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New Policy Allows Visitors To Apply For Work Permits From Within Canada

Visitors who are currently staying in the maple leaf country with a job offer can now apply for valid work permits from within Canada, thanks to a new public policy announced by the Honourable Minister of Immigration, Marco E.L. Mendicino.

The new policy goes into effect immediately, according to a news release from Canada’s immigration department. It will benefit temporary residents who are already living in Canada with a valid job offer, but it does not apply to anyone arriving in Canada as a visitor after August 24.

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

Before now, individuals applying for their work permits as temporary residents would normally need to apply for their initial work permits before travelling to Canada. If they already hold a visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to return to their home country before coming to Canada to activate the permit.

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

“We are aware of some employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the foreign workers they need during the pandemic,” Marco Mendicino, said in the media release.

“This exemptions from the normal temporary work permit requirements is targetted at removing barriers to create a more viable workforce that leverages visitors with the skills and experience to speed up our economic recovery.”

Canada encouraged temporary resident who lives in Canada to maintain legal status. Given that air travel has been limited around the world, some international visitors have been unable to leave the country, and some foreign skilled workers had to change their status to “visitor” because their work permit was expiring and was not able to apply for a new work permit because they did not have a job offer.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • valid status in Canada as a visitor on or before August 24, 2020, with the intention to reside in Canada;
  • a valid job offer;
  • lodge an application for an employer-specific work permit supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt job offer submitted on or before March 31, 2021; and
  • meet all other standard admissibility requirements.

Applicants who meet all these requirements, and who had a valid work permit in the past twelve (12) months, will be allowed to start working for their new employer before their work permit has been fully approved.

Canada’s immigration department says work permit applicants can contact them through their web form to apply for work authorization while expecting their new permits.