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Canada and the US welcome foreign talent

Canada and the US have both recently made changes to their work permit regulations for international students. On April 4, the US Department of Homeland Security released an interim final rule extending the period of Optional Practical Training (OTP) for qualified non-immigrant students from 12 to 29 months. The extension applies to students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Under the new regulation the period of stay and work authorisation for qualified students with pending visa petitions is automatically extended, making it easier for the students to apply for employment in the US.

The Government of Canada has also introduced changes in work permits for international students graduating from Canadian Higher Education Institutions. The international students are now 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. Furthermore, the duration of the work permit has been extended from the previous 12 or 24 months to three years.

The objective of the legislative changes are the same for both North American countries: attracting highly skilled international students and gaining a qualified work force for the domestic labour market.

US Department of Homeland Security
Government of Canada