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IRCC implements Changes in Extensions and Implied Status

COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting Canadian immigration and, IRCC understands that delay in processing time has adversely affected Temporary residents. In the light of issues faced by temporary residents on implied status, Canada has implemented changes in the processing of work permit extensions on October 20, 2020.

If a worker, visitor, or student applies to extend his or her status in Canada before that status expires, he or she may legally remain in Canada until a decision is made on the application. In such a scenario, the person has implied status. The implied status remains until the Government decides on the applicant’s new work/study permit application.

If the applicant applied for a work/study permit extension before their work/study permit expired, they can not only keep working/studying but also avail government benefits, services and other privileges until a decision is made. Applicants must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of their original work/study permit. For instance, if an applicant has an employer-specific work permit, they must still work for the employer named on that permit.

However, availing these services, sometimes becomes difficult for the applicant as they have no written proof of their application being processed by the Canadian Government. The only document they have is the receipt of fee payment and copies of their application which is generally not considered an official document to prove applicant’s status. To avoid this distress and to provide clarity, IRCC has changed the phrasing of their communication to the applicant.

As of October 20, 2020, temporary residents who submit their extension application online through IRCC portal, will receive an auto-generated Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter confirming their existing authority to work/study/stay has been officially extended to a specific date. This letter can act as a proof of authorization and can be attached to applicant’s expired work permit as a verification of their continued legal status in Canada.

It is paramount for the temporary resident to apply before expiry of their status and, applicant should remain physically in Canada during their implied status period, for receiving this Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter.

What makes Canada a great destination for immigrants?

10th largest economy in the world

Canada is a thriving country that claims the 10th largest GDP worldwide, fueled in part by its vast natural resources, significant industrial base, tourist attraction, and vibrant seafood industry. According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s economy is extremely service-oriented, with 78.9% of Canadians working in a service-related job, though it is perceived that Canada is growing due to its natural resources. Though the manufacturing sector is relatively small in comparison to the service sector, it is the cornerstone of Canadian economy, with 68% of its exports constituting merchandise exports.

World-class education system

Canada tops the list as the most educated country in the world. According to the OECD over 56 percent of adults in the Great White North have earned some education after high school. Canada’s high academic standards and rigorous quality controls assure that you will be earning a high-quality education that will open doors for your future and benefit your career over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.

The quality of education and living standards in Canada are amongst the highest in the world, but the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Under Canada’s highly dynamic and hands-on academic environment, you will not only acquire knowledge and skills in analysis and communication, but you will also learn how to express yourself, demonstrate your creativity, and develop your self-confidence.

Canada has world’s top universities, such as McGill University, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of British Columbia which rank among the world’s top 100 academia.

Booming tech industry

Canada’s evolution over the years as a fount of technology is mirrored by the growth of the Tech sector. Toronto and other parts of Canada have been feasting on tech talent as immigrants are diverting from the U.S. due to stringent immigration policies like temporary suspension of H1B1 Visa which facilitated immigration for thousands of skilled immigrant workers every year. Even during coronavirus outbreak, immigrants in the U.S. faced unusual threat to employment, where in the U.S. is closing doors for immigrants while Canada is attracting an impressive flow of technology jobs and investment.

Tech companies with global footprint are setting up hubs and expanding operations in Canada. The number of tech jobs in Toronto has risen steeply with an increase of 54% from about 148,000 to 228,000 in the past since 2013. Canada certainly displays compelling potential with its mix of talent, technology, and universities together with highly skilled immigrants possessing STEM degrees even before arrival into the country.

Vancouver and Calgary are booming towards clean tech innovation, while Montreal has established itself as a hub for innovation in Artificial Intelligence and game development. Overall, Canada is attempting to attract highly skilled foreign professionals through visa programs like the Global Talent Stream with fast processing time where you move to Canada as quickly as a month as well as provincial tech programs that offer an expedited immigration pathway for people with tech skills .

