Visitors are now eligible to apply for work permits from inside Canada
International visitors who are presently living in Canada with employment offers can now apply for a Canada work permit without the need to leave the country.
According to a media release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the new strategy goes into effect immediately. It would help temporary immigrants who are already in Canada with a work offer, but this will not apply to those arriving in Canada as a tourist after 24 August.
Travellers who meet the eligibility requirements will apply under a new temporary immigration program, which covers Super Visa holders, business visitors and citizens who have been to Canada under a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption.
Until now, people applying for their Canada work permits as temporary immigrants will typically have to apply for their initial work permit until moving to Canada. If they had already been given a tourist status when they were given a work permit, they would have to move out of the country and return to enable the permit.
The program also supports Canadian employers who recruit foreign employees, some of whom may have faced continuing labour shortages during the pandemic.
''We have heard from employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the workers they need during the pandemic, ''Canada's immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, said in the release. ''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.''
Canada has allowed temporary immigrants who have lived in Canada to retain legal status. Because air travel has been limited around the world, some tourists have been unable to exit the country, and some migrant workers changed their status as ''tourists'' because their work permit has expired and they have not been able to apply for a new Canada work permit because they have no job offer.
Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:
✔ valid status in Canada as a visitor on August 24, 2020, with the intention to stay in Canada;
✔ a job offer;
✔ an application for an employer-specific work permit supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt job offer submitted no later than March 31, 2021; and
✔ meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
Candidates who meet all these requirements, and have had a valid Canada work permit in the previous 12 months, will be eligible to begin working with their new employer until their work permit has been completely accepted.
IRCC says work permit seekers can contact them through their web form to register for work authorization whilst waiting for their new work permits.