Visitors, international students, and temporary foreign employees in Canada have many possibilities for extending their stay.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provide a number of options for temporary residents to remain in Canada while awaiting a permanent or temporary residency decision.

For example, if temporary residents request for a new temporary status and their papers expire before IRCC makes a decision, they are not required to leave Canada. Students, travellers, and temporary foreign employees with maintained status can continue in Canada under the same circumstances as their previous permission until their new application is approved.

Temporary residents who are seeking for permanent residency and whose documents are about to expire may be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

While some temporary residence permits are renewable and extendable, others, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), are not. However, that does not necessarily mean these workers cannot be eligible for a different work permit.

Although it is a possibility for many, applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in Canada is typically not a good idea because it does not enable you to work or study. Those on a TRV may be eligible to apply for a Visitor Record, which allows them to stay for more than six months but does not allow them to work or study. In some situations, those who are entitled to be exempt from work permits may have the choice to stay. In this article, we look at where individuals can stay if they benefit from the following:

• Work Permits

• Study Permits

• Post-Graduation Work Permits

• Bridging Open Work Permits

• Spousal Open Work Permits

Work Permits

Work permits in Canada are divided into two groups: those that need a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and those that do not.

The purpose of an LMIA is to show the Canadian government that there is a real need for a foreign worker to fill a vacancy. The LMIA procedure must be completed by the company, not the employee. The employer delivers the worker a copy of the confirmation letter when Employment and Development Services Canada (EDSC) issues a positive or neutral LMIA to the employer. The worker then applies to IRCC for a work permit.

In order to address recognised labour shortages, several work permit programmes provide streamlined LMIA processes. The Global Talent Stream (GTS), for example, permits companies of qualifying tech occupations to skip the LMIA's advertising requirement, reducing processing time. The normal processing time for GTS work permits is two weeks. In addition, the province of Quebec has its own list of occupations that makes LMIA processing easier.

The majority of temporary foreign employees hold work licences that are not subject to the LMIA. More than 315,000 LMIA-exempt work permits were awarded in 2021, over three times the amount of LMIA-supported work permits. In order to hire through an LMIA-exempt work permit programme, Canadian companies who have a job advertising that matches an LMIA exemption code must pay a compliance fee and submit an offer of employment through IRCC's employer portal.

From the government's standpoint, the goal of LMIA-exempt work permits is to support Canadian interests. Significant benefit and reciprocal employment are the two most popular LMIA-exempt work permit types. A foreign national whose labour will assist Canadians socially, culturally, or economically is defined as "significant benefit" in Canada. Reciprocal employment occurs when Canada and another nation reach an agreement that allows for the cross-border exchange of workers. Foreign employees can have similar options in Canada that Canadian workers can have overseas, hence the labour market impact is deemed neutral.

Open work permits, which allow holders to work anywhere in Canada for any employer, are included in the LMIA-exempt category. Work permits issued under CUSMA, CETA, or other free trade agreements with Canada are also included. Work permits under the International Experience Canada (IEC) programme are the same. The IEC provides opportunities for adolescents from specific nations to get Canadian experience.

Study Permit

Obtaining a study permit may allow you to remain in Canada if it makes sense for your profession and financial position. During the academic year, you will be able to work part-time and full-time during specified breaks.

You must first be admitted into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to get a study visa. You can then use your acceptance letter to apply for a study visa in Canada.

If you successfully complete your programme, you may be able to stay in Canada under the PGWP (if you have never had one before). You'll also be eligible for special avenues to permanent residency for overseas student graduates.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

For overseas student graduates who have finished a post-secondary degree at an approved Designated Learning Institution (DLI), the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) may be an option to stay in Canada (DLI). It is an open work permit, which means the bearer is not bound to a single employer or occupation.

Study programmes that last more than eight months but less than two years may be eligible for a PGWP that matches their duration. International students who have completed two-year or longer programmes may qualify for a three-year PGWP.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) enables some permanent residence candidates to remain in Canada after their temporary status expires.

A BOWP is available for the following immigration programmes:

• Federal Skilled Worker Program

• Canadian Experience Class

• Federal Skilled Trades Program

• Provincial Nominee Program

• Quebec Skilled Workers

• Agri-Food Pilot Program

Foreign employees who may be qualified for the CEC have not been able to apply for permanent residency since September 2021. They can't acquire a BOWP without an IRCC Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR). Depending on their circumstances, individuals may be eligible to apply for various work permits.

Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP)

Spousal sponsorship may be a possibility if your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If you apply for sponsorship from inside Canada, you are considered an in-land candidate and may be eligible for a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP), which is designed expressly for spouses and common-law partners of Canadians who are in the process of immigration.

Temporary residents' spouses may also be eligible for an open work permit. Temporary foreign employees must fulfil specific eligibility requirements, such as possessing a valid work permit for six months after receiving an open spousal work permit, among other things. A foreign worker must additionally fulfil one of four requirements:

• working in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level of 0, A, or B;

• working in any occupation when accepted to an Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) stream;

• working in any occupation holding a provincial or territorial nomination from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP); or

• working in any occupation and holding a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

Depending on the condition of the temporary foreign worker, there are also other program-specific criteria that must be satisfied.

Spouses of foreign students may be able to obtain an open work visa if they can show that they are in a real relationship and that their spouse is an international student enrolled in an authorised programme to the government.

At Immigration Experts, we guide your clients with the best possibilities of moving to Canada ( with regards to their professional background.

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