Multiculturalism and immigration supportive

Over several decades, multiculturalism has evolved from a humanitarian approach to an official policy which became a defining part of Canada’s national identity. Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau government’s mantra is “diversity is our strength” which depicts the characteristic Canadian willingness to include various ethnic groups towards the cultural enrichment of Canada.

Canada has been accepting more immigrants per capita than any other developed Western countries. Particularly 310,000 new permanent residents were welcomed by Canada in 2018 and further it is expected that Canada will welcome nearly one million immigrants over the next three years.

In Canada, multiculturalism has always been a form of integration where people respect the diversity of languages, religions, and cultures. Multiculturalism exists when people accept and encourage many cultures to thrive in a society which can be seen particularly in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in modern history and this is because of a unique mix of various dominant groups like the British, Irish, Indian, Chinese, Italian and smaller groups like the Dutch, Japanese and Romanians.

Most inclusive country in the world

Canadians have always prided themselves as being open and inclusive. According to Ipsos recently released research, Canada ranks 1st among 25 countries on inclusiveness. Canada stood 2nd on LGBTQ Inclusiveness Score after France as the country has strong support for the LGBTQ community which is evident as Canada became the 4th nation worldwide to legalize same-sex marriage and the first nation outside of Europe in 2015.

Canada actively promotes inclusion and respect for diversity at home and abroad. Establishing equality is a top challenge that the entire human society is facing at the moment, but Canada seems to manage this challenge efficiently in social, economic, cultural, and civic inclusion. In Canada it is apparent that women have a strong voice, along with this basic women’s rights such as voting, birth control access and abortion are long-established and safeguarded in the country.

Universal health-care system

Canada’s health care system has prominent features that distinguish it from virtually all other high-income countries providing universal health care coverage. Firstly, healthcare in Canada is delivered through the provincial and territorial systems called Medicare, which is publicly funded. Canada has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates and stands at 18th position in the world for life expectancy.

Canadian citizens have the second highest quality of life in the world, according to The World Economic Forum ranking, which ranks countries by quality of life using criteria like access to medical care, sanitation, and shelter, as well as education, life expectancy, and personal freedoms.

Employee entitlements

Canada is exceptional as “provincial law governs annual paid leave, unless the employee falls under federal jurisdiction.” All provinces guarantee two weeks paid vacation, except for three weeks in Saskatchewan. Along with this the employees receive statutory holidays depending on the province.  Canadians also have secured access to a variety of monetary protections including Employment Insurance (EI), old age security, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), and a federal childcare benefit.

The minimum wage in Canada ranges from $11 to $15 among different provinces and it stands among one of the highest in the world.  Canadian workers also have access to new family-friendly benefits and progressive workplace policies that allow up to 18 months of parental leave, with the mother and father able to share the leave however they choose.

Beautiful and safe place

The landscapes of Canada range from arctic tundra and BC’s snow-capped mountains, to beautifully desolate prairies and PEI’s rugged coastlines along with interesting architecture in Montreal’s historic buildings. From coast to coast to coast, the country is home to vibrant and culturally rich cities, along with incredible natural wonders.

According to the Global Peace Index of 2018, Canada was ranked the 6th most peaceful nation in the world. Be it protection of citizens on the streets, guarding them against misconduct, or even shielding them against online crime, Canada has done it all. Canada is also known for their strong gun control as they have a comparatively peaceful approach to foreign diplomacy.

Stable democratic political system

The Economist ranked Canada as third-most democratic nation according to its Democracy Index in the year 2006. Canada’s political system is a parliamentary democracy, with its own social and political institutions. Though Canadian governments shift between various liberal and conservative parties depending on the political climate; there is no moral shift as core values and ideologies like women’s and LGBT rights, environmental concerns, and immigration, are shared by the political parties.

