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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

What Is Canadian Flagpoling?

If You're Wondering; 'What Is Flagpoling And How Does It Work?' Then You'll Find This Blog Helpful.

Applying for a Canadian work permit outside of Canada or even from within Canada can be a long and tedious process. Often you need to apply outside of Canada, or you are required to leave the country and that can be a lengthy and costly process. Flagpoling is where you can fast-track the activation or application for your work permit and apply at the border.

Who can apply for a work permit at the border?

  1. Most TRV-exempt nationals can apply at the border for work permits, you can fly to the airport on your ETA or drive to the border and apply for your work permit at the Port of Entry.

  2. Those who already have approval after applying online: You can travel to the Port of Entry and obtain your Canadian permit. This is also a process to use if you lost a permit or never received it, a CBSA officer can reprint it for you at the Port of Entry.

  3. If you are already in Canada, you can also apply for a permit at the POE, regardless of whether you need a TRV or not. There is a section in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, section190(3(f) which says that if you go to a contiguous country, therefore if you go to the United States, you are allowed to flagpole because you’re visiting a contiguous country. This can be a useful tool for those already in Canada who need a new permit or who need to change their condition on their current permit.

How does it work?

  1. Travel to the Canadian border, this can be at the airport, or often at the Canada/ US Border. On reaching the border booth(s), advise the border official that you are flagpoling and want to apply for a work permit, or activate a work permit.

  2. They will then give you a referral piece of paper and lead you inside the US immigration office.

  3. You will then be asked to complete a Refusal of Admission Form, then send you back to the Canadian side. Follow the directions given.

  4. To activate your new work permit in the CBSA office, you need to have all your correct documents at hand (ie. proof of funds, POE letter, forms, job offer letter, etc.)

When not to apply at the border

  • If you are applying for restoration of your temporary status.

  • If you are out-of-status in Canada or on maintained status as a result of an extension

  • If you have any negative US immigration history, or are from a country with poor diplomacy with the United States.

Important points to Keep in mind

Misrepresentation is an issue with Port of Entry applications! You need to be careful about what you say to the border, as it can affect future applications. For example, if you are coming for business purposes or to interview for jobs, and eventually will apply for a work permit, we ensure that you give CBSA a letter explaining this. Do not answer questions that aren’t asked of you by the CBSA officer.

Your employer in Canada should be notified that you are flagpoling so that they can be on standby if and when a CBSA officer chooses to phone them during this process.

We’d Love to Help

Flagpoling is a confusing loophole, and many issues could arise at the border. Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is here to help. We will answer any questions and ensure you are fully prepared. We can help you prepare the correct documentation to obtain the work permit at the Canadian Port of Entry.


Our Services

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

Moving To Canada - 2022's Guide to Life in Canada.

I’ve written this guide to help you with the big picture planning, detailing everything you need to know and do before, during and after this amazing process. This is more information than any other consultant is willing to share upfront at such a low rate!

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