Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides a variety of alternatives for temporary residents to remain in Canada while awaiting a decision on permanent or temporary status. For instance, maintained status implies that temporary residents who seek for fresh temporary status do not have to leave Canada immediately if their papers expire before IRCC makes a judgment. Students, tourists, and temporary foreign workers with maintained status may remain in Canada under the same circumstances as their prior permission until they get notification of the outcome of their new application.

Temporary residents who are seeking for permanent residence and whose papers are nearing the end of their validity period may qualify for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). While some temporary residence permits are extendable, others, such as the Post-Graduation Work Visa (PGWP), are neither renewable or extendable. However, this does not preclude these employees from being eligible for another kind of work permit.

While it is a possibility for some, it is generally not ideal for employees and students in Canada to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), since it does not permit employment or study. Individuals with a TRV may also be able to qualify for a Visitor Record, which allows them to remain longer than six months, but does not let them to work or study. Additionally, there may be possibilities to remain for those who are entitled to be exempted from work permits in certain circumstances. This article discusses possible places to stay for those who may benefit from the following:

  • Study Permits
  • Work Permits
  • Bridging Open Work Permits
  • Post-Graduation Work Permits
  • Spousal Open Work Permits

Permits to Work

Canadian work permits are classified into two major categories: those that need a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and those that are not required to conduct an LMIA. An LMIA is intended to show to the Canadian government that a foreign worker is really needed to fill a vacant post. The employer, not the employee, is responsible for conducting the LMIA procedure. When Employment and Development Canada (EDSC) provides a neutral or positive LMIA to an employer, the company provides a copy of the confirmation letter to the employee. The employee then applies to IRCC for a work permit.

Certain work permit programs ease LMIA processing in order to alleviate labor shortages that have been identified. For instance, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) enables employers of qualifying technology jobs to bypass the LMIA’s advertising requirement, therefore expediting the processing time. GTS work permits are typically processed within two weeks. Additionally, Quebec has its own job vacancy that qualify for streamlined LMIA processing.

The majority of temporary foreign employees hold work licenses that are not subject to the LMIA. In 2021, almost 315,000 work licenses exempt from the LMIA were awarded, about three times the number of work permits supported by an LMIA. Employers in Canada who want to hire via an LMIA-exempt work permit program must pay a compliance fee and submit an offer of employment through IRCC’s employer portal. According to the government, the main goal of LMIA-exempt work permits is to further Canadian interests.

The most often issued LMIA-exempt work permits fall under the category of considerable benefit and reciprocal employment. Canada defines a foreign national of “substantial benefit” as one whose labor benefits Canadians socially, culturally, or economically. Reciprocal employment occurs when Canada enters into an agreement with another nation that provides for the cross-border exchange of employees. The labor market effect is judged to be neutral, since international employees have comparable options in Canada to those available to Canadian workers overseas.

The group excluded from the LMIA provides open work permits, which enable holders to work for any company in Canada. Additionally, it covers work permits issued under to CUSMA, CETA, or other bilateral free trade deals with Canada. Similarly, work permits issued through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program are subject to the same restrictions. The IEC provides opportunities for adolescents from certain nations to get Canadian experience.

Permit for Study

If obtaining a study visa makes sense for your job and financial condition, you may be able to remain in Canada. Additionally, you will have the option of working part-time during academic sessions and full-time during specified breaks.

You must first be admitted to a Designated Learning Institution in order to get a study visa (DLI). You may then apply for a Canadian study permit using your letter of acceptance.

Following completion of your program, you may be entitled to remain in Canada under the PGWP (if you have never had one before). Additionally, you will qualify for paths to permanent residency that are specifically designed for foreign student graduates.

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