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Temporary policy change lets visitors with job offers apply for work permits without leaving Canada

Deadline for making applications under new policy is Mar. 31, 2021

Temporary policy change lets visitors with job offers apply for work permits without leaving Canada

Visitors with a job offer can now apply for a work permit and, upon approval, receive such permit without needing to leave the country, care of a temporary public policy change.

Effective immediately, individuals who have a valid status as a visitor, who were in Canada on Aug. 24 and who stayed in the country since, who have a valid job offer and who comply with all the other admissibility requirements can apply for an employer-specific work permit, according to a news release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Applications must be submitted by Mar. 31, 2021 and should include a Labour Market Impact Assessment or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment. All visitors who comply with the aforementioned criteria may apply, including super visa holders, business visitors, and persons who entered Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption.

Eligible applicants who meet all the criteria and who held a valid work permit within the past 12 months may also start working for a new employer prior to the full approval of their work permit applications by following the required steps.

The temporary policy change aims to benefit both visitors and employers. The government seeks to address the situation in which, following air travel restrictions, visitors could not leave the country. Some foreign workers also needed to change their status to visitor due to the expiry of their work permit and the lack of a new job offer to apply for a new work permit. The change is expected to help these individuals maintain their valid legal status.

“This exemption from the normal temporary work permit requirements is aimed at removing barriers to create a more agile workforce that leverages visitors with the skills and experience to accelerate our economic recovery,” said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco E.L. Mendicino.

Employers, notably those providing important goods and services to Canadians and who are experiencing labour and skills shortages amid the pandemic, may potentially also benefit from this change.

Before, those applying as temporary residents to Canada typically had to apply for their work permits before arriving in the country. Visitors to Canada who received approvals for their work permits were also required to leave the country and then return before they could receive their work permits.

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