PGWP expiring soon with no CEC draw: What to do if my PGWP is expiring soon?

By Vijay Lala



If you are a permanent resident in Canada and your PGWP is expiring soon, you may be wondering what to do next. This blog post will examine options available to you for staying in Canada once your PGWP expires.

We all know that the Canadian government isn’t going to issue any more invitations for the Canadian Experience Class, FSW, and FSW under Express Entry until July 2022.

Many applicants currently on PGWP are anxious because their PGWP is expiring soon. In addition, due to the temporary pause on Express Entry draws for CEC and FSW candidates, these applicants risk losing their status and may eventually have to leave Canada.

Earlier, the process was straightforward. An international student takes admission for a two-year course in eligible DLI in Canada and gets a 3-year PGWP work permit after completing the course. Once they completed one year of Canadian experience on PGWP in eligible NOC, they became eligible for ITA under Canadian Experience Class through Express Entry. But now, due to the pause on CEC draws, any candidate whose PGWP is expiring soon must find alternate ways of staying in status, or they will have to leave Canada.

There are a few possible solutions to this problem. One is to get a job offer in Canada before your PGWP expires and apply for LMIA. This will give you some time to work on getting the Express Entry nomination from the province or territory.

Another solution is to go back to your home country and reapply through Express Entry. Then, if you have a valid job offer, you can apply outside Canada, and once you get the work permit, you can come back to Canada.

This solution is not ideal as it involves leaving Canada and may not be possible for everyone, but this may be something to consider if you have no other option.

What to do if my PGWP is expiring soon?

Let’s list down all options available to you if your PGWP is expiring soon.

PGWP expiring soon: Apply for PGWP Extension 

You can apply for a PGWP extension (while your PGWP is still valid), enabling you to continue with the previous immigration status until the decision is made on your extension request. This is called ‘Maintained Status‘ and is usually valid for six months. But be prepared as IRCC will eventually refuse it. You’ll end up in Canada without status and have to apply to restore your status within 90 days(and stop working immediately). You can utilize these 90 days to get LMIA if an employer is willing to sponsor you.

PGWP Extensions are very rare, and IRCC will extend them only under specific conditions:

  • You were eligible for a PGWP but didn’t get full length because your passport expired earlier. e.g., you got a year less than what you were supposed to have
  • The Visa officer made a mistake with your original PGWP

PGWP expiring soon: Apply for LMIA

If you have a job offer in Canada, you can apply for LMIA, which will help you apply for a provincial nomination.

PGWP expiring soon: Get Provincial Nomination 

If you have a valid job offer, you should get a Provincial Nomination. As you know, IRCC is regularly conducting Express Entry draws for PNP candidates. Once you get an ITA, you can continue working under the Bridge Open Work permit while you wait for a decision on your PR application.

Apply for Temporary Resident Permit 

If you have valid reasons to stay in Canada and meet the criteria, you can apply for a TRP, which will allow you to stay and work in Canada. In some cases, you may be able to use it for TRP. However, the requirements for eligibility are very high.

Change status to Temporary Visa (Visitor) 

If you are not successful in any of the above-listed options, you will be out of status and can no longer work in Canada. Hence, if you wish to stay in Canada, have your status changed to Temporary Visa.

Become a student again 

You can become a student again if you meet the eligibility criteria for a new program. This will enable you to extend your stay until the study period is over. Hopefully, by then, CEC draws would have resumed.

Return to your own country 

You can go back to your home country and apply through Express Entry. Wait for CEC/FSW draws to resume. Or you can try to get a Canadian job offer from your country.


Is Canada going to extend PGWP?

No. Post Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) are one-time permits for international students and cannot be extended.

Can I stay in Canada if my PGWP expires?

No, you will be out of status and have to leave Canada. However, few possible solutions are available to you, such as applying for a PGWP extension, getting Provincial Nomination, or TRP. The last option is to change your status to Temporary Visa (Visitor), but you cannot work under this visa.

Can I work in Canada after PGWP expires?

No, you will be out of status and have to leave Canada. However, a few possible solutions are available to you, such as applying for a PGWP extension and getting Provincial Nomination or TRP.

Final Thoughts:

We hope this blog post has helped examine the options available to you if your PGWP is expiring soon. If you are in this situation, it is important to speak with an immigration lawyer to discuss your options and find the best solution.

By Vijay Lala

Vijay Lala is the founder and editor-in-chief of Dual master's degrees in Political Science and Economics, along with a decade of Canadian immigration research experience, have equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of immigration law, policy research, and settlement issues. Linkedin  Twitter

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