Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that temporary residents inside Canada who wish to extend their temporary status now must apply electronically, unless they qualify for one of a handful of exceptions. Effective June 4, 2019, this new regulation will eliminate a high volume of paper-based applications, furthering Canada’s transition to a predominantly electronic immigration application system.
Temporary residents may include foreign workers on a work permit, international students, and visitors to Canada.
Over the past decade, Canada has made many immigration applications available online through IRCC’s web portal. The latest regulation, an amendment to previous policies, requires that temporary residence applicants residing in Canada must apply electronically if online applications are an option.
The following categories of applications will be subject to the mandatory electronic applications:
- Extensions of temporary resident status made from within Canada;
- Study or work permit applications made from within Canada; and
- Renewals of study or work permits made from within Canada.
Exceptions will be made for applicants with certain disabilities, as well as in certain outage situations where the system is taken offline. Additionally, IRCC will continue accepting paper applications from a handful of temporary residence applicants residing in Canada. Applicants can use IRCC’s Come to Canada tool to verify the procedure for their application.
Online applications to the IRCC web portal are generally processed more quickly than paper-based applications. To find out the latest processing standards for any type of application, please visit this tool.