Warming Up For Canadian Experience Class

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Published July 2008 – Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced that international students – from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutions – would be able to obtain an open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement for a job offer.

Effective immediately, the duration of the work permit also has been extended to three years across the country. Previously, the program only allowed international students to work for one or two years, depending on location.

“The Government of Canada wants more foreign students to choose Canada and we want to help them succeed,” said Minister Finley. “Open and longer work permits provide international students with more opportunities for Canadian work experience and skills development.”

According to a press release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) the “increased flexibility offered by the expanded program will benefit graduates and employers alike as the program will help international students get important work experience while responding to Canada’s labour market needs.” Preliminary 2007 data indicate that 63,673 international students came to Canada that year, representing a 4.6 percent increase over 2006.

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