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Open Work Permits Now Available for PR Pathway Applicants

On May 6, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released a new permanent resident pathway comprised of 6 streams. The pathway intends to grant 40,000 international graduates and 50,000 essential workers with permanent residence. Two months after the launch of the new pathway, today the IRCC has confirmed applicants’ eligibility for open work permits (OWP). All work permits issued under the new policy will terminate on December 31, 2022. Hence, PR pathway applicants can work legitimately in Canada while waiting for a decision.


Until IRCC announces further details on OWP applications, applicants are expected to satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Applied under any given stream of the new PR pathway;
  2. Obtained a valid work permit or legitimate working status on the point of application;
  3. Current work permit expires within 4 months;
  4. Applied for OWP as a valid temporary resident, a person of implied status, and a person qualified for identity restoration;
  5. Submitted OWP application in Canada;
  6. Remained employed at the time of application;
  7. Demonstrated English/French proficiency in application.

Marital partners, common law partners, or dependent children over 18 of the principle application are also eligible for OWP. Those who apply for a permit extension before expiration date can maintain their legal working status during the processing period. Additionally, they are authorized to enjoy the same wages as before.

PR Pathway Status Quo

Up to July 15, 2021, 14:08 PDT, the pathway intakes are as follows:

Stream Name Maximum Intake Applications Received
Health care workers 20,000 2,568
Essential, non-health care workers 30,000 24,905
International graduates from a Canadian institution 40,000 Stream has reached full capacity

Although the international graduate stream has reached its cap, other conduits remain available to graduates.

Furthermore, students who currently pursue education degrees in Canada are also eligible for PR under the essential worker stream.

Since the launch of the new PR pathway, IRCC has made efforts clarifying the requirements. For those applicants who are yet to submit their files, we recommend that all paperworks be checked thoroughly. In some circumstances, seeking help from professional immigration legal counsel is strongly advised.

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