Foreign nationals who are in Canada as visitors and who receive a valid job offer will continue to be able to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave the country. Visitors applying under this public policy who held a work permit within the last 12 months will also continue to be able to request interim work authorization to begin working for their new employer more quickly. Set to expire today, this COVID-era temporary public policy has been extended by 2 years, until February 28, 2025. Leaving this temporary policy in place makes visitors an option for employers in Canada, as many are facing significant labour shortages during this period of economic expansion.
Prior to this temporary policy change, those applying to work in Canada would typically need to apply for their initial work permit before they came to Canada. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to leave Canada to be issued their work permit. With this policy in place, leaving Canada isn’t necessary.
To be eligible to apply, an applicant looking to benefit from this temporary public policy must
have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply
have a job offer that is supported by a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment
submit an application for an employer-specific work permit no later than February 28, 2025
meet all other standard admissibility criteria
Applicants who currently have visitor status but who have held a valid work permit in the past 12 months can follow special instructions to get interim work authorization to start working for their new employer before their work permit application is finalized.