Canada improves fairness for applicants by ending post-graduation work permit “flagpoling”

Canada improves fairness for applicants by ending post-graduation work permit “flagpoling”

News release

June 21, 2024—Ottawa—A safe and secure flow of goods and people across the Canada–United States border is critical to North America’s economy and the close person-to-person ties that Canadians and Americans enjoy. That’s why we continue to look for ways to make it easier and faster to cross the border without compromising the integrity of our immigration system.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that foreign nationals can no longer apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) at the border, effective immediately. This measure will help reduce what is known as “flagpoling.” Flagpoling occurs when temporary residents of Canada bypass the normal wait times involved in applying for a work or study permit online by leaving the country and then immediately re-entering to receive same-day immigration services.

Flagpoling uses significant resources at the border, taking officers away from enforcement activities, causing delays for travellers and slowing down the movement of goods. From March 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024, PGWP applicants represented about one fifth of the foreign nationals who attempted to flagpole.

The Government of Canada is taking measures to encourage applicants to apply in Canada rather than flagpole. We continue to improve processing times, and are moving toward a more integrated, modernized and centralized working environment to help speed up application processing globally.

The change announced today increases fairness amongst applicants and is another step that the Government of Canada is taking to reduce flagpoling. We’ll continue to look for ways to reduce flagpoling so our shared border with the US runs smoothly and efficiently, benefitting both our nations.

Quotes

“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 on both sides of the border away from their crucial role in protecting the safety, security and prosperity of Canadians and Americans. This measure will help prevent this practice, while maintaining the integrity of our immigration system.”

– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Flagpoling places an undue burden on our border services officers. With this change, we’re taking a measured approach to combatting the issue and putting an even greater focus on maintaining the integrity of our shared border with the United States.”

– The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Quick facts

  • In most cases, a study permit expires 90 days after the expected completion of an international student’s study program. When an eligible graduating student applies online for a PGWP before their study permit expires, they can work full-time while they wait for approval on a work permit and receive an automated letter that can be shown to employers. When a work permit is approved, it’s mailed directly to them. 

  • Flagpoling hours were recently reduced at 12 ports of entry across Canada to allow border services officers to efficiently process the large volume of travellers in peak periods and to focus on other key priorities, including high-risk travellers and trade facilitation.

  • Other recent measures to address flagpoling have included

    • speeding up processing times for in-Canada work permit applications
    • simplifying online application forms and processes so foreign nationals can continue working while they wait for a decision on their new application
    • authorizing workers to start working for a new employer right away, rather than waiting to have their new work permit application processed before changing jobs

Associated links

Contacts

Contacts for media only:

Aïssa Diop
Director of Communications
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
aissa.diop@cic.gc.ca

Media Relations
Communications Sector
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
media@cic.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canada Border Services Agency
media@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
1-877-761-5945


Source: IRCC
Source URL: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2024/06/canada-improves-fairness-for-applicants-by-ending-post-graduation-work-permit-flagpoling.html
Disclaimer: Unlock Immigration automatically imported this from IRCC for ease of access. We did not edit, curate or amend the content in any way. All rights reserved to IRCC.


 

 

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