hold expired or expiring work permits will receive email confirmation from the Canadian government allowing them to continue to work in the country while the open work permit is processed or extended. The government will allow this interim period so that foreign nationals currently employed in Canada can continue to work and support the Canadian economy. This interim work period will remain in effect until 31 May 2023.  

The Canadian government will also allow applicants of temporary residence to permanent residence pathways, whose permanent residence application has not been finalized, to apply for an open work permit. This will allow these applicants to continue to work in Canada and legally remain in the country while their permanent residence application is processed. These open work permits will remain valid until 31 December 2024, so long as the applicant's passport remains valid throughout this time.  

All applicants must ensure that their legal status in Canada and passport remain valid while they process for an open work permit.  

Key Points 

  • Canada introduced a new policy that will allow recent international graduates with expiring temporary status to apply for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months 


The government of Canada announced that it would introduce a new policy that will allow recent international graduates with expiring temporary status to apply for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months. This measure will apply to international students who are in Canada and have a post-graduation work permit that is due to expire between January and December 2022.  

The government of Canada also announced that it would extend measures that will allow visitors in Canada to apply for an employer-specific work permit without being required to leave the country until 28 February 2023.  

For additional information, check here.  

What are the Changes?  

The government of Canada announced that it will allow eligible international graduates with expiring temporary status to apply for an open work permit that will allow them to remain in Canada for a period of 18 months. Visitors who entered Canada in August 2020 under an employer-specific work permit will also be able to continue to remain in Canada until 28 February 2023. The government stated that this would provide these individuals with more time to remain in Canada and continue to gain work experience and qualify for permanent residency.  

Looking Ahead  

The government has not yet announced the exact date for when this process will begin and is currently exploring options to simplify and expedite processing times for eligible applicants. Continue to check the government of Canada’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.