Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada, it is a statutory requirement that, unless otherwise exempted by IRPA, all the Immigrant Visa applications should be processed at a visa office outside Canada that has jurisdiction over the country of the applicant’s nationality or permanent residence.
However, the law outlines certain exemptions to this general rule:
- Persons determined as protected refugees by the Immigration and Refugee Board according to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as Geneva Convention on Refugees 1951.
- Care-givers, who are in Canada on a Work Permit based on Labour Market Opinion issued by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, can apply for permanent residence from within Canada after working in that capacity for at least two years.
- Foreign Students and Foreign Workers already in Canada and who qualify for permanent immigration under the Canadian Experience Class can apply for permanent immigration visa from within Canada.
- Any foreign national who is already in Canada can applies for permanent immigration from within Canada if married to a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
- A foreign national who is already in Canada can apply for permanent immigration from within Canada by seeking exemption from the general rule to apply from abroad on the basis of Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds if he/she can establish strong ties with Canada and resulting hardships the applicant would face if asked to apply from abroad.