Canada rolls out measures to help international students stay — and work — in this country

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After weeks of delay, Canada is rolling out interim measures To allow international students to live and work legally in this country, who have been subjected to a form of immigration due to the pandemic.

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Starting Monday, the Department of Immigration will email individuals whose work permits have expired, or whose deadlines expire between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

The department will provide them with proof that they are still authorized to work in this country, which they can show the employer.


Due to the skyrocketing backlog during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials suspended intake of some skilled immigration programs until last month.

This has left many skilled international students – who would otherwise have been able to apply for permanent residency – without status and expired work permits.

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An estimated 93,000 people had their postgraduate work permits expired on eligible deadlines covered by the special policy. The government is now giving them an extended working period that will last till May 31, 2023.

“Today’s announcement is going to pave a way for them to continue working in Canada and allowing them to remain in Canada despite the challenging situation that they have found themselves in as a result of some of the challenges they have faced during the pandemic,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told the Star on Tuesday.

“There are a lot of people who are grappling with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they will be able to live or continue to work in Canada. And this announcement employs some new and innovative strategies to make it as smooth a route as possible so that these include: May the many talented people continue to work in our communities.”

Fraser announced back in April that special measures would be ready in June. On Tuesday, he blamed the delays on the department’s “outdated” system, which limits the automatic renewal of expired and expired work permits.

As a result, only those international students whose work permits expire from 2 October to 31 December of this year can be automatically extended in the system.

No action will be required for this group. They’ll get an email to confirm their postal address before the updated permit is issued by mid-October. the one who Passport expired or out of date contact information should follow the instructions to email and update your records immediately.

“we have to Make sure we send the permit to the right person in the right place,” Fraser said.

International students whose work permits have expired or are expiring before 1 October will not be notified by email, but must Apply online for a new permit,

Those who are still in Canada but whose deadline has expired must apply for reinstatement and a new work permit at the same time.

Although a person can normally reinstate their status only within 90 days of termination, special measures remove that restriction and even people who have already left Canada may qualify.

Fraser said immigration officials have worked hard to increase the department’s capacity and have processed 2.3 million permanent and temporary residency applications so far this year, nearly doubling the 1.2 million applications finalized over the same period in 2021. Have given.

“We have hired 500 new people and are in the process of hiring 1,200 more. What we are doing right now is increasing our resource capacity as quickly as possible. We are also looking at additional solutions that will eliminate some of the demand for the system,” he said.

“We are addressing[the issues]by pumping more resources into the system, by making some sort of policy change to allow people to continue working in Canada and, of course, by moving towards a fully digital system. We are working very hard to do, which is an initiative that is going well.”

He said the immigration department is already back to the standard of service it aimed for pre-pandemic — 12 months for new applications under family reunification, and six months for skilled migrants in the Express Entry talent pool.

While more hold is still needed to restore processing times for citizenship applications and temporary residence files for visitors and foreign workers, Fraser said he expects overall service standards to be back to normal by the end of the year.

Nicholas Keung is a Toronto-based reporter who covers immigration for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @nkeung

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