Canada’s new policy to help international students with PGWP affected by COVID-19

Asha Bajaj
5 min readJan 14, 2021

#InternationalStudentsInCanada; ​#JerinRaj; #SenecaCollege; #Petition; #IRCC; #Covid19Pandeimc; #ExpiredPGWP; #permanentResidence

Toronto/Canadian-Media: A petition started by Jerin Raj, who was an international student, and currently President of the Canadian International Youth Organization who also serves as a Professor at the School of Business and a member of the Board of Governors of Seneca College initiated a petition to prime minister Justin Trudeau and immigration minister Marco Mendicino seeking a reasonable accommodation to support millions of International students currently on post-graduation work permits from all over the world who have come to Canada to build a better future and are affected by the pandemic had been supported by Government of Canada.

Petition by Jerin Raj and two others. Image credit:

​Jerin organized a team of students and virtually connected with student groups around the province and other parts of the country to encourage them to come forward to voice their concerns and file petitions to the authorities. They also worked with Social, cultural organizations, and community and political leaders including Dolly Begum MPP, and worked closely with them to press for the needs of those students affected. Dolly begum MPP and her NDP counterparts wrote a letter to Minister Mendoccino and stood firmly with the International student community from the very beginning.

​Jofin Lawrence came to Canada in 2017 on a Student Visa to study at Centennial College. When he completed his 2 years academic program, he was offered a 3 years Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) which was meant to acquire substantial work experience in the field of his studies. It was stipulated that the permit holder should complete the required minimum hours within the validity period making him qualify for applying for permanent residence (PR) in Canada. When Covid 19 hit hard, in March 2020, Jofin’s work was affected, and eventually, he lost his job, making it impossible for him to gain the stipulated Canadian work experience and apply for PR. Along with Jofin, Anu Shinto (Durham College graduate), Madonna Sebastian (Seneca College graduate), Jeril Jose (St Lawrence college graduate) are among the thousands of…

Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women