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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