Victory

Requesting accommodation for International students on PGWP affected by COVID-19

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I wish to thank you and your department for the support that the international student community has received from the Government of Canada, during these uncertain times of a pandemic, that has affected millions of people.Through this petition, I wish to bring to your attention some of the key concerns of International students from all over the world who have come to Canada to build a better future.

"International students contribute $6 billion a year just in tuition at Canadian universities, but their economic impact extends beyond the campus. Government figures show that in 2018 they pumped $21.6 billion into schools, communities and the broader Canadian economy. As of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 498,735 post-secondary international students in Canada, a 14.5 per cent increase from 2018" (Toronto Star, Apr.8,2020)

The post-graduate work permit (PGWP) program in Canada allows international students who graduate from eligible Canadian institutions to get an open-work permit to gain Canadian work experience. It helps graduates who meet requirements of the permit to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Express Entry system. PGWP is issued for a very limited duration (for 1 to 3 years depending on the length of the course.), and is issued only once to a student, leaving them under strict time pressure to accumulate skilled work experience to apply for permanent residency.

The situation that International students are facing right now is even worse. Due to COVID-19 and the crunched job markets and the economic downturn,most of the students find themselves severely restrained to find NOC skill level jobs to accumulate the required hours to apply for Permanent residency. Many got laid off,  many who travelled to their home countries got stuck due to travel restrictions and there are only fewer new hirings happening now, all contribute to the loss of precious hours of work from their already limited PGWP duration. This puts students under severe stress, leading to anxiety and other mental distress.

Therefore,I am earnestly requesting Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to offer a reasonable accommodation for the time lost, by extending the work permit or by allocating concession points while processing their permanent residency application or by any other suitable means that would support student community whose work experience accumulation is negatively affected by COVID-19.

Sincerely yours,
For the groups of international Students in Canada,
Jerin Raj

 



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