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Temporary public policy allows certain visitors in Canada to apply for a Canadian work permit.

Factory workers with face mask protect from outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Effective April 1st 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will accept work permit applications from foreign nationals in Canada on a valid visit visa who have a Canadian job offer.

As a result of the COVID 19 outbreak, there has been an increase in the number of foreign nationals in Canada without the ability to seek employment. This new public policy seeks to address this.

Who could apply for a Work Permit in Canada before this public policy?

Prior to this public policy, an applicant could only apply for a work permit from within Canada if one of the following applied:

  • You have a valid study or work permit;
  • Your spouse, common-law partner or parent has a valid study or work permit;
  • You’re eligible for a post-graduation work permit and your study permit is still valid;
  • You have a post-graduation work permit that has expired or will expire in the next 4 months;
  • You or your spouse, common-law partner or parent has a temporary resident permit that is valid for 6 months or more;
  • you’re waiting on a decision on an application for permanent residence for the
    • in-Canada spousal class;
    • temporary resident permit holder class;
  • You made or will make a claim for refugee protection;
  • You’ve been recognized as a Convention refugee or protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada;
  • You’re allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but you need a work permit to work in a different job (this does not apply to business visitors);
  • You’re a trader, investor, intra-company transferee or professional under the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

Who can apply for a Work Permit in Canada under this public policy?

Although we have seen record rates of unemployment across Canada this last year, labour shortages continue in key areas of the Canadian economy, including in sectors traditionally filled by foreign nationals. With less people coming to Canada during COVID 19, many industries are feeling the absence of those foreign workers. This public policy hopes to allow In-Canada visitors to fill these gaps. Allowing visitors to apply for work permits associated with a job offer while in Canada would give foreign nationals with visitor status the ability to support themselves during their time in Canada while also addressing employer needs.

This public policy will

  • Permit eligible foreign nationals with valid temporary resident status to apply for a job offer-supported work permit from inside Canada;
  • Exempt eligible foreign nationals from the requirement that a work permit not be issued if they have not complied with certain temporary resident conditions; and
  • Allow eligible former temporary foreign workers to work while a decision on their work permit application is pending.

Who is eligible under the public policy to apply for an in Canada Work Permit?

To be eligible to apply under this public policy, the applicant must:

  1. Have submitted an in-Canada work permit application with an approved offer of employment, for which a decision has not been made;
  2. Was in Canada with valid temporary resident status when the work permit application referred to in (i) was submitted and has since remained in Canada with valid temporary resident status;
  3. Have held a valid work permit in the 12 months preceding the date on which they submitted their application for a work permit under this public policy;
  4. Intends to work for the employer and/or occupation as specified by the job offer included in their work permit application;
  5. Has applied to IRCC for the public policy exemption listed in (B.) below using the electronic means identified by the department for that purpose; and
  6. Has requested that the exemption listed in (B.) be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application.

How long is this public policy in effect?

This public policy takes effect on April 1, 2021 and expires on August 31, 2021.

Rebecca Major

Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and Director of Operations at Canadim Law Firm. She has spent the last 11 years of her career helping thousands of people immigrate to Canada.

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