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Visitor Visa Extension if Open Work Permit? 

diaspora
diaspora
Posts: 9


Posted On: 3/5/2021
diaspora
diaspora
Posts: 9
Hi,
Under the same UCI number I have received the following notifications:

- I have my Open Work Permit certificate, expiry date 11 November 2022. I began work, using this, in January 2021. It is valid until 2022.
- I am currently applying for Permanent Residence. I have been informed that if I do not personally provide the Police Certificate by 7 April 2021, my application will be cancelled. I applied immediately, to Hong Kong, but they have replied that it should be completed there by start of April/that they will only send direct to Canadian government (not me personally). Also, there is currently no air service mail from Hong Kong + a recent letter from there to here took over 2 months by surface mail.
-Also, on 18th February 2021 I was mailed a Canadian Visitor Record, valid from that date, but with expiry on 18th May 2021. This letter stated that I must leave Canada by that latter date.

I have emailed IRCC on both these various deadlines, but as of yet have received no reply (perhaps because they state they will not reply to issues that are within 'normal processing times') I know that telephoning is a further option, but a verbal conversation has no legal standing.


This matter is causing our family huge stress - having a valid Canadian work visa; but then being told have to leave Canada, by a date in near future. Also, the difficulty in clarifying this matter with IRCC. I would very much appreciate your insights, in reply to the question : With a valid Open Work Permit do I continue to need to try and apply for and get Visitor Record extensions?


Many thanks for your attention and assistance!
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3479


Posted On: 25 days ago
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3479
Hello there,

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us. We can appreciate that you would be concerned about this situation.

1. Open Work Permit and Visitor Record Extension

An open work permit is a written authorization to work in Canada for a predetermined period of time and is not job-specific. Whereas a Visitor Record is a document issued by border services to extend or restrict your stay in Canada.

Since you have obtained a valid permit, you should be able to stay inside Canada until the 2022 expiry date you had indicated, unless you were issued a Visitor Record to restrict your stay. If you were not given a Visitor Record to restrict your stay, the IRCC website indicates that a Visitor Record is for those who want to extend their stay or change their permit type. In your situation, that would mean applying to extend your stay at least 30 days before your Open Work Permit expires to be able to stay in Canada for longer or changing your status from an Open Work Permit status to a Visitor Record Status. Unless you want to change your current Open Work Permit status to a Visitor Record, an extension does not seem necessary. However, since you have received a document indicating an expiry date on your Visitor Record, it would be best to contact IRCC by telephone to clarify this confusion in your file so you can get guidance.

2. Contact IRCC

Contacting the IRCC Client Support Centre can help get information about case-specific inquiries and other general information you may require for guidance to move forward with your file. According to the website, agents “cannot help process applications faster unless you meet the criteria for urgent processing.” This means that if an agent finds you meet the conditions for urgent processing since your Open Work Permit is conflicting with the Canadian Visitor Record expiry date, they may be able to process any required applications for you faster. The IRCC website does not indicate the criteria for what qualifies as urgent processing. However, the site does provide some complex and exceptional case examples that have warranted urgent processing that you can follow here to view.

You may also wish to consult a reputable and registered immigration consultant or an immigration lawyer who is familiar with Canadian immigration issues for advice on your situation before you start any application processes for extending your Visitor Record or continuing to rely on your Open Work Permit while applying for your Permanent Residence.

We hope this information is helpful.


Sincerely,


Your Settlement.Org team
This document does not contain legal advice.

This document was prepared with the assistance of PBSC Western University law student volunteers. PBSC volunteers are not lawyers and they are not authorized to provide legal advice. This document contains general discussion of certain legal and related issues only. If you require legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.
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diaspora
diaspora
Posts: 9


Posted On: 21 days ago
diaspora
diaspora
Posts: 9
Hi Settlement Org. Team,

This is to follow-up to your much appreciated replies! We tried to get a written response from IRC,C by submitting the specific details. But the reply simply repeats the issuing and expiry dates for the Open Work Permit (November 2022), the Visitor Visa (May 2021) + the Permanent residence application (on-going, documents required by April 2021 from another country) . The IRCC officer who has replied via email has not answered any of these issues: 1)Whether an earlier valid Work permit removes the need or relevance for a later Visitor Visa? 2)Whether a Visitor Visa issued after an Open Work permit then requires continued Visitor visa extension applications? 3)Whether (as the IRCC website seems to suggest) an Open Work permit might then be turned into a Visitor visa (when it is extended) - this would mean losing the Canadian job that I was able to start in January. Please note - the Visitor Visa's later issuing date than that of the Open Work Permit Work was simply due to several months of delays in its processing.

You write about contacting IRCC by phone. But the problem is that verbal comments have no standing legally. Also, we are not keen to hire a legal lawyer, because ultimately the application facts and dates are clear. The issue here is simply that we need someone at IRCC to stand up and clarify where we ultimately stand once applications are cross-referenced. Yes, maybe we can try the 'urgent processing' route?

We would very much appreciate any other suggestions or advice you have. It is surely not a unique situation that Visitor Visas and Work permits are issued with overlapping dates. It seems a great pity that the priority is not clearly known! Cheers, Diaspora.
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3479


Posted On: 7 days ago
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3479
Dear Diaspora,

Thank you for following up with our response. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and is causing a lot of stress.

We encourage you to seek legal assistance immediately as your situation is a bit complex and requires a knowledgeable individual to assist you.

Generally, we can advise as follows:

There are reasons to be concerned with the effect of the visitor record issued to you recently. Section 185 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations states that an immigration officer may impose, vary or cancel the period authorized for a temporary resident’s stay. IRCC has stated that this can be done through the issuing of a visitor record. For a work permit holder such as yourself, a visitor record typically has the effect of changing your permit type from a work permit to a visitor record. This could be your situation.

You mentioned that the visitor record was issued to you after “several months of delay in processing”. While we are not sure as to why you applied for the visitor record, we would advise that a visitor record was not required; a person who has been issued a work permit may remain in Canada under the terms and conditions under that document.

It is important to know that your period of authorized stay in Canada is determined by the most recently issued immigration document. Since the visitor record was issued more recently than the open work permit, the validity period on the visitor record is the one that applies to you. Because the period is expiring soon, you should submit a new application, either for a new work permit or for a new visitor record.

If you are applying for a new work permit, you may or may not be able to apply while in Canada. Generally, a person with a visitor status cannot apply for work permits from within Canada. However, under COVID, the Canadian government has created an exemption for a person meeting certain requirements to apply for a change from visitor status to worker status while in Canada. You may refer to this webpage to see whether this exemption may apply to you. The policy was recently extended until August 31, 2021.

Whether you are applying for a new work permit or visitor record, if you are making the application in Canada, your status as a temporary resident will be extended until a decision on your application is made, and you may lawfully remain in Canada until at least that time.

Again, given your complex situation, we would strongly advise that you seek help from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant.

We hope that this response is helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions.



Sincerely,


Your Settlement.Org team

This document does not contain legal advice.

This document was prepared with the assistance of PBSC University of Toronto law student volunteers. PBSC volunteers are not lawyers and they are not authorized to provide legal advice. This document contains general discussion of certain legal and related issues only. If you require legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.
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