Canada offers work permit extension to former international students

In a move that has been welcomed by students, the Canadian Government is offering former international students whose work permits are expiring, an opportunity to work in Canada for 18 more months. To combat labor shortages, this is the second announcement by the Canadian Government following a similar announcement about recent international graduates being permitted to stay and work in Canada for longer. According to the current announcement, students who are still in Canada will be allowed to work while they wait for their permits to be extended. It also states that those who have applied for permanent residency will also be offered open work permits.

Implications of Extension

In the wake of the pandemic, international students were not able to utilize their work permits. There were others, who due to delays were unable to use their work authorizations to the fullest. A large number of students visit Canada for the purpose of settling down. However, the strict and sometimes unfavorable timelines pose a challenge.

The good news is that a temporary extension for specific work permit holders is expected to be of use to students who would like to explore work opportunities. As this temporary relief enables students to support themselves for longer in Canada, they may not have to return to their native countries to seek employment. Students who are looking to apply to the various Permanent Residency streams will all be heartened by the news, as it will allow them to qualify for specific levels of time and work experience criteria.

In regards to the temporary to permanent residency pathways, applicants who haven’t yet finalized their applications can apply for an open permit which will last until the end of the year 2024. This means that students who were waiting for an extended permit can now support themselves until their permanent residency comes through.
In this way, it positions Canada as an open and welcoming destination for international students looking to build their future. This, in turn, is bound to enhance the number of applications from prospective students seeking to study and work in Canada.


Depending on individual circumstances, and on when the permit has expired or will expire, there are slightly different criteria related to the announcement.

  • Students whose permits haven’t yet expired or about to expire between 2nd October and 31 December 2022, and if their passport is valid for two more years, their updated permit will be automatically renewed and sent to them.
  • Students whose permit has already expired or expiring before October will need to apply online at the IRCC for the permit from 2 August 2022. They will be able to restore any expired temporary status and be able to apply to do that concurrently.
  • Students who have left Canada will also be able to apply for the permit and status restoration. They will be able to return once it is approved.

These measures are valid for all those who are looking to renew their work permits, including all those students whose permits expired after 20 September 2021. These temporary measures will be in effect until May 2023.

A new survey has suggested that more than half of international students in Canada intend to apply for PR after they graduate. Introducing student-friendly policies and easing the application and processing of permits will ensure more students look to Canada as not just an education destination but also as a future home.

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