On May 27th, 2021, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) official extended access to the A75 work permit for applicants with a valid Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
CSQ holders who wanted to benefit from the A75 work permit prior to May 27th, 2021, must have held valid status in Canada at the time of submission. In practice, however, restoration of status could be applied for at the same time as the A75 permit, although not official IRCC protocol.
What is an A75 work permit?
The A75 work permit is the Quebec equivalent to the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), an open work permit designed to allow applicants the ability to extend their work authorization in Canada, while they await a decision of their permanent residency application. Applicants who have submitted an application through the province of Quebec are not eligible to apply for a BOWP. Instead, those who have received their CSQ can apply for an A75 work permit. This work permit allows them to continue work in Quebec while their permanent residency application is processed.
Unlike the BOWP, the A75 work permit is an employer-specific work permit, valid for a period of 2 years. An applicant can apply for subsequent work permits so long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. Issuance of subsequent permits is on a case-by-case basis and limited to an additional 1-year in duration.
Who qualifies for an A75 work permit?
As a result of this update, applicants who satisfy the following criteria may now apply for a A75 work permit:
- Currently reside in the province of Quebec;
- Be in one of the following situations:
- have a valid work permit (including an open work permit);
- have applied to extend their work permit before it expired (maintained status);
- be eligible for restoration as a worker.
- Have an offer of employment submitted by the employer to IRCC as part of the employer compliance requirement;
- Hold a CSQ under the Quebec Skilled worker class;
- Have a valid CSQ at the time of submission of their initial A75 work permit OR have submitted their application for permanent residency to the federal government;
- Fall into one of the following categories:
- Seek to extend or to obtain an employer-specific work permit for an employer in the province of Quebec;
- Hold a post-graduation work permit and an offer of employment in the province of Quebec;
- Have a co-op work permit and an offer of employment in the province of Quebec;
- Have a work permit under the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program.
What does this update mean?
Although IRCC unofficially processed A75 with restoration requests, this was not a well-known fact and the processing officer was under no obligation to do so. With this program update, it is now clear that applicants on maintained status or those eligible to restore their status can apply for an A75 work permit. In addition to this, in conjunction with the public policy extending the period an applicant may restore their status, this update allows more out-of-status CSQ holders, who are presently in Canada, the ability to apply for a Canadian work permit.