Canada COVID 19 UPDATE: Extend work permit without flagpoling

by | Apr 20, 2020

If you’re currently in Canada on a work or study permit, or if you’re here as a visitor on a visitor record and your permit or your visitor record is about to expire, then you will need to apply to have it extended. However, you’ll no longer be able to do so by flagpoling for the time being.

Generally, an extension application is made online at an immigration office inside Canada and the processing time can be extensive. What some work permit holders and study permit holders do is instead of applying inland and having to face this extensive processing time, they drive to the Canada-US border and leave Canada. Upon re-entry into Canada, they then submit their paper application to the Canada border officer, who will then process their application and present them with an extended work or study permit. This process is referred to, generally, as flagpoling.

Flagpoling discontinued due to COVID 19

The challenge is that the Government of Canada has temporarily discontinued this practice, because of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. What this means, therefore, is that you will have to file an online application to extend your status within Canada. This also means that you will have to pay greater attention to the application you’re filing. You have to ensure that the application is put together thoroughly and that all the required documents and legal arguments are made, in order to safeguard against the application being refused.

You will also have lost the opportunity to present your application directly to an officer and to make an argument to that officer, if needs be. Typically, when someone is flagpoling, they have the opportunity to present the officer with their documents and to respond to questions that the officer may have there and then. This is less of an option if your application is filed online.

Extension application must be thorough

You should therefore ensure that any application you’re submitting to have your work or study permit extended or to have your status in Canada as a visitor extended, is put together as thoroughly and as accurately as possible.

Go ahead and schedule a call with us to see how we can help you with your Canadian immigration matter.


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