Visitors and study or work permit holders in Canada normally have 90 days after their temporary immigration status expires to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to restore it.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary residents who remained in Canada have been encouraged to renew their work or study permits to maintain their legal status in Canada. However, 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. Former workers, students and visitors whose status expired after January 30, 2020, and who remained in Canada will now have until December 31, 2020, to apply to restore their status, provided they meet the requirements for the type of status and authorization they are applying to restore.
The public policy also allows former work-permit holders applying for an employer-specific work permit to work while a decision on their restoration application is pending. To do so, they need to
- have a job offer
- submit a work permit application that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment
- notify IRCC through the process set up for eligible foreign nationals