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Temporary Public Policy | IRCC extends time for visitors inside Canada to apply for work permits!

A temporary public policy that allows visitors to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave Canada will be extended to August 31, 2021. The criteria will also be modified to allow any visitor who has a valid job offer to apply for an employer-specific work permit, regardless of the date they initially entered Canada.

Effective April 1, 2021, an applicant looking to benefit from this temporary public policy must

  • have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply;
  • have remained in Canada with valid status;
  • have a valid job offer;
  • submit an in-Canada 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 August 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 steps on how to get authorization to work while they wait for approval.

More than 1,000 people with visitor status have applied for a work permit through this public policy since it was launched in August 2020. Since March 2020, visitors have been prohibited from coming to Canada unless they are exempt for a specific reason, like reuniting with a family member.

Under this public policy, clients of humanitarian and compassionate grounds in Canada can look for jobs and receive job offers, despite their visitor status. To note, this is an employer-specific work permit rather than an open work permit, thus LMIA is required for applying.

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