Migrant Students United – Letter to Minister Marco Mendicino re Renewing Post Graduate Work Permits

As you know, international students receive time-restricted post graduate work permits (PGWPs) during which they are required to complete 12-24 months of high-waged and high-skilled work to qualify for permanent residency (PR). With COVID-19 related job losses worsening again in the second wave, most graduates do not have access to jobs, particularly the NOC 0, A and B jobs required for PR. Despite living here for years, building relationships and communities, thousands of migrants face deportation if work permits are not renewed. These are potential immigrants who have lived and studied here, and perform skilled, and essential work in Canada. They are being punished for a crisis not of their making.

Because of the important recent public policy change implemented by you, migrants are able restore their status until December 31st of this year. You’ve already taken the first step, and I urge you to make PGWPs renewable to allow post-graduates to avail of this opportunity before December 31st. In addition, please take swift action to:

  1. Ensure real access to PR: Lower points requirements for PR (CRS); Count work that is part-time, in-school, and in any occupation towards PR; and ensure full and permanent immigration status for all migrants;
  2. Fix rules around work: Remove time-limits and industry restrictions on work;
  3. Unite families: Allow families to travel; ensure work permits for family members.
  4. Lower tuition and ensure full services: Work with provincial partners to ensure migrant students pay domestic tuition; and have full access to all services including healthcare, housing, jobs, scholarships, pandemic emergency benefits, and in-school support; ensure immediate access to Social Insurance Numbers.