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New Policy Allows You to Apply for Work Permit as a Visitor in Canada

Posted on 26/08/2020

Are you a visitor in Canada who would like to apply for a work permit? Previously, you had to leave Canada if you were in Canada as a visitor and then return in order to be given your work permit at your Port of Entry (POE – generally the airport that you arrive in Canada at), or you applied from abroad.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada we have:

  • Visitors who have been stuck in Canada unable to travel back home
  • Employers in Canada who need workers to get the economy growing again after the cutbacks resulting from public health restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

To deal with both these situations, Canadian immigration authorities have put in place a temporary policy for people who may be in Canada and also who may have the skills needed by employers. The policy enables them to apply for a work permit from within Canada and have the work permit mailed to their Canadian address, rather than having them leave and return to Canada as was done prior to the lockdowns.

Here’s how the new policy works.

Who qualifies to apply for work permit as a visitor in Canada:

To be eligible you must:

  • Have valid status as a visitor to Canada as of August 24, 2020
  • Remain in Canada
  • Have a job offer from a legitimate Canadian employer for a valid, full-time job
  • Submit an application for an employer-specific work permit that is:
    • Supported by a Labour-Market-Impact-Assessment (LMIA) or,
    • Is an LMIA-exempt job offer
    • No later than March 31, 2121 in either case
  • Meet all the standard admissibility criteria required by Canadian immigration authorities

Eligibility to start working while your application is processed

You may be able to start working for your Canadian employer while your application is being processed if you:

  • Were physically present in Canada as of August 24, 2020
  • Have not left the country
  • Have a valid visitor visa (or valid visitor status) when you apply
    • If your visitor visa has expired you need to apply to restore your visitor status and only after your status is restored, then apply for a work permit.
  • Have held a valid work permit that was valid at some point during the past 12 months. In other words, it can’t have expired more than a year before you apply for your new work permit.

How to obtain authorization to start working while permit application is processed

Step 1: After you have applied for your work permit, go here to fill out an IRCC Web Form. When you fill out the Your enquiry section of the web form copy and paste the following text:

Priority Code VISIT2WORK2020: I am requesting consideration under the Temporary Public Policy to Exempt Certain Visitors in Canada from Immigration Requirements during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and ask that the applicable exemptions be granted until a decision is made on my work permit application or it is withdrawn.

My previous work permit number [U#########] expired on [Date].

I have submitted my application for a work permit online. OR I have submitted my application on paper and the postal/courier tracking number is NUMBER.

I intend to work for [employer NAME] / [occupation] as specified in the aforementioned work permit application.

I understand that providing false, misleading or incorrect information is a violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and may result in enforcement measures against me.

Make sure you fill in the appropriate dates, work permit number, employer name, and job title as indicated by the square brackets in the text above. Include your courier tracking number if you applied on paper and are unsure of your application number.

Step 2: Wait for immigration authorities to contact you by email. This could take up to 30 business days. You may not start working until the authorities contact you and authorize you to start working.

Posted in News Tips and tagged Visitor Visa, Work Permit

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