EXTENDING YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
My visa has expired due to COVID-19 lockdown. What shall I do?
By Gin Aguilar
Everyone has been caught off-guard by the coronavirus pandemic. If you are one of the many people on a work permit, student visa or visitor visa that needs visa extension, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) during this time of uncertainty:
Q: My visa has expired due to COVID-19 lockdown. What shall I do?
The following will be the initial requirements:
- Submit your visa application to Canadian Immigration within 90 days of losing your status
- Provide full details of all the facts, information, and circumstances that resulted in you committing the offence.
- Meet all the conditions listed on your permit.
- Pay all your applicable fees
Q: What information do I need to provide when applying for an extension of my temporary status?
A: You must provide the following information listed below when applying to renew your visa:
- Full details on why you want to stay longer
- Proof of identity (Identification ID such as Valid passport, driver’s license, government ID)
- Proof of current status in Canada (Visa)
- Evidence on how you will support yourself or be supported in Canada and how you will pay for transportation to leave Canada, such as: (1) Guarantor’s letter/invitation letter, and (2) Bank statement indicating the account holder’s name, account number and funds available
- If you are on a student visa, you must also provide proof of acceptance at a Designated Learning Institution
- Details about your plans to leave Canada, particularly the date and time of departure, and the means of transportation.
Q: Do I still need to provide my biometrics when reapplying for a visa?
A: If you already gave your biometrics in the past as part of an application for a visitor visa, work or study permit and they are still valid, you do not need to give your biometrics again for re-application of visa. You only need to give it once every 10 years from the time you initially provided it. Please take note that as of December 3, 2019, you need to give biometrics when you apply from within Canada. But due to COVID-19, all biometrics appointments in Canada are cancelled until further notice. Once the biometrics collection site closest to you reopens, make an appointment to give your biometrics as soon as possible.
Q: What is the current processing time for application of visa?
A: Processing time varies as the Case Processing Centre receives large volumes of applications in the temporary resident categories each year. Due to the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), they cannot process applications normally and thus, cannot provide an accurate processing period at this time. Currently, they are prioritizing applications from (1) Canadians returning to Canada, (2) vulnerable people, and (3) people who perform or support essential services.
Q: I am currently under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). How do I extend or change the conditions of my work permit?
A: You can extend your work permit, change employers and stay in the LCP, as long as you and your new employer meet the requirements. You must apply for an extension within 90 days of the expiry date on your current work permit. You also need to pay an extra fee to restore your status as a temporary resident in Canada. A copy of your employer’s new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with your work permit application must also be submitted.
Kindly take note that as of May 15, 2020, the Government of Canada is announcing that effective immediately, a worker who is already in Canada and has secured a new job offer, typically backed by a labour market test, can get approval to start working in their new job, even while their work permit application is being fully processed. This will cut what can often take 10 weeks or more, down to 10 days or less.
IF you need help in securing your visitor/student visa extension or work permit renewal, our approachable certified immigration consultants and knowledgeable lawyers at JCA LAW OFFICE can assist you in applying and submitting the right documents to Immigration Canada.
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