Canada has extended the ability for visitors to apply for work permits until February 28, 2025.
But hold on, it’s not as simple as just submitting any old application. You need to meet certain requirements to support your work permit application.
First things first, having a visitor visa in Canada doesn’t automatically mean you can get a permit. You have to meet all the work permit criteria, and that includes having a supporting Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (if the job is LMIA-exempt).
Now, as long as you’re a foreign national visiting Canada and you have a valid job offer, you can apply for a work visa without leaving the country.
This is a big deal because, before this policy, anyone wanting to work in Canada had to apply for their first work visa from outside the country. If they were already in Canada as a visitor, they had to leave before getting their work permit. But not anymore, thanks to this policy.
Originally, this policy was only for visitors who came before August 24, 2020, and had a job offer. But later, it was changed to include all visitor visa holders, regardless of when they entered Canada.
Key Features of the Policy:
- Eligibility: Visitors can apply for work permits if they meet certain criteria.
- Interim Work Authorization: Eligible visitors can request authorization to start working before their application is finalized.
- Policy Goals: Addresses labor shortages by providing a flexible pathway for visitors to join the workforce.
To qualify, you must:
- Have a valid visitor status in Canada when you apply.
- Have a job offer supported by an LMIA or an LMIA-exempt offer.
- Submit your application for an employer-specific work permit before February 28, 2025.
- Meet all other standard admissibility requirements.
Interim Work Authorization Process
If you’ve had a work permit in the last 12 months under this policy, you can also apply for an interim Work Authorization. This allows you to start working for a new employer while your application is being processed.
Here are the eligibility requirements:
- Be physically present in Canada when you apply.
- Stay in the country while your application is processed.
- Don’t leave Canada while your application is in progress.
- Apply for a work permit as a visitor with valid status.
- Renew your visitor status if it has expired.
- Applied for an employer-specific work permit between August 24, 2020, and February 28, 2025.
- Had a valid work permit in the 12 months before applying for a new one.
Steps to Apply for Interim Authorization:
After submitting an application under this temporary policy, Fill out the IRCC Web form with the provided message and wait for an email saying you can start working.
This interim authorization lasts up to 30 days (6 weeks) before you get the actual work permit.
Application Processing Time For Work Permit:
For those wondering about processing times, online work permit applications from inside Canada take around 135 days, while paper-based applications take about 17 days after the IRCC receives them.