Overview: Visa extensions and variations in Canada

Extensions and variants

Short term long term status

Can a short-term visa be converted in-country to longer-term permits? If so, what is the procedure?

Generally, if a foreign worker enters Canada as a visitor, they will not be able to change their status to a worker without leaving the country. However, on August 24, 2020, Canada released a new temporary public policy allowing visitors to apply for a work permit without leaving Canada. This means that foreign nationals in Canada with valid visitor status can apply for an employer-specific work permit from within Canada. The temporary public order has been extended until February 28, 2023.

In addition, foreign nationals entering Canada under the Global Skills Strategy 15 or 30 day work permit exemption are not permitted to extend their stay in Canada.

All work permits can be extended if the extension request is submitted before the current permit expires. The usual method for extending work permits is to submit an application online at the Case Processing Center in Edmonton, Alberta.

Long term extension

Can the long-term immigration authorization be extended?

Almost all long-term work permits can be extended from within Canada. Careful consideration should be given to cumulative duration caps to ensure valid legal status is maintained for the duration of the foreign worker’s Canadian assignment.

Each category has specific rules governing extensions. Extensions can be granted for a minimum of one day to a maximum of three years.

Canada also allows foreign nationals to remain in Canada if they apply for an extension of their status before their current authorization expires, known as maintained status. Maintaining status means that a foreign national may remain in Canada under the conditions listed on the previous immigration document until a decision is made on the pending application.

Exit and return

What are the exit and re-entry rules and implications for work permits?

A foreign national can leave and return according to his needs as long as his work permit remains valid. Each entry will be subject to inspection by the border services officer to ensure that the conditions of the work permit remain valid.

In addition, foreign nationals requiring a visa must maintain a valid entry visa and work permit to re-enter Canada. Subject to certain exceptions, visa-exempt nationals returning to Canada by air must hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization to arrive in Canada by air.

Permanent residence and citizenship

How can immigrants qualify for permanent residency or citizenship?

Express entry

The most popular pathways to permanent residency are the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Skilled Trades Categories (FST), managed through the Express Entry system.

Express Entry is an online system used by the majority of foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in Canada. The Express Entry system generally allows the Canadian government to process applications for permanent residency much faster than the old paper-based admissions process for economic immigrants in the FSWP, CEC, and FST categories. Candidates must meet certain eligibility criteria to be able to submit an Express Entry profile into a candidate pool. They are then ranked according to Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points awarded for factors such as age, English or French language proficiency, work experience in Canada, work experience in outside of Canada and siblings in Canada. The calculation of points is based on the Ministerial Instructions for the Express Entry system.

In addition to skilled workers, the Express Entry system also provides a pathway to permanent resident status for international students living and working in Canada after graduating from a Canadian educational institution. The focus on retaining top international students is reflected in Ministerial Instructions for the Express Entry System, which include additional CRS points for Canadian post-secondary diplomas or degrees, allowing recent graduates to gain residency status. permanent once they have qualified through the CEC or FSWP. categories under Express Entry.

Provided they meet the minimum eligibility requirements of at least one of the economic categories mentioned above, candidates can choose to submit profiles either while in Canada as a foreign worker or before their arrival in Canada. Canada. Express Entry profiles are valid for 365 days or until an Invitation to Apply is issued and can be run alongside work or visitor permit applications. If not invited in the first year, a candidate is not prevented from re-entering the candidate pool after the first profile expires. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is holding Express Entry draws without notice. The volume of invitations issued in any given month depends on several factors, including IRCC’s ability to process the intake of new applications. Although the thresholds for the draws vary, applicants can assess their chances of being invited to apply based on the parameters of recent draws. All draws made since the introduction of this online admissions process in January 2015 are published on the IRCC website.

Once invited to apply, applicants normally have 60 days to submit their supporting documents to IRCC. Over the past two years, government processing times have fluctuated between one and two years. However, the IRCC would aim to return to a pre-pandemic service standard closer to six months in the coming years.

Alternatives to Express Entry

In addition to Express Entry, there are other pathways to permanent resident status in Canada, such as:

  • the Quebec Skilled Worker Program;
  • the Quebec experience program;
  • family class for spouses or common-law partners of permanent residents or Canadian citizens; Where
  • parents or grandparents of permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

The Start-up Visa program provides a pathway to permanent residence for eligible entrepreneurs with the support of a designated organization in Canada.

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) may be a suitable solution for applicants with employer support and job offers in one of the Atlantic Provinces (Nova Scotia, Nova Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador). The IAP includes two sub-components available in each of the Atlantic provinces, either for international graduates from a recognized institution in one of the four Atlantic provinces, and for skilled workers.

Each of these streams is designed to retain skilled workers in the Atlantic region, and they have unique requirements such as settlement funds and language testing. Although not based on a points system like Express Entry, processing times are comparable to Express Entry, so they can be a great alternative, provided there is the support of an eligible employer.

Provincial Nominee Program

In addition to the federal Express Entry admissions system, some provinces and territories also offer pathways to permanent residence, some that take advantage of the Express Entry admissions system and others that are dispensed entirely outside of the system. Express entry. Many provincial and territorial programs involve more employer support than the Express Entry route and require additional federal processing time by IRCC. As such, from a timing perspective, Express Entry is often seen as a preferred option in most cases. The most popular Provincial Nominee Streams are the Skilled Worker and International Student Streams, available in most provinces. Like the AIP, these streams aim to attract talent to the region in question, so it is necessary to have a genuine intention to settle permanently in the province of nomination.

Citizenship scholarship

Applicants can obtain Canadian citizenship if they meet the minimum eligibility criteria, which include having permanent resident status in Canada, being physically present in Canada for at least three years during the five-year period immediately preceding the application and to file income tax returns in Canada for the same minimum period. Current rules allow the first of three years in Canada to be based on time spent in Canada with valid temporary resident status before obtaining permanent resident status, with a one-year cap on time spent in Canada as a temporary resident (see Justice Laws website). To calculate the minimum of 1,095 days of physical presence required in Canada, each day as a temporary resident is calculated as half a day, and each day in Canada as a permanent resident is calculated as a full day.

End of employment

Should immigration clearance be revoked upon termination of employment in your jurisdiction?

There is no requirement that a work permit be canceled upon termination of employment in Canada. A work permit expires on the expiry date indicated on the work permit. The foreign national must leave Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay.

Employee Restrictions

Are there any specific restrictions for a work permit holder?

Work permit requirements vary depending on the type of permit granted. The conditions are indicated on each individual work permit. Foreign workers are generally only allowed to work for the employer listed on the work permit, in the occupation and location listed on the work permit. Foreign nationals with a work permit must apply for a separate study permit if they wish to study at an educational institution for more than six months.

Without specific conditions, a worker must leave Canada at the end of his period of authorized stay.

When a foreign worker receives a promotion with substantial new duties, a new work permit may be required before the change is implemented, particularly if the worker’s national occupational classification code changes. A foreign worker with a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) based work permit who receives a raise or salary increase may also need a new LMIA and permit approval of work.

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