Work Permit processing delays

Old Oct 22nd 2020, 11:12 pm
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Default Work Permit processing delays

Hey everyone,

We submitted our work permit applications online in mid July and got our biometrics done a week or two later. This is all from the UK.

The estimated processing times have been at 6 weeks until recently when it went up to 7. We're now 12 weeks in and starting to get a bit frustrated with the wait as we can't book our shipping or generally start the moving process (notifying our landlord & respective employers for example) until we have our permits. We did have a weird issue with my partner's biometrics not showing but that was sorted about 9 or 10 weeks ago. Starting to get paranoid our application has been lost in the system as a result...

I understand there will be delays due to covid but not even having an estimate is extremely stressful. Is anyone else waiting well beyond the stated processing times? Or if you recently applied successfully how long did it take?

I'm supposed to be moving mid February to start a new job but it's starting to feel like it won't happen...
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

What's your NOC code, are you in the one of the ones that they are prioritising? If not, then I'd ignore the usual processing times tbh, with so many offices shut down for a lot of the year, and visa processing halted, and the backlog that's now in place, the normal rules really don't apply. Hopefully it will be before February though, but I wouldn't worry if you're outside of the quoted processing times, as they are unlikely to be accurate now.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

4011. I'm not sure, I couldn't find the list. My guess is probably not though.

Yeah my rational brain is telling me it will be along eventually COVID is pushing everything back but also I'm thinking AAAARGH I NEED TO BOOK THE SHIPPING I NEED TO TELL MY LANDLORD etc.

Not helped by the fact I think I've seen people on here who seemed to apply after me get theirs much quicker even though I don't know their circumstances so there's probably good reason they did...
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 2:30 am
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Umm, not sure if I recall correctly, are you coming over to take up a 2 year work placement at a University, before having to return to the UK for a final year? I don't know if you would be able to enter Canada at the moment with the current situation, which may be why they haven't issued you with your Letter of Introduction yet (you don't normally get your work permit until you enter Canada).... perhaps check this link..
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...rk-permit.html

NOC list: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...tion-code.html

Last edited by Siouxie; Oct 24th 2020 at 2:33 am.
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Umm, not sure if I recall correctly, are you coming over to take up a 2 year work placement at a University, before having to return to the UK for a final year? I don't know if you would be able to enter Canada at the moment with the current situation, which may be why they haven't issued you with your Letter of Introduction yet (you don't normally get your work permit until you enter Canada).... perhaps check this link..
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...rk-permit.html

NOC list: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...tion-code.html
It's a post-doctorate research job but funded (& paid) from outside Canada. I have looked into it in the past and I'm certain that it comes under 4011 - I know it's not listed but I've seen quite a few people say this is the code they were told to use by IRCC for post-doctorate research jobs. I did also find an official note somewhere which said it was included too but I can't recall where.

The university gave me an LMIA exempt job offer that is logged with IRCC and the offer number was included in my application.

I haven't read anything which says they aren't processing work permit applications, only prioritising certain people? I submitted an enquiry and got an auto response which basically said I was in a queue and they are processing applications in the order they came in but didn't give any other info.

As far as I am aware anyone with a letter of introduction or work permit & a job offer can enter Canada on a non-discretionary basis however, it's discretionary if you have an LOI for an open work permit and don't have a job offer (which is my partner's situation though I believe as my common law partner he should be able to get an exemption letter? I am not clear on that process yet)
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
4011. I'm not sure, I couldn't find the list. My guess is probably not though.
Your guess is correct. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...it.html#toc1_1 But as well as not being on the priority list, your application is more complicated, so I'd expect that to take quite a bit longer anyway. Those with LMIA's and 'normal' employment have already gone through some checks, whereas your application is essentially starting from scratch.

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
Yeah my rational brain is telling me it will be along eventually COVID is pushing everything back but also I'm thinking AAAARGH I NEED TO BOOK THE SHIPPING I NEED TO TELL MY LANDLORD etc.
I totally get that, not fun being in limbo.

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
It's a post-doctorate research job but funded (& paid) from outside Canada.
This will be adding a layer of complexity. Just checking, but the employer is in Canada? But they're not paying your wages? Who will be paying your wages?
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Thanks both for all the info!

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
This will be adding a layer of complexity. Just checking, but the employer is in Canada? But they're not paying your wages? Who will be paying your wages?
Yeah. The money technically comes from the European Commission but via a university in the UK who supported my funding application. So I will be employed with a salary in the UK and employed without a salary in Canada but the work actually happens in Canada. It's a strange situation but in academia this kind of arrangement is not uncommon so the canadian employer has experience doing this and my guess is that IRCC will too. My contact in Canada is employed specifically to deal with post-doctoral researchers and I know of at least a few others at the same insitution who have external funding so I am assuming/hoping she knows what she's doing.

