January 23, 2024

Express Entry: Navigating the End of PGWP Extensions – What are your options?

For many international students, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a crucial springboard to Canadian permanent residency. However, with the recent announcement that Canada will no longer offer further extensions on expiring PGPWs, many Express Entry hopefuls face a crossroads. This blog delves into the implications of this decision, exploring your options as your PGWP approaches its expiry date.

Understanding the Landscape

In December 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed the end of PGWP extensions, a measure introduced during the pandemic to address labor market disruptions. This news comes after three rounds of extensions, allowing PGWP holders to bridge the gap while IRCC dealt with processing delays and Express Entry pauses.

While this closure may cause anxiety for some, it's important to note that the announcement applies only to PGWPs expiring after December 31, 2023. Those whose permits expire before this deadline remain eligible for the 18-month extension.

The Significance for Express Entry Candidates

Express Entry, a popular pathway to permanent residency, relies heavily on PGWP holders. The end of extensions raises concerns for those waiting for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) but facing imminent PGWP expiry. This could lead to:

  1. Loss of work authorization: Without an ITA, candidates cannot apply for maintained status or permanent residency, potentially resulting in losing their work authorization.
  2. Increased pressure from Express Entry pause: The recent, unexplained pause in Express Entry draws (October 26 - December 6) further amplifies the pressure, leaving candidates in limbo without the ability to progress their applications.

Navigating the Path Forward

Despite these challenges, several options remain for Express Entry candidates with expiring PGPWs:

  1. Visitor Record: Apply for a visitor record at least 30 days before your PGWP expires. This allows you to stay in Canada for six months, but it comes with limitations on work and study.
  2. Apply for another work permit: Explore different open work permit options, such as those requiring an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or specific work experience. This option provides continued work authorization while waiting for an ITA, but it requires additional time and cost.
  3. Employer-sponsored LMIA: If you have a supportive employer, they may be willing to obtain an LMIA for a closed work permit. This allows you to continue working for your current employer while waiting for an ITA.
  4. Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP): If you've already submitted your permanent residence application, you may be eligible for a BOWP. This allows you to work while IRCC processes your application, providing valuable financial stability and the ability to maintain your skills.
  5. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Consider applying to a PNP program alongside Express Entry. This diversifies your options and potentially increases your chances of securing permanent residency in a specific province.


  1. Each option has its own eligibility requirements and processing times.
  2. Consult with a qualified immigration consultant to determine the best path for your specific situation.
  3. Staying informed about IRCC updates and Express Entry draw trends is crucial.

Moving Forward

The end of PGWP extensions undoubtedly presents challenges for Express Entry candidates. However, by understanding your options, planning ahead, and seeking professional guidance, you can navigate this transition and stay on track towards your permanent residency goals. Remember, your PGWP expiry is not the end of your journey; it's simply a temporary obstacle to overcome. By making informed decisions and leveraging the available resources, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity to strengthen your application and move closer to your Canadian dream.

Navigate the Uncertainty with Pelican Migration Consultants

Facing an expiring PGWP while pursuing Express Entry can be overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate this complex landscape alone. Pelican Migration Consultants stands beside you, offering expert guidance and unwavering support every step of the way.

Our team of seasoned immigration consultants in Dubai possesses a deep understanding of the current Canadian immigration landscape, including the nuances of Express Entry and the implications of the expiring PGWP extensions. We'll work closely with you to:

  1. Assess your unique situation: We'll analyze your specific circumstances, including your work experience, educational qualifications, and Express Entry score, to determine the optimal pathway forward.
  2. Develop a personalized strategy: We'll craft a tailored plan that aligns with your goals and timeline, considering all available options, such as visitor records, new work permits, and BOWPs.
  3. Provide ongoing support: We'll be your dedicated point of contact throughout the entire process, answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and guiding you through every step of your application.

Schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific situation and discover how Pelican Migration Consultants can empower you to achieve your immigration goals.