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What To Do If Your PGWP Is Expiring

The transition from international student status to a permanent resident in Canada is a common aspiration among the over 1 million international students enriching Canadian campuses. With the PGWP as a stepping stone, the journey towards PR encompasses various strategies tailored to align with Canada's diverse immigration pathways. This guide not only explores well-trodden paths but also shines a light on the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) considerations, offering a beacon of hope for those facing unique circumstances.


"I need to emphasize that the next step-by-step guide is not only for you but something you can present to your employer if they are willing to help." - Max Medyk

1. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Pathway

The LMIA process emerges as a foundational step for those seeking to extend their work permit, acting as a bridge towards permanent residency. This procedure underscores the necessity of proving that a Canadian citizen or permanent resident cannot fill a specific job vacancy, thus justifying the employment of an international worker. The steps include:

  1. Job Vacancy Validation: Confirming the unavailability of Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the job.

  2. Broad Job Advertisement: Minimum four-week advertisement across Canadian job platforms.

  3. LMIA Application Submission: Comprehensive documentation to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), including job ad evidence and processing fees.

  4. Labour Market Impact Assessment: ESDC's evaluation of the employment's effect on the Canadian labor market.

  5. Positive LMIA Reception: A green light for the employer, indicating the necessity of a foreign worker.

  6. Work Permit Application: Utilization of the positive LMIA by the worker to apply for a work permit, paving the way for PR eligibility under specific programs.

2. Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)

AIP stands as a beacon for international graduates from Atlantic Canada, offering a streamlined route to PR. The case of Lia, an international student employed in Nova Scotia, exemplifies the AIP's efficacy. With the hotel's nomination, Lia transitions from a PGWP holder to a permanent resident within six months, showcasing the fast-track advantage for Atlantic Canada graduates.

3. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

Echoing the AIP's principles, the RNIP caters to those willing to plant roots in designated rural or northern communities. Securing a job and obtaining a community's recommendation unlock the doors to applying for PR, emphasizing the importance of integrating into the local fabric.

The Path Less Travelled: Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Considerations

H&C considerations represent a lifeline for individuals who, due to unique circumstances, find other immigration pathways inaccessible. This option considers the applicant's established life in Canada, contributions to society, and potential risks faced if returned to their country of origin. Detailed explanations from immigration experts shed light on H&C's intricacies, offering a glimmer of hope to those eligible under this category.

Conclusion: Your Journey Towards Permanent Residency

While the end of a PGWP may seem daunting, Canada's immigration system presents a mosaic of opportunities for those aiming to transition to permanent residency. From the LMIA and pilot programs to the compassionate grounds of H&C, each pathway offers a unique set of steps tailored to individual circumstances.

For personalized guidance and to explore the most viable option for your situation, consider booking a strategy consultation with an immigration lawyer through I'm Canada. Additionally, our upcoming PR Now webinar provides further insights into navigating Canada's immigration landscape.


For further guidance and to avoid mistakes in navigating Canada's changing immigration landscape, click the button below for more resources and legal support.

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