Visitors applying for a work permit inside Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) extends public policy allowing visitors to obtain and/or continue to apply for work permits inside Canada if they have valid job offers.
Effective February 28, 2023, 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. Prior to this temporary public policy, those applying to work in Canada, typically needed 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 needed to leave Canada to be issued their work permit. With this policy in place, leaving Canada is no longer 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
If you are a visitor in Canada, who is applying for a work permit in Canada and have held a valid work permit in the last 12 months, you can ask to be allowed to work while your application is being processed.
Who is eligible:
- You must be physically present in Canada when you apply and you must stay in Canada while your application is being processed. If you leave while your application is being processed, you won’t be eligible under this public policy.
- When you apply for your work permit, you must be a visitor with a valid visitor status. If your visitor status has expired, you will need to restore your visitor status before you apply for your work permit.
- You must have applied for an employer specific work permit between August 4, 2020, and February 28, 2025.