EFFECTIVE December 31, 2020 the exemption of foreign nationals from certain requirements to apply for the restoration of their status as students, workers, or visitors has been extended to August 31, 2021.
The policy now includes FN who were in Canada from January 30, 2020 to May 31, 2021. This is an expansion from the original eligibility requirement that was announced on July 14, 2020 and took effect on July 21, 2020, which only included foreign nationals whose status expired after January 30, 2020 and were unable to restore their status within the 90-day period allowed by the regulations.
Workers, students and visitors who had valid status on or after January 30, 2020 but whose status expired on or before May 31, 2021 will have until August 31, 2021 to apply.
FN who have been out of status for more than 90 days can benefit from this change. To be eligible the:
• FN must have been in Canada with valid temporary resident status (student, worker or visitor) between January 30, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
• FN must have remained in Canada from the time of entry but lost their status within the period between January 30, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
• application to restore status must be submitted with the work, student or visitors’ record application, and the correct application fees must be paid.
This change also allows a FN applying for a work permit to start working while waiting for a final decision on their restoration application IF they meet the criteria to request the “Interim Work Authorization”. To meet the criteria, the FN has to:
• submit an employer-specific work permit application (LMIA-based), or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment;
• must have held a valid work permit in the 12 months prior to the date on which they submitted their application; and
• must have submitted a request for the interim work authorization through IRCC’s Webform.
You may not be eligible for an interim work authorization if you did not hold a valid work permit for the last 12 months prior to your application. If you changed your status from a worker to a visitor, and you are now applying for a work permit, you may not be eligible. In this case, you have to wait for the approval of your work permit application and the restoration of your status before you can start to work.
If you are applying for an open work permit, you may not be eligible for the interim work authorization because your application is not supported by an LMIA or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment from a specific employer.
It is very important to note that the interim work authorization is not automatically issued by IRCC and you cannot make that request with your application. You must submit your request by using the Webform (www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/web-form.asp) after you submitted your application. You must wait for the letter approving your request, before you start working.
NOTE** This article is for general information only and should not be taken as legal advice. Due to the rapid changes to Immigration’s Public Policies and Ministerial Instructions, legal advice from a qualified Lawyer should be sought. Your individual circumstances may require further assessment to determine your eligibility to apply.