IRCC Announces Extension of Temporary Policy for Visitor Visa Holders
- IRCC announces a two-year extension to the temporary policy allowing visitor visa holders to apply for work permits within Canada.
- The policy was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to help fill labor shortages in the country and has now been extended until February 28, 2025.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced a two-year extension to a temporary policy that allows visitor visa holders to apply for work permits within Canada. This policy was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to help fill the labor shortages in the country and was due to expire today. However, the government has decided to extend the policy until February 28, 2025, in response to the ongoing labor shortages and to provide foreign nationals with an opportunity to work and contribute to the Canadian economy.
Under this policy, foreign nationals who are visiting Canada and receive a genuine employment offer will be able to apply for and receive a work permit without leaving the country. The policy applies to those who have a valid visitor status in Canada and who have a job offer backed by a labor market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment. The applicant must also meet all standard admissibility requirements and submit their application for an employer-specific work permit by February 28, 2025.
Visitor visa holders who have held a work permit within the past 12 months under this temporary policy are also eligible to apply for an interim work authorization. To obtain this authorization, the applicant must be physically present in Canada, must remain in the country while their application is being processed, and must be a visitor with a valid status. If their visitor status has expired, they must restore it before applying for a work permit.
To get interim work authorization, the applicant must fill out an IRCC web form and wait for an email from IRCC confirming that they may begin working. This process can take up to 30 days (6 weeks).
In conclusion, the extension of the temporary policy allowing visitor visa holders to apply for a work permit within Canada is a positive development for those who are visiting the country and who have received a genuine employment offer. The policy provides foreign nationals with an opportunity to work and contribute to the Canadian economy while they are in the country and also provides Canadian companies with another option to fill labor shortages, especially during the ongoing pandemic.