Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is extending the public policy that allows certain visitors to Canada to apply for a work permit.

Foreign nationals who are in Canada as visitors and who receive a valid job offer will be able to continue to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave the country. Applicants who have held a work permit in the past 12 months will also be able to apply for a provisional work authorization to begin working faster for their new employer.
The public policy went into effect on 08/24/20. Applicants normally had to process their initial work permit before coming to Canada. If they were in Canada with visitor status when their work permit was approved, they had to leave the country to be issued a work permit. Now it is extended until 02/28/2025 and with this policy, there is no need to leave Canada.

Requirements for this public policy
1. Have a valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day of application.
2. Have an offer of employment supported by an LMIA or an offer of employment exempt from the LMIA.
3. Submit the employer’s specific work permit application by February 28, 2025.
4. Meet all other standard eligibility criteria.

Provisional work authorization requirements
For those who have held a valid work permit within the last 12 months, they may obtain provisional work authorization and begin working for their new employer before their work permit application is finalized, provided they meet the following requirements:
• At the time of filing the application be physically present in Canada.
• Remain in Canada while your application is being processed. If you leave the country, the application will not proceed.
• You must be a visitor with valid status at the time you apply for the work permit. Otherwise, you must re-establish it before applying for the work permit.
• Have applied for a specific work permit for an employer between 24/Aug/20 – 28/Feb/25.

How to obtain work authorization while waiting for your provisional work application to be approved?
1. Submit an application for provisional work authorization.
2. Fill out IRCC web form:
When filling out the Your enquiry section, you must copy the text below:
“Priority Code VISIT2WORK2020: I request consideration under the Temporary Public Policy to Exempt Certain Visitors to Canada from Immigration Requirements during the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) and ask that the applicable exemptions be granted until a decision is made on my work permit application or withdrawn.
My previous work permit number [U#########] expired on [Date].
I have submitted my work permit application online/paper and the application/tracking number from the courier service is NUMBER.
I intend to work for [Employer NAME] / [Occupation] as specified in the above work permit application.
I understand that providing false, misleading or incorrect information constitutes a violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and may result in enforcement action against me.”

3. Wait for the Canadian government to contact you. You should wait for them to send you an email to let you know that you can start working (this can take up to 6 weeks).

If an official approves the application, the applicant will have a new status and period of stay. However, if the application is denied (per subsection R183-5), the expiration date becomes the decision date of the filed application.

These are just some of the requirements, of course, you should carefully read all the procedures and eligibility requirements of this public policy. You may also receive formal advice from a licensed professional.


Information translated and collected for:
Explore I.D.E.A.S. Immigration & Education Corp.
Ivonne Navas, RCIC/ Regulated Immigration Consultant/ Canadian Government Authorized Representative.
Member of The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. Membership # R517820




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