New Policy Allows Foreign Nationals To Apply For Work Permits Without Leaving Canada

IRCC Refines Eligibility Requirements For Employer-Specific Work Permit Policy

One month after it was formally announced, detailed information regarding the eligibility requirements for a new temporary policy benefiting temporary residents with job offers has been revealed by Immigration, Refugees And Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The policy, which was announced back in August, allows foreign nationals that have valid immigration status and meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a job offer-supported work permit from inside Canada.

The policy also ensures that qualifying foreign nationals will not be denied a work permit, as long as they comply with certain temporary residence conditions. An additional benefit is that temporary foreign workers may also be allowed to work while their work permit decision is still pending.

Prior to this policy being adopted, foreign nationals were required to leave Canada and come back in order to “activate” their visa. However, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place back in March, the practice has since stopped.

According to CIC News, Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino previously said that the new measure will be beneficial to temporary foreign workers and Canadian employers as it gives them the opportunity to skip this step while travel restrictions are in place.

“We have heard from employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the workers they need during the pandemic,” Mendicino stated in a press 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.”

Eligibility Requirements

The main requirement for foreign nationals looking to apply for an employer-specific work permit without leaving the country is that they must obtain legal visitor status in Canada. This can also include having implied status.

The expiry date of the period of authorized stay will be considered the decision date on the submitted application by IRCC officers.

Temporary foreign workers who have changed their status to “visitor” will also be able to work if they can meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Hold a valid temporary resident status as a visitor and be physically present in Canada since August 24, 2020
  • Held a valid work permit in the past 12 months prior to the date their work permit was submitted under the new policy
  • The intention to work for the employer and the occupation specified by the LMIA or LMIA-exempt offer of employment included in their work permit application submitted under the new policy
  • Applied to the IRCC for the interim approval to start working using the IRCC webform
  • Requested that their authorization to work be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application

For more information regarding the temporary policy, consult with the IRCC website.