PGWPPGWP Extensionpost-graduate work permitSOWP ExtensionSpouse Open Work Permit Extension

PGWP Extension: Can My Spouse Work?

Published on: August 22nd, 2022

Impacts on permits as a result of COVID-19 have left many graduates uncertain about the future of their work permits. The Canadian Government recently announced a public policy that allows certain graduates to work for an additional 18 months by extending their current permit or applying for an open work permit.

However, questions remain about how this policy will affect the spouses of PGWP holders.

Find out if you're eligible for a PGWP extension

What Changes Have Been Made for PGWP Holders?

If your post-graduate work permit has already expired or is set to expire between September 20th, 2021, and December 31st, 2022; you may qualify to apply to extend your status for an additional 18 months.

To be eligible for the temporary policy changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP), graduates must meet certain requirements set out by the government.

Does this Extension Apply to My Spouse?

Spouses or common-law partners of foreign nationals who qualify to extend their PGWP may also qualify to apply for an open work permit. Similar conditions apply, and they must have remained, and be present in Canada.

For spouses or common-law partners to apply, they must apply online with a copy of the email to show their spouse is getting a PGWP and attach all required documents. Upon authorization, Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will grant a Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP). This permit allows the spouses of PGWP holders to work anywhere in Canada, for any employer.

How Long Can My Spouse Work in Canada?

IRCC typically issues a SOWP for the same length as the PGWP holder. However, if the applicant’s passport is expiring the permit will not be issued beyond the expiry date. For this reason, it is important to renew your passport if it is nearing expiry.

How Can My Spouse Work in Canada if They Are Not Eligible For a SOWP?

Spouses of international graduates who are not currently eligible for a SOWP may still have options to work in Canada.

There are many programs available to candidates with a job offer or work experience in a particular field. To learn more about the best option for your skills and background, contact us through the form below.

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