Canadian Immigration News

Flagpoling to Renew Your Canadian Visa: What You Need to Know

3.5 minute read
"Many immigration programs require applicants to leave Canada and re-enter to adjust their status to immigrate to Canada. However, oftentimes immigrants use a method known as “flagpoling”. Given the travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, there has been a spike in the number of foreign nationals flagpoling."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 11, 2021
border crossing with lineups of cars my visa source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Recommended For You
Author info:

Many immigration programs require applicants to leave Canada and re-enter to adjust their status to immigrate to Canada. However, oftentimes immigrants use a method known as “flagpoling”. Given the travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, there has been a spike in the number of foreign nationals flagpoling. 

What Is Flagpoling and How Does It Help Renew Canadian Visas?

Flagpoling is a method used by foreign nationals to adjust their status without leaving the country. Foreign nationals exit Canada at the US border but instead of going to the US, the individual re-enters Canada to renew or adjust their status. 

While flagpoling is not an illegal method, it increases problems for the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) officials. To control the spike in flagpoling, the CBSA has restricted the number of days and the times that flagpoling can be conducted at the Port of Entries (POE). 

Who Is Eligible for Flagpoling at the Canadian and US Borders?

Canadian permanent residents, study, or work permit holders use this method to renew or change their immigration status. Many people use this method to save time and energy. Usually, flagpoling saves time while applying to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as after presenting at the POE, the application process takes only about 30 minutes to be completed. 

International students use flagpoling to renew their study permits. Many temporary residents use flagpoling when adjusting their status to permanent residence. So basically, flagpoling happens for several reasons including:

  • Applying for a work permit
  • Receiving a study permit
  • Landing in Canada with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • Applying for a visitor record

What Are the Benefits of Flagpoling?

Benefits of flagpoling include the following:

Expedited Processing Times: 

Compared to processing times when applying through a Canadian embassy or consulate, applying for a visa through flagpoling expedites the process. You usually get the result on your application that same day. 

Easier Application Processing: 

Since flagpoling involves applying for the visa personally at the border, this process ensures that your application is complete and all required documents were submitted. 

As you are present while the application is being processed, the immigration officer can let you know on the spot about any error that needs to be corrected. 

Interact With the Immigration Officer Directly: 

Flagpoling allows you to directly interact with the visa officer to clear any doubts you might have regarding your eligibility, required documents, etc.

The visa officer can also clear any doubts regarding your application. Flagpoling provides the opportunity to understand the particulars of the visa application from the visa officer.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Flagpoling?

Going to the border is the first hurdle in flagpoling. If you live close to the US-Canada border, then it might be a simple trip. Otherwise, it can be an expensive trip to travel to the border.

You will be required to visit the United States for the flagpoling process. Therefore, if you are denied entry to the US, then the process will be incomplete. There is also the risk of being caught between the two countries if you are denied entry to Canada and the US.

What Documents Are Required to Successfully Flagpole?

Based on why you are flagpoling, you will be required to present different documents.

For Renewing Work Permit

To renew your work permit, you will be required to present:

For Renewing Study Permit

To renew your study permit, you will be required to present:

  • A valid passport
  • An official letter from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • Proof of financial support
  • A letter of explanation, Quebec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ), custodian declaration (for minors), if applicable

For Permanent Residence Validation

To validate your permanent residence, you will be required to present:

  • A valid passport or official Travel Document
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) issued by a Canadian visa office
  • Proof of legal temporary residence in Canada in the form of a work permit, study permit, or a temporary resident visa
  • Proof of implied status, if required
Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
Canadian Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine