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How to Apply for the New Open Work Permit for PGWP Holders under a Public Policy

Posted on 27/01/2021

As you recall, we told you about the new Open Work Permit policy relating to Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holders that the government announced early in January of 2021.

Let’s review the eligibility requirements for this new Open Work Permit under a Public Policy (as it is formally called).

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify:

  • You must have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020 or will expire within 4 months of the date you apply for this open work permit (the application period runs from January 27 through July 27, 2021).
  • You were in Canada on January 27, 2021 and have remained in Canada since then.
  • One of these 3 situations applies to you:
    • You have temporary resident status (valid PGWP, visitor record, or other permit allowing you to legally stay in Canada) OR
    • You have lost your temporary resident status, but have applied to restore it, OR
    • You have lost your temporary resident status, but you will apply to restore it at the same time as you apply for this open work permit.
  • You must include in your application for an open work permit a statement that you are applying under this new public policy in the form of a letter (see below).
  • You must have a valid passport.
    • The open work permit will be issued with a validity lasting up to 18 months or the date your passport expires, whichever is less.
    • To maximize the validity of your open work permit, please ensure your passport is valid for at least 18 months from the date you apply.

How to Apply

Step 1: Make sure you have:

  • A valid debit or credit card to pay with
  • A scanner or camera to create electronic copies of needed documents

Step 2: Reading the Guide

Go here to read the instruction guide 5553: Applying for a Work Permit Inside Canada – extend, change conditions, initial and open work permits – online application. This will guide you with respect to filling out:

  • form IMM 5710: Application to Change Conditions or Extend your Stay in Canada.

The other forms you may have to fill out are:

  • IMM 5409: Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union. This only applies if you are including a common-law partner in your application. It needs to be notarized to be valid. If your common-law partner is in a different country, each of you should fill out a form and have them notarized in Canada and in the country where your common-law spouse is.
  • IMM 5476: Use of a Representative. This only applies if you appoint a representative to manage your application.
  • IMM 5475: Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual. This generally applies to when you have appointed a representative.
  • Personalized Document Checklist: You will receive this form once you have applied online.

Venezuelan Passport holders may need to complete extra steps when filling out their forms.

Step 3: Sign in or create your online account at IRCC

Sign in to your online account at IRCC with GCKey or with your Sign-in Partner if you already have an online account (which you probably do as a recent graduate international student). Otherwise, go here to create one if you do not currently have one or have never had one. You will use your online account at IRCC to:

  • Pay your fees
  • Submit your online application forms
  • Check the status of your application

Step 4: Pay your fees

You will have to pay the following fees although the Open Work Permit fee will then be refunded. You do not have to give biometrics for now, as you are in Canada. Go here to learn more about biometrics.

Work permit fee – per person CAD$ 155
Open Work Permit Fee – per person** CAD$ 100**
Restore Status Fee* CAD$ 200*
Total if restore temporary status within 90 days of expiry CAD$ 155
Total if restore temporary status after 90 days CAD$ 355

*Please note that you only pay this fee if you apply for restoration 90 days after your temporary permit has expired. If not you will not be charged this fee.

**This fee will be refunded automatically once your application is being processed

You pay your fees online using a valid debit or credit card

Step 5: Start your application

Do the following:

  • Sign in to your account.
  • Go to Start Your Application on the account welcome page.
  • Click on Apply to Come to Canada.
  • On the next page, scroll down to the I do not have a personal reference code
  • Click on the Visitor Visa, study and/or work permit
  • To obtain your personalized Document Checklist make sure you answer the following questions:
    • Answer either less than 6 months or more than 6 months when asked if you would like to work temporarily. This will depend on when your passport expires as explained above and/or on the period of time you wish to work (if less than 6 months).
    • Select worker as your current immigration status.
    • Answer yes when asked the following:

Does one of the following apply to you?

  • I am subject to a removal order that is unenforceable
  • I applied for a study or work permit before entering Canada which was approved, but not issued at a port of entry
  • I am in primary or secondary school, or a visiting or exchange student, in Canada with visitor status
  • I am applying for an open work permit under an active public policy or pilot program announced by IRCC
  • I am a student who has completed a program of study that is a prerequisite to my enrolment at a designated learning institution with visitor status in Canada
  • I applied for permanent residence and was found eligible (first stage approval) under one of the following classes:
    • Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada
    • Humanitarian and Compassionate cases
    • Protected Persons in Canada
    • Live-in Caregiver in Canada

As you can see, the condition that applies to you has been highlighted: I am applying for an open work permit under an active public policy or pilot program announced by IRCC. The other conditions clearly do not apply, and the question only asks if one of those conditions applies to you. You are not admitting to any of the other conditions by answering yes. Only that one of those conditions (the one highlighted) applies to you.

Step 6: Upload the Letter along with your other documents

As mentioned at the start of our blog, you will need to include the following document in your application:

A letter that states you’re applying for an open work permit under the Public Policy Facilitating the Issuance of an Open Work Permit to Former or Current Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holders. Make sure the letter includes the italicized terms.

Step 7: Start the process

Go here and scroll down and click on the blue Create an account or sign in button to sign in and start the process.

Posted in News Tips and tagged Open Work Permit, PGWP holders, Post Graduation Work Permit

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