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Immigration Newsweek


Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal


Did you lose immigration status after January 20, 2020? It is common knowledge that temporary residents in Canada must renew their status before it expires. But what if a person didn’t? Normally, visitors students or workers in Canada have 90 days after their immigration status expires to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to restore it. That has been the rule for decades.

In other words, an applicant has 90 days after the expiry of their status to restore that status which must be accompanied by the $200 “penalty’ fee.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have faced difficulty finding flights home especially with air travel limited around the world. As well, many do not feel comfortable leaving their homes to venture on to a plane.

As a result of the pandemic and its associated challenges, IRCC has issued a public policy that provides an extension to apply for restoration beyond the current 90-day timeframe for foreign nationals in Canada. Workers, students and visitors whose status expired after January 30, 2020, and who remained in Canada have until December 31, 2020, to apply to restore their status, provided they meet the requirements for the type of status and authorization they are applying to restore.

Further, the new policy also allows former work-permit holders applying for an employer-specific work permit to work while a decision on their restoration application is pending. To do so, they need to

  • have a job offer
  • submit a work permit application that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment

In a similar vein, temporary residents in Canada are no longer required to do biometrics and do not need to pay for biometrics. Applicants are exempt from giving biometrics if they are in Canada and are applying from within Canada:

  • to extend their stay as a student, worker or visitor
  • to restore their status as a student, worker or visitor
  • for a work or study permit
  • for a visitor visa
  • for a temporary resident permit

This applies to all new applications as well as applications already in progress.

It applies even if the online application system asks to pay a biometric fee (CAN$85). Applicants under this new policy do not have to pay the biometric fee, even if the system says to pay it.



Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.

The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.

Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email  or call 416 733 3193