Canada Ends Issuance of Post-Graduation Work Permits at Border to Curb Flagpoling

#workpermit #study

Canada recently decided to suspend granting Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) at its borders to eliminate a practice known as flagpoling. To speed up immigration services and avoid lengthy processing delays, international grads engage in flagpoling, which entails short leaving and returning to Canada on the same day.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller states that although flagpoling is considered unnecessary, Canada values the contributions made by foreign graduates to the labour sector. Completing applications from flagpolers takes police away from important tasks, which affects prosperity, safety, and security on both sides of the border.

Changes in the PGWP Issuance Procedure

The new regulations require qualified graduating students to apply online for a PGWP no later than 90 days after the program ends, or before their study permit expires. This enables them to work continuously while they wait for permission. The work permit is mailed to the applicant immediately upon approval.

Following its recent decision to restrict flagpoling at 12 designated checkpoints, including Armstrong and Fort Erie in Quebec and Ontario, respectively, Canada has decided to stop issuing PGWP at border crossings.

The objective is to optimize operational effectiveness amid periods of high travel demand and realign border officers' attention towards critical tasks such as trade facilitation and managing high-risk passengers and asylum seekers.

Flagpoling puts an excessive amount of strain on border services agents, according to Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc. Canada hopes to retain the integrity of its shared border with the United States while addressing this issue systematically by putting these adjustments into place.

Consultations and Future Directions

Canada is now in consultation with the provinces regarding additional PGWP framework modifications. The regularity of revisions to the occupational shortage list, exemptions for specific student groups, and whether to grandfather existing students or apply new eligibility criteria immediately are all important factors to take into account.

The consultation also looks at other requirements for overseas students, like language ability and matching job offers to known labour shortages. To address the changing needs of Canadian businesses, these conversations seek to achieve a balance between decreasing the dependency of international graduates on PGWPs.

International students were given 683,585 study permits in Canada in a year, a remarkable rise of 70.6% over the previous year. In response to worries about inflation, especially in the housing industry, Canada has limited the number of new study permit applications that can be submitted this year, projecting a 40% decrease in approvals.

International graduates are still able to apply for standard work permits after graduation, even with the modifications to the PGWP process. The IRCC highlights that graduates in labour-shortage occupations may apply for work permits backed by an employer's Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approval.


Can foreign graduates who have finished their studies without a PGWP still get employment in Canada?

Yes, in such cases, employment permits backed by an employer's approved Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) are available for professions where there is a labour shortage.

What measures is Canada taking to maintain the integrity of its immigration system amid these changes?

Not only is PGWP no longer issued at borders, but Canada is also improving efficiency and security procedures at borders. To properly handle immigration difficulties, this entails working with the US and putting certain rules into place.


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