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Canada extends validity of interim work authority letters for international graduates

Canada has extended the duration of validity for interim work authorization letters issued to international graduates awaiting a decision on their work permit applications.

Under the new directive, interim work authorization letters will now remain valid for 180 days from the time of application submission, up from the previous 120 days.

The interim work authorisation letter

Interim work authorization letters serve as documents issued by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), indicating that an international graduate is eligible to commence work while awaiting a final decision on their work permit application.

This provision allows graduates to engage in full-time employment without a work permit, provided they meet specific conditions.

To be eligible for an interim work authorization letter, international graduates must:

  • Hold a valid study permit at the time of submitting their work permit application.
  • Have successfully completed their program of study.
  • Meet requirements for working off-campus without a work permit, including being enrolled as a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), completing a post-secondary academic vocational or professional training program of at least 8 months duration, receiving a degree, diploma, or certificate from their course, and adhering to allowable hours of work for full-time students in Canada.

Applicants with an interim work authorization letter can continue working in Canada even after leaving and returning to the country, though a valid temporary resident visa may be required for re-entry.

IRCC has clarified that an interim work authorization letter does not function as a travel document.

In the event that 180 days pass without a decision on an application, applicants have the option to request continued proof of authorization to work from IRCC.

This can be done through the IRCC webform, ensuring continuity in employment status while awaiting a final decision.

 


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