Substantial loss of PGWP time due to lockdown-Impact on International Students

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Honourable Minister,

Canada has been a dream country for rest of the world, and everyone has a desire to make a home for themselves here. Thousands of international students come to Canada every year with a dream of converting their status from temporary to permanent. They spent their parents' hard-earned money and each international student pays more than double amount of tuition fees that a domestic student pays to a Canada educational institution, not to mention all costs associated with their living expenses. A grade 12 graduate coming to Canada for 2 years post-secondary program invests approximately CAD 40,000. International students are always hopeful that they will successfully complete their studies, get the PGWP, and hopefully after a year of Canadian experience they will be able to file their applications for PR. But all these events are time sensitive, especially their PGWP that can maximum of 3 years.

We would like to highlight that the 3 years of PGWP duration is very crucial and must be utilized on time to avoid loss of time. Losing a day of Canadian experience may render a student ineligible for permanent residency and they may have to leave Canada.

As you are aware, since March 16, 2020 many of us have been furloughed or laid off due to the novel COVID19 virus in lockdown. As result, most PGWP holders have lost 4-5 months valuable time from their valid period of PGWP and this will definitely impact their applications for permanent residency. We are certain that many will become ineligible as their experience will fall short by 4-6 months. This loss of time however was unforeseen and unavoidable as it is a force majeure. Had there been no such circumstances there would have been no issue with the students continuing to gain Canadian work experience.

We respectfully submit that international students who are holders of valid PGWPs should be allowed additional six months to gain Canada experience to accumulate sufficient work experience to minimum requirement for filing their applications for permanent residency.

We are hopeful that the Minister, Immigration Refugee and Citizenship, Canada will act charitably under his benevolent discretionary authority in considering that the time loss is beyond the control of anyone, and PGWP holding students should not be unfairly burdened by it and allow them to be granted additional six months of PGWP to accumulate the required experience.

We are determined in this and hope to hear a positive response from you.

Kind regards,

International Students