Canada Immigration UpdateIran

IRCC Announces New Measure to Allow Iranians to Extend Temporary Visas

Published on: February 23rd, 2023

Effective on March 1, 2023, new measures will be put into effect to make it easier for Iranians already in Canada to extend their temporary visas and to move between different temporary streams.

February 23 Announcement

Jonathan Wilkinson spoke today on behalf of Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to announce new special measures for Iranians living in Canada. The new measures are in response to the current situation in Iran and to provide further support to Iranians already in Canada. 

Effective March 1st the Canadian government will: 

  • Make it easier for those already in Canada on a temporary visa such as a study, work or visitor visa to apply for an extension without needing to exit the country.
  • Priority applications for Iranians, applications will be processed urgently to reduce added stress for the applicants.
  • Waive certain processing fees for Iranians wishing to extend their stay in Canada.
  • Introduce a new open work permit pathway for Iranians already living in Canada to switch from their current visa to an open work permit.
  • Waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for any Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Iran who wishes to leave.

They noted the importance of the Iranian communities across Canada and said that they would continue to closely monitor the ongoing needs of Iranians and adapt the Canadian government’s response as needed. 


What is an Open Work Permit?

An open work permit refers to a work permit which is not tied to a single employer or location. This means that a foreign national with a valid open work permit may work for multiple employers in multiple locations throughout Canada. It should be noted that certain open work permits may have additional requirements or restrictions which must be respected by foreign nationals. Open work permits do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Benefits of an Open Work Permit

Open work permits are highly sought after for the freedom they give their holders. While most work permits are tied to a specific employer, an open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any employer in Canada and the freedom to move from location to location at their own discretion. By gaining Canadian work experience, many foreign nationals will improve their eligibility for Canadian permanent residency


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