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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

New deadline for visitors

to apply for Canadian work permit

by Michael Scott

Canada continues to find novel ways to retain visitors to the country as a potential source of permanent immigration. The country is challenged, along with other first world countries, to find workers necessary to fuel a post-pandemic economic recovery. It makes good sense to focus on persons who have already chosen Canada and are present inside the country as a secure source of labour. Canada announced an extension of a temporary policy, which was introduced one year ago, to help employers find temporary residents to enter the workforce.

The government has announced that it is extending the opportunity for visitors to apply for work permits from inside the country to February 28, 2022. The temporary change gives visitors who are in Canada with valid status can apply for an employer-specific work permit from inside Canada. This is contrary to the normal procedure where the application for the work permit would have to be submitted from the home country or a country in which the person has continuing status for one year.

The pool of persons on visitor status has increased in number because of the challenges facing applicants due to the pandemic, limits on worldwide travel, and entry requirements. Many foreign workers were forced to change temporary status to visitors and were also unable to leave the country. Initially the opportunity was limited to visitors who were in status and inside Canada before August 24, 2020, but IRCC has changed the eligibility date to include all visitors, regardless of when they entered Canada.

To be eligible for an employer-specific work permit, applicants must:

  • be in Canada with valid temporary residence status, which must still be enforce when they apply for the work permit;
  • have included an employer-specific LMIA approved work permit;
  • have remained inside Canada with valid status;
  • submit the application before February 28, 2022;
  • intend to work for their employer in the occupation specified on their work permit application; and
  • complete an IRCC web form.

Canada is beginning to ease some of the pandemic restrictions in recent weeks and the country is increasing its efforts to expand the workforce. The idea of extending opportunities to visitors inside the country is a potential benefit to both to the country and the applicants. Canada needs a ready supply of workers as business reopen and economic opportunities increase. According to some reports there were a total of 815,800 unfilled vacancies in June, which is the highest level of job openings reported in the country since October 2020. The country must do more to open up immigration which has historically been the way Canada grows its population and its labour supply. We are a country built on immigration and must face the realities of declining birth rates, COVID infections and competitions from other countries desperate to attract the brightest and best workers from abroad.

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:

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