Major changes to help international students

Canada aims to attract more international students as they contribute to economic and social development of the country. Canada hosted over 640,000 international students prior to the start of COVID-19 pandemic.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stated that it will help international students with the following reforms:

  • IRCC will prioritize study permit processing for students who have submitted a completed application online.
  • In the light of COVID-19 pandemic, they have launched a temporary 2 stage approval process for international students, who wish to begin their Canadian education program online this fall and, cannot submit a completed study permit application by September 2020.
  • IRCC is also allowing international students to begin their Canadian studies online while they are in their home country and will consider that time count towards their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)eligibility, only if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50 per cent of the program is completed in Canada.

Reason to help international students

Canada covets international students and IRCC acknowledges that COVID-19 pandemic is creating uncertainty for international students to begin their programs for the Fall 2020 academic year, so they are rolling out measures to facilitate study permit process. These measures will assist students to commence their studies this fall at a Canadian designated learning institute.

How to get a pre-approval for a study permit?

IRCC will provide an approval-in-principle for study permits if students pass the first stage. The two-stage assessment process will be applied to applicants at all levels of study whose program is starting in the fall semester or earlier and who submit, or have already submitted, a study permit application online on or before September 15, 2020.

At the initial eligibility stage, officers will assess:

For the admissibility stage, before a final decision is made, officers will review the following:

After receiving final approval for their study permit, students will be able to travel to Canada.

Mutual benefits

IRCC has made several temporary policy changes to support and reassure international students as international student attraction is beneficial to both, the students and to the Canadian economy.

International students attain world class education in Canadian learning institutes, with hands on academic learning and a highly dynamic approach. After completing education, students can gain a PGWP and gain work experience which will help to obtain permanent residency through Express EntryProvincial Nominee Program (PNP), and many other pathways.

According to IRCC, in year 2018 Canada accommodated over 650,000 international students at the post-secondary education level in the year 2019 and over 60,000 former international students become immigrants each year.

International students contribute $22 billion annually to support the Canadian economy which in turn facilitates 170,000 jobs in Canada.

How Can-X can help?

  • Each study program has different set of requirements. We help clients in selecting suitable courses and/or programs based on their educational background, interest and long-term goals.
  • We help clients in getting a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
  • We prepare and submit the student visa application on the behalf o the client.

Want help in student visa application process! Please contact us for assessment & more information.

Work permit levels in Canada remain steady post COVID-19 outbreak

The number of work permits issued to TFWs in Canada appears to have been affected by coronavirus closures. The year started off strong where a total of 32,995 work permits were issued in January 2020 but, after the novel coronavirus pandemic in March total number of work permit went down to 19,650.

The work permit number increased to 29,900 in April which again dropped to 25,125 in May, 2020. The drop in May work permits is typically in part due to less Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) permits.

These new permits issued to TFWs post COVID-19 outbreak include permits issued to people who were eligible to work in Canada through the

  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or
  • International Mobility Program (IMP)

The TFWP allows Canadian employers to hire foreign talent when no Canadian worker could fill the job vacancy. It is mainly used to admit seasonal agricultural workers to Canada, but also covers other sectors while IMP, which meets Canada’s broad economic and social needs, includes the Global Talent Stream (GTS), and the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Tech workers who either work for designated companies or are being hired in highly skilled occupations can apply under GTS.

International students can use the PGWP to gain up to three years of Canadian work experience, which is highly valued in an application for permanent residence.

General eligibility requirements for Work permit. No matter where you apply, you must

  • Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires. You can include many supporting documents to support this claim. For example: your family ties, employment etc.
  • Show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home. You can include your financial documents.
  • Obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (IRCC may ask you to provide a police clearance certificate)
  • Not be a danger to Canada’s security,
  • Be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed,
  • Not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers.
  • Not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, and
  • Give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country. 

Work Permit from outside Canada

To come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, you must get a work permit. In general, you need to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before you come to Canada. You must apply to a visa office outside Canada if you need a visa to enter Canada or if you need to have a medical exam before you come to Canada. You need to get a job offer and some other documents from a Canadian employer before you apply.

