More details released on who can apply for employer-specific work permits without leaving Canada

Published on September 20th, 2020 at 08:00am EDT

Canada released more detailed information on who is eligible for a new temporary policy that benefits temporary residents with job offers.

The new policy, announced last month, allows eligible foreign nationals with valid status to apply for a job offer-supported work permit from inside Canada. It also means that eligible foreign nationals will not be denied a work permit if they have not complied with certain temporary residence conditions. In addition, eligible former temporary foreign workers may be allowed to work while a decision on their work permit is pending.

In order 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. They may also be in Canada on implied status.

They need to have been physically present in Canada on August 24, 2020 and have not left the country since. They can only be submitting an application for an employer-specific work permit.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officers are instructed to consider the expiry date of the period of authorized stay to be the decision date on the submitted application.

Temporary workers who converted to “visitor” status are also authorized to work as long as they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • They have valid temporary resident status as a visitor and were physically present in Canada on August 24, 2020. They also must have remained in Canada since.
  • They have held a valid work permit in the past 12 months preceding the date on which they submitted their application for a work permit under the new policy, despite the fact that they are now in Canada on visitor status.
  • They must intend 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 public policy.
  • They have applied to IRCC for the interim authorization to work using the IRCC webform.
  • They also need to have requested that the authorization to work be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application.

Travelling to the border for immigration services is considered “non-essential travel.” Before coronavirus hit, foreign nationals would have to leave the country and come back in order to “activate” the visa. The practise was barred in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino previously said that the new measure will help temporary foreign workers and Canadian employers alike, by allowing them to skip this step while coronavirus measures are still in force.

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