Feb. 4, 2021
International students get work permit extension from feds
Seneca employee’s petition backed by grads, politicians
A petition launched by Seneca employee Jerin Raj has helped change a federal policy, easing some stress and anxiety for many.
International students with an expired or expiring post-graduation work permit can now apply for an 18-month open work permit under a new federal policy, thanks in part to Mr. Raj’s efforts.
“This comes as a boon and morale booster for the thousands of youngsters who embrace the opportunity to study in Canada and choose their path to immigration and making Canada their home,” said Mr. Raj, Technical Support Technologist and support staff representative on Seneca’s Board of Governors.
Mr. Raj is also a Seneca Business professor. Last summer, he started a petition to request government accommodations for international students affected by the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Mr. Raj’s petition was one of several on Change.org that addressed the need to extend the post-graduation work permit, but his received the most support with nearly 3,800 signatures. It was championed by Doly Begum, MPP for Scarborough Southwest.
“I’ve been there before,” Mr. Raj said, adding that he came to Canada from India as an international student seven years ago. “I know what they are going through. It can be really stressful for international students because they don’t have family here.”
Qualified international students can apply for the open work permit until Tuesday, July 27, 2021. Details on how to apply can be found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.