Visitors now allowed to apply for Canada work permit from inside - Canada Visa & Immigration
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Visitors now allowed to apply for Canada work permit from inside

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued, via news release of August 20, 2020, a new temporary public policy that will allow visitors to apply for a work permit without having to leave Canada. The new policy is effective immediately.

Prior to the new policy, foreigners already in Canada with a visitor visa when they were approved for a work permit would need to leave Canada and then return in order to activate the permit.

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According to IRCC, during the pandemic, temporary residents who remained in Canada were encouraged to maintain valid legal status. IRCC said that with air travel limited around the world, some visitors to Canada have been unable to leave, while some foreign workers had to change their status to visitor because their Canada work permit was expiring and they didn’t have a job offer to be able to apply for a new work permit. Some employers in Canada have also faced ongoing labour and skills shortages throughout this period, including those who provide important goods and services that Canadians rely on, stated IRCC.

Eligibility for new Canada work permit policy

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

To be eligible, an applicant looking to benefit from this temporary public policy must

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  • have valid status in Canada as a visitor on August 24, 2020 and remain in Canada
  • have a job offer
  • submit an application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment, no later than March 31, 2021
  • meet all other standard admissibility criteria

This temporary public policy also provides the opportunity for applicants who meet these criteria and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months to begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved. To do so, they need to follow the instructions for the process described here.

Quotes

“We have heard from employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the workers they need during the pandemic. At the same time, some visitors in Canada may be able to contribute their skills where there are labour shortages. The measures introduced today will now allow visitors to apply for work permits without having to leave the country first. This exemption from the normal temporary work permit requirements is aimed at removing barriers to create a more agile workforce that leverages visitors with the skills and experience to accelerate our economic recovery.”

—The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Any type of visitor who meets the criteria is eligible to apply under this new public policy, including super visa holders, business visitors and those who entered Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption. 
  • Foreign nationals who arrive in Canada as visitors after August 24, 2020, are not eligible under the public policy.
  • Prior to this temporary policy change, a person applying as a temporary resident would usually need to apply for their initial work permit before they came to Canada. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to leave Canada and return before their work permit was issued to them.    


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.