The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program has been significantly expanded, which will be useful for Canadian employers seeking to hire foreign graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Foreign national graduates of eligible programs at most post-secondary institutions in Canada may now obtain an open work permit without the requirement of first having a job offer. This type of work permit allows holders to work for any employer.
The duration of work permits under this category has been increased to three years where the foreign national is graduating from a program of study that takes at least two years to complete. If the foreign student's program is less than two years but at least eight months, the validity of the post-graduate work permit will be the same length as the period of study.
Canadian employers benefit as longer work permits may be obtained for foreign graduate hires. Steps can be taken to have the foreign graduate become a permanent resident of Canada during the duration of the post-graduate work permit. Note that, given that the work permits are "open" and not tied to a specific employer, the holders of such work permits will easily be able to switch employers if they wish.
Holders of these work permits will generally be able to transition to Permanent Resident status under Canada's new CEC category described elsewhere in this newsletter.