How Canada is helping temporary visa holders during COVID-19

Staying in Canada

Canadian government and Canada immigration have been impressively supporting migrants in the difficult times following COVID-19 outbreak. Many of the temporary visa holders working or studying in Canada have been concerned about their position due to their visa status. The travel restrictions and visa expiry are straining against each other, putting them in great stress.

That was when the Canadian government announced relief measures for the temporary visa holders. Today, even if a temporary visa holder has lost his/her job in Canada, he/she does not have to worry about the stay in Canada.

If you are a worker with a work permit in Canada, you are given the option of extending the visa period. Other ways are applying for a new visa or changing the visa type to a student or visitor. These can be done when you have still time left before the current visa expires.

But what if your visa status expires after you apply, and you are waiting for the new visa? Well, then an implied status will come to your help. Implied status legitimizes your stay in Canada as you are waiting for the decision on your application for new visa status.

Now, in case you are a worker trying to change the type of your visa, you should stop working on the day the work visa expires. If you are waiting for a decision on your new visa application, you can stay back in Canada under the conditions stipulated in the original work/study permit agreement.

In case the application for new visa status gets rejected, you as a foreigner in Canada can either:

  • Leave Canada, or
  • Apply for the restoration of status (This is only possible if such application is made within 90 days of the expiry of their original permit)

The important thing to note here is that you, being a foreign national, cannot study or work until there’s a decision on the restoration application.

There are 2 types of work permits: closed work permit and open work permit.

In case you held a closed work permit and lost your job, your options are:

  • You can stay back in Canada legally, but cannot work for anyone else in Canada
  • Qualify for a new closed work permit, thereby starting a new job
  • Change your work permit type to open work permit
  • Apply for a visitor visa or students visa

If you held an open work permit and lost your job, your options are:

  • Check if your open work permit is eligible for an extension
  • If you are eligible, an extension can be had through
    • Spousal or common-law Open Work Permit Pilot,
    • The Working Holiday Visa class, or
    • The Bridging Open Work Permit

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Anshul Singhal

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