IRCC Extends Policy: Visitors Can Get Work Permits until 2025

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced the extension of a temporary public policy that enables foreign nationals who have an available job offer while in Canada to be able to apply for as well as receive a work permit.

This policy will be in place until February 28, 2025. To qualify, applicants must have valid status in the country as a visitor on the day they submit the application, have an offer of employment that has been supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or is LMIA-exempt, and meet all other regular admissibility requirements.

Canada’s Work Permit Policy Update

The temporary public policy from the COVID-19 period was scheduled to terminate on 28 February 2023 and has been extended. This policy joins Canada’s many others that encourage immigrants to enter and remain in Canada in order to join the labour market.

Any foreign visitor who is in Canada and gets an employment offer is eligible to file for and be granted a work permit. This policy is set to run until February 2025.

Prior to the policy alteration, applicants typically needed to obtain a work permit before entering Canada. To receive their work permit while in Canada with tourist status, they had no choice but to leave and re-enter the nation. An amendment of this policy has eliminated that step entirely - making it much easier for those wishing to travel or live in Canada.

When COVID-related travel restrictions were in place and it was difficult for newcomers to enter the country from overseas, the measure was originally introduced to assist employers in Canada fill urgent labor shortages.

Requirements to Apply

In order to be considered for this temporary state policy, a candidate must:

  • Have a job offer that is backed by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment.
  • Have legal visitor status in Canada on the day they apply.
  • Must Submit applications for employer-specific work permits by February 28, 2025.
  • Satisfy every other normal criterion for admissibility such as language requirements

A legitimate job offer must meet several criteria to be considered by Canadian immigration authorities. This includes being a written full-time, non-seasonal position with a one-year or longer duration of employment; the employer must also receive either a positive or even neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Additionally, a LMIA exemption is an acceptable alternative as well.

Applying for this important document is essential if you're an employer hoping to hire foreign workers. ESDC will examine the impact of your decision on the Canadian economy, including whether or not it will have positive, neutral or negative consequences. If they assess that it'll be detrimental in any way, then unfortunately, you won't be eligible to employ foreign nationals.

Changes For Visitors

Anyone in Canada with visitor status who had a work permit in the last year but does not presently have one can follow special instructions to obtain temporary work authorization to start working for their new employer even before their work permit application is approved to increase the labour force in Canada.

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