Visitors inside Canada can apply for Work Permit until 2025

Visitors inside Canada can apply for Work Permit until 2025

Visitors inside Canada can apply for Work Permit until 2025

Foreign nationals visiting Canada on a tourist or visitor visa can apply for work permits until February 28, 2025, but they must fulfill the requirements to support their work permit application. Having a visitor visa and being in Canada does not automatically qualify someone to apply for a work permit.

Interested visitor visa holders must satisfy all the work permit criteria, including a supporting Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a valid job offer (if offered, the job is LMIA-exempt) by the Canadian employer. Most foreign nationals require a work permit to work in Canada, with some exemptions.

To apply for a work permit, most candidates will require a Canadian job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). There are two types of work permits: employer-specific and open work permits. The processing time for a work permit application depends on the type of permit and the applicant’s country of residence at the time of application.

The purpose of this policy

The Canadian government has implemented an interim policy that allows visitor visa holders to apply for a work permit without leaving the country. Prior to this policy, anyone wishing to work in Canada had to apply for their initial work visa from outside the country, and if they were already inside the country with visitor status, they would have to leave before their work permit could be issued,

This policy was initially only for visitors who came before August 24, 2020, and had a job offer in addition to other requirements, but it was later amended to allow all visitor visa holders to apply for a work permit regardless of their date of entry[1]. The purpose of this policy is to provide Canadian firms with another option to address the major worker shortages they are facing during this era of economic development.

Eligibility Criteria To Apply

Applicants seeking to benefit from the temporary public policy in Canada must meet the following criteria:

  •  Have a valid visitor status in Canada on the day of application.
  •  Possess a job offer supported by a labor market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment.
  •  Submit an application for an employer-specific work permit before February 28, 2025, and satisfy all other standard admissibility requirements.
  • Additionally, candidates with visitor status who have held a work permit in the last 12 months under this temporary policy are also eligible if they meet the following criteria:
  •  Must be physically present in Canada when applying and remain in the country during the application process.
  •  Must not depart Canada while the application is being processed.
  •  Must have valid visitor status when applying for a work permit, and if the visitor status has expired, it must be restored before applying for a work permit.
  •  Must have applied for an employer-specific work permit between August 24, 2020, and February 28, 2025, and held a valid work permit in the 12 months before applying for a new work permit.

These criteria aim to provide a pathway for visitor visa holders in Canada to apply for a work permit without leaving the country, addressing the labor market needs and providing opportunities for eligible individuals.

Eligibility Requirements For Interim Authorization To Work

Interim Work Authorization is exclusively extended to individuals holding visitor visas with a valid work permit within the preceding 12 months under this provisional framework.

Upon the submission of a work permit application under this directive, applicants are required to meticulously fulfill the IRCC Web form, adhering to the specific instructions provided by the IRCC.

Ensure comprehensive completion of the designated sections enclosed in square brackets, encompassing:

  • Dates
  • Work permit number (commencing with a "U")
  • Name of your employer
  • Title of your job

Subsequent to the submission of the webform, applicants are required to await an email from IRCC, confirming their eligibility to commence employment.

This interim work authorization serves as a provisional approval until the formal issuance of the work permit, a process that may extend up to 30 days (6 weeks).

What is the Canada visitor visa to work permit processing time?

The current official processing update from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicates that the majority of online work permit applications submitted from within Canada are experiencing an average processing time of 135 days.

In contrast, paper-based applications, upon receipt by the IRCC, are being processed within an average timeframe of 17 days.



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