Temporary policy for visitor work permits
extended to 2025
by Michael Scott
One of the more exciting provisions for visitors has been the opportunity for them to apply for a work permit from inside Canada. This provision was set to end on February 28, 2023, and many tried to beat the deadline by obtaining an approved job offer. If you were too late or did not obtain the needed job offer, do not despair. At the last moment, IRCC extended the temporary policy for two years. The new end date for the policy exemption is now February 25, 2025. The conditions of the policy are set forth below.
Foreign visitors who are in Canada as visitors and who receive a valid job offer will be able to apply for a change from visitor to work permit from inside the country. Visitors applying under this policy initiative, who held a work permit within the last 12 months, will also be able to request interim work authorization to begin working for a new employer.
Prior to this temporary policy change, those applying to work in Canada were required to apply for their work permit from outside Canada, from the home country or a country in which they have had legal status for one year. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would have to leave Canada to be issued a work permit. The public policy benefits both groups in terms of application options.
In order to take advantage of the two-year extension, applicants must meet the following requirements. They must:
- Have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply for the work permit;
- Have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) job offer or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment;
- Submit their application for an employer-specific work permit no later than the new expiration date;
- Have remained in Canada with status since application submission and intend to remain in Canada throughout the period during which their work permit is being processed; and
- Meet all other criteria required.
The submission of an employer-specific work permit application can be done on-line using the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay, or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM5710). It is important to answer the individual questions correctly. Your present status would be “a visitor,” and you are to apply for a term over or under six months. When asked, “Are you applying under the Canada-USA-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or under a public policy related to work permits as announced by IRCC for an employer specific work permit?” Answer “Yes.”
Good luck with your submissions and let visitors know about the extension of the public policy option. The extension is a positive indication of the effectiveness of this measure. Canada should and is doing what it can to retain persons who chose this country and want to remain inside as workers. We need a steady supply of foreign workers, and the inventory of foreign visitors is one potential pool for applicants. They already chose the country and often have local supports. They only need permission to transition to work permits, which in turn can lead to future permanent resident applications under provincial nominee programs or Express Entry. Good luck to all visitors currently in Canada looking for LMIA approved job offers.
Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.