Canada Work Permits

Canada Ends PGWP “Flagpoling” to Boost Fairness

Canada Ends Post-Graduation Work Permit “Flagpoling” to Improve Fairness”

“Flagpoling is unnecessary and diverts resources from crucial border protection roles,” said Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

To enhance fairness and efficiency, Canada has ended the practice of “flagpoling” for post-graduation work permit (PGWP) applications. Effective immediately, foreign nationals can no longer apply for a PGWP at the border, as described in a news release from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office on June 21.

What is Flagpoling?

Flagpoling occurs when temporary residents leave Canada and re-enter to receive same-day immigration services, bypassing normal online application wait times. This practice consumes significant border resources and causes delays for other travelers.

Key Reasons for the Change:

Resource Management: Reduces strain on border officers, allowing them to focus on essential enforcement activities.
Efficiency: Helps maintain smooth border operations between Canada and the US, benefiting both countries.
Fairness: Ensures all applicants follow the same process.

Quick Tips for Applicants:

Apply Online: Graduates should apply for a PGWP online before their study permit expires.
Work While You Wait: Eligible students can work full-time while waiting for PGWP approval.
Streamlined Process: Recent measures have sped up processing times and simplified online applications.

Additional Measures:

Reduced Flagpoling Hours: Adjusted hours at 12 ports of entry to prioritize high-risk travelers and trade facilitation.

Immediate Employment: Workers can start with new employers without waiting for their new work permit to be processed.

“This change will help maintain border integrity and efficiency,” added Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety.

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 travelers in peak periods and to focus on other key priorities, including high-risk travelers 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



Soledad Quartucci | CEO/Founder, Latina Republic

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