On March 29 IRCC has renewed a temporary measure to allow visitor visa holders with job offers to stay in Canada and start working before their work permit gets approved.
This policy has been extended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that restricted international travel. In addition, IRCC modified the eligibility criteria and allowed visitors to apply for work permits regardless of their entry date. This policy will remain in effect until August 31, 2021.
According to IRCC, over 1,000 visitors already changed their status from visitors to workers since this policy was launched in August 2020.
Effective Thursday, April 1, an applicant looking to benefit from this measure must:
- Have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply;
- Have remained in Canada with valid status;
- Have a valid job offer;
- Submit an in-Canada 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 August 31, 2021; and
- Meet all other standard admissibility criteria, such as medical and criminal checks, among others.
The extension will benefit visitors who were able to come to Canada amid coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Since March 2020, Canada’s borders have been closed to visitors, unless they are exempt for a reason like reuniting with family.