Due to pandemic backlogs, many international students have been stuck in “immigration limbo” as they await news of their immigration status. To address this problem, Canada is rolling out new interim measures to allow these students to stay and work legally in the country. This program is meant for students whose permits have expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022. For more information on these new rules and extension eligibility, continue reading. 

Until recently, the intake of some skilled immigration programs were suspended due to backlogs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has left many skilled international students, who would have otherwise been able to apply for permanent residence in Canada, without status and with expired work permits. The government’s new policy will allow these students and recent graduates to continue to work and remain in Canada despite the challenging circumstances they have faced over the pandemic. An estimated 93 000 people have been affected and are potentially eligible for the special policy, with work permits that have expired over the given period of time.

The immigration department will begin to email individuals whose work permits have expired, or will be expiring, between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022. The department will provide them with proof that they are eligible to work in Canada, which they can then show to prospective employers. The new program should alleviate some of the pressure felt by those students who were unsure whether they would be able to continue to stay and work in Canada due to their immigration status. 

Students whose work permits have expired or are expiring before October 1, 2022, must apply online for a new work permit. Those who are still in Canada but with an expired status must apply both to restore their status and to obtain a new work permit at the same time. Usually, one can only restore their status within 90 days of its expiration date, but the special measures will temporarily lift this restriction. 

By implementing this strategy alongside others, the immigration department is beginning to make a dent in the application backlog caused by the pandemic. They are hopeful that processing times will be back to normal by the end of the year. If you are an international student who is awaiting news on your immigration status, contact the immigration lawyers at Brace Law. Call 905-815-6555 and Consider It Handled.