The Government of Canada today announced new measures to help combat the unprecedented challenges Canadian employers are facing in retaining workers during this period of economic recovery and growth.

Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that international graduates with a recently expired or expiring Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional Canadian work experience for up to 18 months.

Starting April 6, 2023, these measures will allow PGWP holders to opt into a facilitative process to extend their work permit and will allow Canada to retain high-skilled talent.

“We need to use every tool in our toolbox to support employers who continue to face challenges in hiring the workers they need to grow. At the same time, we’re providing international graduates whose work permit is expiring or has expired with some additional time to stay in Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially qualify to become a permanent resident,” Minister Fraser said.

Former international students whose PGWP has already expired in 2023 and those who were eligible for the 2022 PGWP facilitative measure will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional 18-month work permit. Those with expired work permits will also be able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period, and will receive an interim work authorization while awaiting the processing of their new work permit application.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “International graduates are an important source of future permanent residents. Tens of thousands successfully transition to permanent residence each year, including more than 157,000 in 2021, a record high, and nearly 95,000 in 2022, the second-highest total ever.”

In April 2022, the Canadian government also announced similar measures to address Canada’s labour shortage.

“These talents and skilled international graduates play a vital role in addressing our labour shortage, and those nearing the end of the Post-Graduation Work Permit are already well integrated into Canada’s labour market and work in key industries across the country,” the government said in a previous news release.

The PGWP program allows international students to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

For more information, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website at

Published on March 17, 2023.