Special immigration measures extended for Iranian nationals in Canada as temporary residents

Edana Robitaille
Published: March 2, 2024

Canada has announced that it will extend the special measures put in place for Iranians in Canada as temporary residents.

The measures were originally announced in February 2023 as a means of supporting Iranians in Canada during a time of turmoil in Iran and set to expire last week. They will now expire as of February 28, 2025. IRCC says that they have been extended because while protests in Iran have subsided, the situation remains unstable.

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During the initial release, the Canadian government said the special measures:

  • Make it easier for those in Canada on a temporary work, study, or visitor visa to apply for an extension from inside Canada.
  • Process applications from Iranians living in Canada on a priority basis.
  • Introduce a new open work permit pathway for Iranians already living here.
  • Waive certain processing fees for Iranians who wish to extend their stay in Canada.
  • Waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents currently in Iran who wish to leave.

Among the processing fees waived, Iranian applicants in Canada will not be required to pay the processing fee for a temporary resident permit, the application processing fee for an extension of authorization to remain in Canada as a temporary resident, or the fee for the collection of biometrics.

To be eligible, applicants must be Iranian nationals with a valid Iranian passport. They must also have valid temporary resident status both when they apply and when a decision is made on their application.

Open work permit pathway for Iranians

Eligible Iranian nationals may apply for an open work permit. An open work permit allows holders to work for almost any employer in Canada, in any industry.

Further, they may apply for new temporary resident streams (for example, from a visitor visa to a study permit) without paying a fee. If one visa or permit expires after they have applied for a new stream, they will be considered to have maintained status.

Iran is a top source country for Canadian citizens

Canada is a popular destination for Iranians. According to data from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Iranians were the fifth highest number of newcomers who became Canadian citizens between January and September 2023.

Further, data from IRCC shows that there were also 14,780 Iranian nationals with Canadian study permits at the end of 2023 and 10,670 permanent residents.

Additionally, IRCC data also shows that in 2022, Iran was the eighth leading source country for immigrant landings. Specifically, 11,105 Iranians became permanent residents that year.

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