Canada extends time to restore temporary resident status - CanImmNewsletter.com - Canada Immigration Newsletter
restore temporary resident status

Canada extends time to restore temporary resident status

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated its policy for time to restore temporary resident status. Under the policy, visitors, students and workers whose valid temporary status expired, or expires, between January 30, 2020, and May 31, 2021, will have until August 31, 2021, to restore their status. In addition, the policy will continue to allow former work permit holders applying for an employer-specific work permit to work while a decision on their restoration application is pending.

Normally, temporary residents would have 90 days to apply to restore their status. However, due to service disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the public policy was put in place on July 14, 2020 and was originally valid until December 31, 2020.  With the new update, visitors, students and workers who had valid status on or after January 30, 2020 but whose status expired on or before May 31, 2021 will now have until August 31, 2021 to apply to restore their status.

According to the IRCC,

This public policy, which has been in place since July 2020 but was set to expire, recognizes that many temporary residents in Canada have been affected by worldwide health- and travel-related restrictions, and may need to remain in Canada for longer than they anticipated.

IRCC statement

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While all in-Canada foreign nationals who have lost their temporary resident status within the specified timeframe will be exempted from the requirement to apply for restoration within 90 days of losing their status, the authority to work while their restoration and work permit applications are being processed will be available only to those who were previously assessed as workers (that is, who held a work permit in the 12 months prior to their application for restoration of temporary resident status), have a job offer, and have submitted an employer-specific work permit application supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment under the International Mobility Program.

Detail eligibility requirements

According to information on the IRCC webpage:

A. Restore temporary resident status

In order to be eligible for restoration under the public policy, the foreign national must

  • have been in Canada with valid temporary resident status between January 30, 2020 and May 31, 2021, remained in Canada since entry, and lost their temporary resident status during this period; and
  • have applied for restoration of temporary resident status under and paid the associated application processing fees.

B. Seek interim work authorization

The policy allows former work permit holders applying for an employer-specific work permit to work while a decision on their status restoration application is pending. The worker must have held a valid work permit in the 12 months before the date on which they sent in their restoration application, submitted an employer-specific work permit and restoration application, and paid all applicable fees.

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In order to be eligible for interim work authorization the foreign national must

  1. have submitted an employer-specific work permit application with correct fees for which a decision has not yet been made, included an application for restoration and paid the associated application processing fee;
  2. have held a valid work permit in the 12 months preceding the date on which they submitted their application for restoration of temporary resident status;
  3. intend to work for the employer and/or occupation specified in the LMIA or LMIA-exempt offer of employment included in their work permit application described in (i);
  4. have applied for the public policy exemption using the electronic means (that is, the IRCC Webform) identified by the department for that purpose; and
  5. have requested that the public policy exemption be applied until a decision is made on their work permit application described in (i).

Examples where the interim work authorization would apply:

  • The foreign national’s work permit expired on December 30, 2020, and they fell out of status. They submitted a restoration and work permit application on March 1, 2021 (within 90 days of losing status), and a decision is still pending on their application.
  • The foreign national’s work permit expired on March 1, 2021, and they fell out of status. They submitted a restoration and work permit application on August 1, 2021 (under the public policy), and a decision is still pending on their work permit application.

Example where the interim work authorization would not apply:

  • The foreign national’s work permit expired on March 30, 2019, and they extended their stay in Canada as a visitor. In this case, the foreign national cannot benefit from the interim work authorization under this public policy as they do not meet the eligibility criteria (that is, they did not hold a work permit in the last 12 months).
  • The foreign national is a work permit-exempt worker who is restoring their status and applying for a work permit with a job offer, but they did not hold a valid work permit in the 12 months preceding the date on which they submitted their application for restoration of temporary resident status.

See also How to get Canada work permit – Guidelines


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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