If you’re currently in Canada on a tourist or visitor visa, the good news is that you can still apply for a work permit until February 28, 2025. It’s important to note that meeting the necessary requirements is crucial for a successful work permit application.
For those eager to explore this opportunity, holding a visitor visa and being present in Canada doesn’t automatically qualify you for a work permit. Interested individuals must fulfill all the work permit criteria, which may include obtaining a supporting Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a valid job offer, provided the job is LMIA-exempt.
This initiative, initially introduced in 2020 and recently extended until February 28, 2023, allows foreign nationals visiting Canada to apply for and receive a work visa without having to leave the country, given they secure a valid job offer. Moreover, those applying under this public policy, who have held a work permit in the last 12 months, can request interim work authorization for an earlier start with their new employer.
The continuation of this interim policy aims to provide Canadian firms with an additional option to address significant worker shortages during this period of economic development. Before this temporary adjustment, anyone wanting to work in Canada had to initiate their work visa application from outside the country and, if already inside as a visitor, would have to leave before their work permit could be processed.
The policy, initially applicable to visitors entering before August 24, 2020, with a job offer, was later expanded to include all visitor visa holders, regardless of their entry date.
Those with visitor status who held a work permit in the last 12 months under this policy are also eligible if they meet specific criteria, including being physically present in Canada during the application process.
Visitor visa holders who held a valid work permit in the last 12 months can follow specific guidelines to obtain interim work authorization. After submitting a work permit application, applicants must complete an IRCC Web form with specified details, including dates, work permit number, employer name, and job title. Upon receiving an email from IRCC, applicants can start working with interim authorization, a process that may take up to 30 days (6 weeks).
For those wondering about processing times, online work permit applications from inside Canada are currently averaging 135 days, while paper-based applications take around 17 days after being received by IRCC.
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