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IRCC Discontinues Flagpoling for International Students Seeking PGWP Applications

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June 24, 2024

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SPS Canada

Today, IRCC Minister Marc Miller announced that international students can no longer apply for PGWP at the border. This new policy takes effect immediately to curtail the practice of “flagpoling.”


Why Does IRCC Ends “Flagpoling” for PGWP Applications Immediately

Effective immediately, foreign nationals can no longer apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry. This practice, known as “flagpoling,” involves leaving Canada and then re-entering immediately to access same-day immigration services. Flagpoling lets temporary residents skip wait times for online work or study permits by leaving and re-entering for faster processing.

“Flagpoling consumes substantial border resources, diverting officers from enforcement duties, causing traveler delays, and hindering goods movement. Between March 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024, PGWP applicants accounted for about one fifth of all flagpolers,” stated Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

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The Government of Canada is taking steps to reduce flagpoling.Today’s modification aims to enhance fairness by urging PGWP applicants to apply online within Canada, aligning with efforts to reduce flagpoling.

“While we continue to support and recognize the contributions of international graduates to Canada’s labour market, ‘flagpoling’ is unnecessary.

The time and effort required to process applications from ‘flagpolers’ takes officers of the border away from their crucial role in protecting the safety, security, and prosperity of Canadians.

This measure will help prevent this practice, while maintaining the integrity of our immigration system,” said Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

Understanding the practice of ‘Flagpoling’ at Canadian Border

Previously, temporary residents in Canada could use “flagpoling” at the border to access immigration services like permit renewals and status extensions.

This involved temporary residents leaving Canada and promptly returning, skipping standard processing times for IRCC applications.

What is PGWP ?

Post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) are open work permits given to international students who graduate from a Canadian program of study.

PGWPs give their holders the freedom to work wherever in Canada for any company, for as many hours they choose.

The PGWP provides valuable Canadian work experience and can lead to various pathways for obtaining permanent residence.




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