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.