Visitors can now apply for work permits from within Canada

Shelby Thevenot, Daniel Levy
Published: August 24, 2020

International visitors who are currently in Canada with a job offer can now apply for a work permit without having to leave the country.

The new policy goes into effect immediately, according to an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) media release. It will benefit temporary residents who are already in Canada with a job offer, but it does not apply to anyone arriving in Canada as a visitor after today, August 24.

Visitors who meet the eligibility criteria are able to apply to the new temporary immigration policy, which includes Super Visa holders, business visitors, and people who came to Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption.

Contact a lawyer to help you and your employer with the work permit process.

Before today, people applying for their work permits as temporary residents would usually need to apply for their initial work permits before coming to Canada. If they already had visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to leave the country and return in order to activate the permit.

The policy also benefits Canadian employers who are hiring foreign workers, some of whom have faced ongoing labour shortages throughout the pandemic.

“We have heard from employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the workers they need during the pandemic,” Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, said in the release. “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.”

Canada encouraged temporary residents who stayed in Canada to maintain legal status. Given that air travel has been restricted around the world, some visitors have been unable to leave, and some foreign workers had to change their status to "visitor" because their work permit was expiring and they weren't able to apply for a new work permit because they didn't have a job offer.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • valid status in Canada as a visitor on August 24, 2020, with the intention to stay in Canada;
  • a job offer;
  • an application for an employer-specific work permit supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt job offer submitted no later than March 31, 2021; and
  • meet all other standard admissibility criteria.

Applicants who meet all these criteria, and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months, will be able to begin working for their new employer before their work permit has been fully approved.

IRCC says work permit applicants can contact them via their web form to apply for work authorization while waiting on their new permits.

Contact a lawyer to help you and your employer with the work permit process.

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Canada announces measures to help individuals impacted by the ongoing crises in Haiti
A closeup of two people holding hands, with a field in the background.
How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool
A person having an online interview with a recruiter
What should I do if I want to extend my expiring work permit but do not have my new LMIA or CAQ yet? 
male entrepreneurs using cell phone while walking in lobby at office building
How IRCC checks if your offer of employment is genuine
Two people sitting at a table and shaking hands with each other.
Top Stories
Do I need a language test to immigrate to Canada?
IRCC increases number of permits it will process under temporary special measures for Palestinian extended family in Gaza
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Study
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Two men collaborating on a computer project.
Has IRCC’s LOA verification system successfully protected Canadian international students?
Girl using laptop to have a video call with her friend
Which country allows international students to work the most hours?
teacher helping teenager students at College, learning technology and science in preparatory course for university
Who can study in Canada without a study permit?
friends in university or college bonding in a fun social conversation
Link copied to clipboard