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UPDATE: Temporary Policy Allowing Visitors to Apply For a Work Permit Without Leaving Canada

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Business Travel to Canada, Business Visitors and Coronavirus - COVID

UPDATE: Temporary Policy Allowing Visitors to Apply For a Work Permit Without Leaving Canada

Canada's government has released an update to the temporary policy allowing visitors to Canada who have a valid job offer to apply for a work permit without the normal requirement to leave the country. This change is intended to benefit Canadian employers who are still facing difficulties finding workers during COVID restrictions. First announced on August 25 by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada’s Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said:

"The measures introduced today will now allow visitors to apply for work permits without having to leave the country first. 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.”

Legal Visitors Can Temporarily Apply for a Work Permit From Within Canada

Prior to this temporary policy change, someone applying as a temporary resident would usually need to apply for their initial work permit before they came to Canada. COVID travel restrictions and the closing of the Canadian border to non-essential travel address the new measure ended the need for foreign nationals to leave Canada and come back in order to activate the visa.

The policy update clarifies the requirements for a foreign national to be eligible to apply for an employer-specific work permit without leaving the country. The foreign national:

  • needs to have legal visitor status in Canada
  • may also be in Canada on implied status
  • need to have been physically present in Canada on August 24, 2020
  • cannot have not left the country since August 24, 2020
  • can only submit an application for an employer-specific work permit
  • have a job offer
  • submit an application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment, no later than March 31, 2021
  • must meet all other standard admissibility criteria
  • will not be denied a work permit if they have not complied with certain temporary residence conditions
  • may be allowed to work while a decision on their work permit is pending

"Any type of visitor who meets the criteria is eligible to apply under this new public policy, including super visa holders, business visitors and those who entered Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption." - IRCC

Learn More:

COVID-Related Business Immigration Solutions

COVID's impact on Canada's business immigration has affected big corporations and small business owners. For more information and solutions for crossing borders seamlessly to work in Canada or the United States and other business immigration solutions during COVID, contact Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (587) 324-2232 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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