Though I would have thought any delays due to complications would mean it would at least show my eligibility check in progress? It has been stuck on the background check stage ever since I submitted the biometrics with everything else just saying I'll be notified by email when they start the next stage. I wonder if the fact that I applied on behalf of my partner for a spousal open work permit at the same time is also adding to the delay...





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Old Oct 24th 2020, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
Yeah. The money technically comes from the European Commission but via a university in the UK who supported my funding application. So I will be employed with a salary in the UK and employed without a salary in Canada but the work actually happens in Canada. It's a strange situation but in academia this kind of arrangement is not uncommon so the canadian employer has experience doing this and my guess is that IRCC will too. My contact in Canada is employed specifically to deal with post-doctoral researchers and I know of at least a few others at the same insitution who have external funding so I am assuming/hoping she knows what she's doing.
It will be fine I'm sure, but it is going to be a more complex application than somebody else who's already got a LMIA and essentially the TWP application is just rubber stamping it all.

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
I wonder if the fact that I applied on behalf of my partner for a spousal open work permit at the same time is also adding to the delay...
Did you also apply for authorisation for her to travel from CIC? She wouldn't be eligible to travel to Canada without an exemption from the travel ban at the mo.
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
It will be fine I'm sure, but it is going to be a more complex application than somebody else who's already got a LMIA and essentially the TWP application is just rubber stamping it all.



Did you also apply for authorisation for her to travel from CIC? She wouldn't be eligible to travel to Canada without an exemption from the travel ban at the mo.
No because we already have ETAs from a (covid-cancelled) holiday we booked before I found out I got the job. When we applied in July we were hoping the borders would be open by the time we travelled but obviously it's looking like that's not going to be the case. My understanding is that because he will have an LOI for an open work permit his entry into the country is 'discretionary' however I was planning on looking into getting an exemption letter just to be extra sure once we have the LOIs. I'm guessing that I can't get one without them. We will have all our common law partnership evidence (along with all the work permit application evidence) with us at the airport regardless just in case.
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
No because we already have ETAs from a (covid-cancelled) holiday we booked before I found out I got the job. When we applied in July we were hoping the borders would be open by the time we travelled but obviously it's looking like that's not going to be the case. My understanding is that because he will have an LOI for an open work permit his entry into the country is 'discretionary' however I was planning on looking into getting an exemption letter just to be extra sure once we have the LOIs. I'm guessing that I can't get one without them. We will have all our common law partnership evidence (along with all the work permit application evidence) with us at the airport regardless just in case.
Already having an Eta is not the issue https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration....html#existing

He will require consent to travel if he doesn't have a work permit.. and will need to apply for an exemption document before he can get on a plane if he doesn't have one.
Little point in going to the airport unless he has one or the other!
Foreign nationals requiring a work permit, whether they are visa required or not, will not be allowed to board a plane departing from any country other than the United States if they don’t have a valid work permit or a letter of introduction (also known as a port of entry [POE] letter).
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...ml#restriction
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Already having an Eta is not the issue https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration....html#existing

He will require consent to travel if he doesn't have a work permit.. and will need to apply for an exemption document before he can get on a plane if he doesn't have one.
Little point in going to the airport unless he has one or the other!

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...ml#restriction
Thanks Souxie, but I think maybe I wasn't clear before - if all goes to plan he should have a letter of introduction for an open work permit and therefore his entry to Canada is 'discretionary' according to the guidance. But yes I am planning on sorting an exemption regardless as I would rather it wasn't just left to the discretion of whoever is in the airport on the day.
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Old Oct 25th 2020, 6:04 am
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
Thanks Souxie, but I think maybe I wasn't clear before - if all goes to plan he should have a letter of introduction for an open work permit and therefore his entry to Canada is 'discretionary' according to the guidance. But yes I am planning on sorting an exemption regardless as I would rather it wasn't just left to the discretion of whoever is in the airport on the day.
It's the aiirline check in (in the UK) you may have to prove it to - they may refuse to allow him to board if he doesn't have the required documentation (it happens).
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Old Nov 20th 2020, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: Work Permit processing delays

So our work permits have finally been approved after a very long wait which is extremely exciting except that on our application, even though it says approved, the only documents showing on our profile are an eTA (which wasn't there before) and a new letter confirming how long our biometrics are valid for. There doesn't appear to be any letter of introduction in the documents section or letters section. Is this normal and it will just take a little while for the letters of introduction to appear or should we be worried?
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