Canada Gives Workers, Students and Visitors Until End of Year to Renew Status


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Visitors, study and work permit holders in Canada affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been given until the end of 2020 to restore their status.

A new public policy implemented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on July 14, 2020, will come as significant relief to many people in Canada with concerns over their status.

Instead of the usual 90-day window, former workers, students and visitors currently in Canada whose status expired after January 30 will now have until December 31 to apply for restoration.

They must meet the requirements for the type of status and authorization they are applying to restore.

The policy also covers former work permit holders applying for an employer-specific work permit to work while their application for restoration is processed.

To qualify, former work permit holder must:

  • Have a job offer.
  • Submit a work permit application supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or for a position that is LMIA-exempt.
  • Notify IRCC through the process set up for eligible foreign nationals

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An IRCC statement said: “The pandemic has had an impact on the ability of temporary residents to provide complete applications and on IRCC’s ability to process them.

“In addition, many temporary residents have had difficulties finding flights home, with air travel limited around the world.

“As a result of the pandemic and its associated challenges, a new public policy has been implemented that provides an extension to apply for restoration beyond the current 90-day timeframe for foreign nationals in Canada.”

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said on Twitter: “The pandemic has made it more difficult for people who have work, study or temporary resident visas to renew their documents.

“Now, we’re allowing those people until Dec. 31, 2020 to restore their status.”

By opening such a significant window and backdating it to January, IRCC will be hoping it catches everyone impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

This public policy goes beyond anything related to the coronavirus implemented for temporary residence to date.

Previously, IRCC and a number of Canadian provinces had offered a significant grace period for the submission of documents, but giving candidates until the end of the year to renew their status takes the support to a new level.

It also serves to highlight the anti-immigration policies currently being implemented by the Trump administration in the U.S.

The two neighboring countries have produced polar opposite responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, underlined by Canada’s success until in curtailing a virus currently rampaging through several U.S. states. 

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