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Canada Ending PGWP Flagpoling at the Border

On June 21, 2024, the Canadian government announced an end to the practice of “flagpoling” for post-graduation work permit (PGWP) applications. This decision, revealed by the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, aims to optimize immigration procedures and reinforce the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.

Flagpoling is a process where temporary residents in Canada, seeking work or study permits, exit the country and then re-enter to receive same-day immigration services, thereby bypassing the usual online application wait times. This method has placed considerable strain on border resources, diverting officers from essential enforcement activities and causing delays for other travelers and goods.

From March 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024, approximately one-fifth of the foreign nationals attempting to flagpole were PGWP applicants. The discontinuation of flagpoling for these applicants is expected to significantly reduce border congestion and improve the overall efficiency of cross-border movements.

Minister Miller emphasized that the government is committed to encouraging applicants to process their applications within Canada. To support this transition, efforts are underway to enhance processing times and to develop a more integrated, modernized, and centralized working environment. These improvements aim to accelerate application processing on a global scale, ensuring that the system is both fair and efficient. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to optimize border operations and ensure that immigration services are delivered effectively without compromising security.

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