Work Permit from inside Canada

You can apply for a work permit from inside Canada if you are currently in Canada and

  • Have a valid study or work permit, or your spouse or parents have a study or work permit
  • Have graduated from a program at a Canadian university, community college, CÉGEP, publicly funded trade/technical school, or other eligible school.
  • Have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more,
  • Have applied or been included in an application for permanent residence from inside Canada (you will have to pass certain stages in the main application process to be eligible for a work permit)

Work Permit at the port of entry

You may apply for a work permit on arrival at a port of entry (POE) in Canada if the following applies

  • You are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa and your job falls within the International Mobility Program (i.e., you are not required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment [LMIA]);
  • You are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa and your job falls within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (i.e., you are required to obtain an LMIA) and a positive or neutral LMIA has been issued by the time you arrive, and your employer has completed all of the steps for your type of work permit
  • You are a national or permanent resident of the U.S., Greenland or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon regardless of whether your job falls with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.
  • You will not be working as a live-in caregiver or as a seasonal agricultural worker

In addition to the above, you must have completed your immigration medical examination, if required, before your arrival. If you’re a citizen of an eTA-required country, you’ll need to get an eTA if you plan to fly into Canada. IRCC recommends that you apply for your work permit before you travel to Canada.

Work permits based on skill types

High Skilled Work Permits

High skilled work permits are obtained in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A or B.  Generally, for skilled work permits, applicant need to have 1-3 years of experience depending upon the occupation and in certain cases only relevant education can fulfill the job requirements. Applicants also need to prove their English or French language skills to meet the job requirements.

Low skilled work permits

Low skilled work permits are obtained in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level C & D. Low skilled work permits require maximum of high school education or job specific training. Applicants also need to prove their English or French language skills to meet the job requirements.

Low skilled work permits under agriculture stream

Low skilled work permits under agriculture stream generally do not require any specific language skills, education and experience. You still need to meet all general eligibility requirements for work permit.

Under low skilled work permits, generally employers pay return airfare, ensure that affordable and suitable accommodation is available, provide temporary medical insurance coverage, register workers with provincial workplace safety insurance plans, sign an employer-employee contract.

How Can-X can help?

  • We can help foreign nationals and foreign workers to apply for Canadian Work Permit which authorizes them to legally work in Canada.
  • We can apply for approval of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) on behalf of employers.

Contact us for assessment and more information!

 

Temporary residents can now restore their status until December 31, 2020

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. 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 time frame for foreign nationals in Canada.

This public policy comes into effect on July 14, 2020 and remains in effect until December 31, 2020. Applications received on or before December 31, 2020 may benefit from this public policy.

Former workers, students and visitors whose status expired after January 30, 2020, and who remained in Canada 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 aims to 

  • provide eligible foreign nationals who have fallen out of status during the COVID-19 pandemic with more time to restore their temporary resident status
  • exempt eligible foreign nationals from the requirement to have complied with certain temporary resident conditions for a work or study permit to be issued
  • allow eligible foreign nationals applying for a job offer-supported work permit to work while decisions on their restoration and work permit applications are pending

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. However, they need to:

Eligibility requirements for restoration application 

Foreign national restoring their temporary resident status 

To be eligible for restoration under the public policy, the foreign national must:

  • have been in Canada with valid temporary resident status on January 30, 2020, remained in Canada since, and lost their temporary resident status more than 90 days ago: and
  • have applied for restoration of temporary resident status and paid the associated application processing fees. 

Foreign national seeking interim work authorization 

To be eligible for interim work authorization, the foreign national must:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • have applied for the public policy exemption using the electronic means (that is, the IRCC Webform) identified by the department for that purpose; and
  • have requested that the public policy exemption be applied until a decision is made on their work permit application. 

Examples where the interim work authorization would apply 

  • The foreign national’s work permit expired on December 30, 2019, and they fell out of status. They submitted a restoration and work permit application on March 1, 2020 (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, 2020, and they fell out of status. They submitted a restoration and work permit application on October 1, 2020 (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.

Want help restoring your status? Please contact us at (778) 564-3555 or email at [email protected]