Where Should You Apply for a Work Permit

23rd Sep 2019 Comments Off on Where Should You Apply for a Work Permit

Last updated on November 13th, 2021

Prospective temporary foreign workers in addition to deciding which work permit program they will apply to also need to decide how they will apply for their work permit.  There are generally two options.  The first is to apply either online or at a Visa Application Center to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) and wait for it to be approved before travelling to Canada.  The second is to submit the application to the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) when entering Canada.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.

The Initial Work Permit

Foreign nationals who need a temporary resident visa to visit Canada must submit their work permit applications either online or at a Visa Application Center before they travel to Canada.  However, those who do not require a temporary resident visa to visit Canada can apply in person at a port of entry.  There are many advantages to applying at a port of entry, and it is typically the preferred approach. First, while IRCC’s work permit processing times range from two weeks to several months, the CBSA will process work permits on the spot.  Second, many applicants prefer interacting face to face and speaking with the person who is adjudicating their application.  While IRCC will often simply refuse a work permit application because of missing or vague information, the CBSA will essentially interview the person to fill in the gaps.

There are, of course, disadvantages to applying for a work permit in person at a port of entry.  First, some people simply do not interview well, especially if English or French is not their first language.  Second, if CBSA refuses the work permit application, the person will likely be told that they have to go back to their country of origin,

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26th May 2015 Comments Off on Flagpoling

Last updated on August 13th, 2019

“Flagpoling,” also known as “sidedooring,” are terms which describe the process of individuals who are inside Canada travelling briefly to the United States and then upon re-entry to Canada submitting an application at a Canadian port of entry (“POE“).  For most individuals who are eligible to flag-pole it is the preferred method to obtain study permits, work permits, and to have their Confirmations of Permanent Residence signed.  The reason is because it typically takes a Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) officer less than 30 minutes to process an application, whereas it can take Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) weeks or months to either process an application or schedule a landing interview.

Who Can Flag-Pole (Work Permits)

In the work permit context, regulation 198 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (“IRPR”) provides that:

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a foreign national may apply for a work permit when entering Canada if the foreign national is exempt under Division 5 of Part 9 from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa.


(2) A foreign national may not apply for a work permit when entering Canada if

(a) a determination under section 203 is required, unless

(i) the Department of Employment and Social Development has provided an opinion under paragraph 203(2)(a) in respect of an offer of employment — other than seasonal agricultural employment or employment as a live-in caregiver — to the foreign national, or

(ii) the foreign national is a national or permanent resident of the United States or is a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon;

(b) the foreign national does not hold a medical certificate that they are required to hold under subsection 30(4);

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