Canadian immigration policy set by the federal government is informed and created based on various humanitarian, economic and other reasons. Canada prides itself on being on the forefront of international humanitarian efforts and its immigration policies reflect that. For instance, the Canadian government quickly implemented several measures to help the people of Ukraine and Afghanistan shortly after conflicts escalated in both countries. 

Since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, Canada has gone through many challenges, and changes in the immigration sector have been occurring rapidly. More recently, the Canadian government has been rolling out temporary immigration policies in order to try and stimulate Canada’s economic recovery from the lull caused by the pandemic. These temporary immigration policies are informed largely by Canada’s economic needs and have benefitted foreign nationals by providing them with new avenues by which to immigrate to Canada and attain temporary or permanent residence status.

New Supporting Measures for Iranian Temporary Residents in Canada 

In 2022, following the protests which erupted in Iran, the Canadian government condemned the Iranian government’s response to the protests and levied sanctions against the country due to the gross and systematic human rights violations.

Canada responded to these issues on both an international and domestic level, as many immigrants to Canada come from Iran. Iranians in Canada who became Canadian citizens or permanent residents are permitted to stay in the country indefinitely, however, those individuals who remain in Canada on temporary visas will be provided with additional support, as the expiration of a temporary visa typically requires the individual to return to their country of origin. 

New Measures to Remain in Effect Until February 2024

As of March 1, 2023, additional measures have been implemented to make it easier for Iranians to extend their temporary status in Canada and move between temporary streams. This will make it easier for people from Iran on temporary visas to continue studying, working or visiting family by applying for a new permit from inside Canada. Further, an open work permit pathway will be made available for Iranians already in Canada. 

The Canadian government has also promised that applications from Iranians in Canada will also be processed on a priority basis. Finally, some of the processing fees will be waived for Iranians who want to continue to live in Canada. If Canadians want to Iran, passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens of Canada in Iran will also be waived.

These measures will be in effect from March 1, 2023 until February 28, 2024. It is important to check with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for updates and additional information on these measures if you believe they will apply to you. 

New Temporary Public Policy on Applying for Work Permits

Temporary work permits allow individuals to work in Canada temporarily. Temporary work permits fall into two categories: employer specific work permits and open work permits. 

In August 2020, shortly after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada enacted a new temporary public policy that allowed visitors to Canada to apply for a work permit without having to leave Canada first. Usually, work permit applicants must be outside Canada when applying for a work permit. However, this temporary public policy changed that in light of the travel difficulties created by the pandemic. 

As of February 28, 2023, this temporary public policy has been extended until February 28, 2025. Foreign nationals who are currently in Canada as visitors may receive a job offer and can apply for a work permit without having to leave Canada. Further, those who are applying as part of this public policy who held a valid work permit in the past year before applying can also request interim work authorization in order to commence employment more quickly than if they had to wait for full authorization on a work permit. 

Requirements Under this Temporary Public Policy

In order to apply under this public policy, applicants must:

  • have valid visitor status in Canada on the day they apply for the work permit; and
  • have a job offer that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment, or 
  • a job offer that is Labour Market Impact Assessment exempt. 

A job offer requires a written offer of a full-time, non-seasonal job for a period of at least one year. Applicants must also submit their application before February 28, 2025, and meet all other admissibility criteria.

Although this program only applies to those who have valid status in Canada at the time of application, the Canadian government has recently instituted other programs for people who are out of status that allow them to apply for permanent residence. 

Contact the Lawyers at Garson Immigration Law in Toronto for Assistance with Work Permit Applications 

The trusted immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law exclusively practice in the area of immigration law. Advising on immigration in both Canada and the United States of America, our immigration team successfully guides clients through the immigration process, including work permit applications. Our knowledgeable lawyers remain current on all legislative changes to ensure that clients comply with the most recent requirements. We strive to understand each client’s unique needs and work to find an effective solution for every situation. If you have questions about an immigration application, reach out to us online or call us at 416-321-2860 to learn how we can help you.

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