International students in Canada will be among the beneficiaries of a new open work permit announced by the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino on July 15. Beginning July 26, 2021, individuals who have applied for the recently opened pathway to permanent residence will be eligible for an open work permit while awaiting the results of their application, said IRCC in a statement.
The limited-time pathway to permanent residence was opened to international students who graduated from a Canadian institution, healthcare workers, and those in other designated essential occupations on May 6, 2021. To qualify for the pathway, individuals must be legally working in Canada at the time of their application and maintain their temporary resident status until a decision is made on their permanent residence application, said IRCC.
Individuals whose status is set to expire can extend their work permit under existing programmes or receive a new permit under one of the temporary measures put in place as a result of the pandemic, such as the public policy for post-graduation work permit holders. “We recognise the potential disruption and uncertainty for applicants who have an expiring work permit, and have been working to ensure that those who don’t qualify for existing measures won’t lose their temporary status and work authorisation,” said the statement.
How can international students qualify for the open work permit?
To qualify for this one-time open work permit, applicants must show that they:
- have successfully applied to one of the new permanent residence pathway’s streams
- held a valid work permit, or were authorised to work without a work permit, at the time their permanent residence application was submitted
- hold a valid work permit that is set to expire within the next four months
- have temporary resident status, maintained status or are eligible to restore their status at the time their open work permit application is submitted
- are in Canada at the time their open work permit application is submitted
- were employed in any occupation at the time their permanent residence application was submitted
- meet the language requirements of the stream under which they applied at the time their permanent residence application was submitted
Previously, IRCC announced that it was launching six new immigration streams for more than 90,000 essential workers already in Canada, primarily those working in hospitals and long‐term care homes, other essential services, and international graduates. Some 40,000 international graduates will have the opportunity to become Canadian permanent residents under the country’s new international graduate scheme.
Speaking about the new open work permit, Mendicino said: “Our new path to permanent residence for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates is a major step forward — the size, speed and scope of which is unprecedented. This new open work permit ensures that those who have been playing critical roles throughout the pandemic can continue their extraordinary service. Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting — and we want you to stay.”
Applications for the new work permit should be submitted online. Students can find details on how to apply on IRCC’s website on July 26, 2021. Work permits issued under this policy will be valid until Dec. 31, 2022.