The Canadian government has recently made an important announcement regarding temporary policies that allow foreign nationals visiting Canada to apply for work permits without having to leave the country. Initially introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, these policies have now been extended for an additional two years until February 28, 2025. This extension aims to address the labour shortages that Canadian employers have been facing during the country’s period of economic expansion.
1. Work Permit Eligibility: Foreign nationals who are currently in Canada as visitors can apply for an employer-specific work permit under this policy if they receive a valid job offer supported by a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment.
2. Work Permit Application: Applicants must have valid visitor status in Canada on the day they submit their work permit application. The deadline to apply for an employer-specific work permit under this temporary public policy is February 28, 2025. Additionally, applicants must meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
3. Interim Work Authorization: Visitors who have held a valid work permit within the last 12 months can take advantage of special instructions that allow them to obtain interim work authorization. This authorization enables them to start working for their new employer before their work permit application is finalized.
4. No Need to Leave Canada: Previously, individuals had to apply for their initial work permit before coming to Canada. If they were already in Canada as visitors and received approval for a work permit, they had to leave the country to be issued their work permit. However, this policy extension now allows visitors to apply for and receive work permits without having to leave Canada.
The extension of this temporary policy is an excellent opportunity for Canadian employers. It offers a viable solution to address the labour shortages experienced during the current period of economic expansion. Foreign nationals who hold valid visitor status and have a job offer supported by an LMIA or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment are encouraged to apply for an employer-specific work permit before February 28, 2025. Additionally, applicants who have held a valid work permit within the last 12 months can benefit from interim work authorization, allowing them to start working for their new employer sooner.
Reference: [Canada’s Immigration Website](https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/visit-to-work.html)