Updated: Temporary public policy to exempt certain out-of-status foreign nationals in Canada from immigration requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Background: 

Since January 30, 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, foreign nationals in Canada - whether they were in Canada at that time or arrived thereafter - have been, and continue to be, affected in many ways, including the loss of temporary resident status. In recognition of the ongoing challenges these foreign nationals in Canada face, there is a need to ensure that they continue to have options to remain legally in Canada during these uncertain times.

I hereby establish that, pursuant to my authority under section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act), there are sufficient public policy considerations that justify the granting of exemptions from the requirements of the Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) listed below to foreign nationals who meet the conditions (eligibility requirements) set out below.

This public policy will:

Conditions (eligibility requirements):

Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant an exemption, until a decision is made on the temporary resident application described below or the application is withdrawn, from the requirements of the Act and the Regulations identified if:

  1. The foreign national:
    1. was in Canada with valid temporary resident status at any time between January 30, 2020, and May 31, 2021, has since remained in Canada, and it has been more than 90 days since they lost their temporary resident status; and
    2. has applied for restoration of temporary resident status, under subsection 182(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and paid the associated application processing fees under subsection 306(1) of the Regulations; or
  2. The foreign national:
    1. meets the conditions listed in 1;
    2. held a valid work permit in the year preceding the date on which they submitted their application for restoration of temporary resident status;
    3. has submitted a work permit application to perform work described in subparagraphs 200(1)(c)(ii.1) or 200(1)(c)(iii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, for which a decision has not yet been made;
    4. intends to work for the employer and/or occupation as specified by the job offer included in their work permit application described in (iii);
    5. has applied for the public policy exemption listed in (B.) below using the electronic means identified by the department for that purpose; and
    6. has requested that the exemption listed in (B.) be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application described in (iii); or
  3. The foreign national:
    1. has applied for restoration of temporary resident status under subsection 182(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations within 90 days of losing their temporary resident status and paid the associated application processing fee under subsection 306(1) of the Regulations;
    2. held a valid work permit in the year preceding the date on which they submitted their application for restoration of temporary resident status;
    3. has submitted a work permit application to perform work described in subparagraphs 200(1)(c)(ii.1) or 200(1)(c)(iii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, for which a decision has not yet been made;
    4. intends to work for the employer and/or occupation as specified by the job offer included in their work permit application described in (iii);
    5. has applied for the public policy exemption listed in (B.) below using the electronic means identified by the department for that purpose; and
    6. has requested that the exemption listed in (B.) be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application described in (iii).

Provisions of the Regulations for which an exemption may be granted, if applicable, until a decision is made on the restoration of temporary resident status application, and work permit application, if applicable, or until the restoration of temporary resident status or work permit application is withdrawn:

A. For foreign nationals who meet the conditions listed in 1:

B. For foreign nationals who meet the conditions listed in 2 or 3:

Other admissibility and selection criteria

Foreign nationals eligible under this public policy are subject to all other legislative obligations and admissibility and selection requirements not exempted under this, or another, public policy.

Effective date and expiration

This public policy takes effect on the day on which it is signed and expires on August 31, 2021.

Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 20th day of December 2020

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