March 15, 2022

Canada Extends COVID-19 Policy Allowing Visitors to Apply for Work Permits While Inside Canada

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Canada has extended its COVID-19 public policy to allow all visitors in Canada with valid temporary resident status to submit inland employer-specific work permit applications until 28 February 2023.[1] Note that this public policy is not applicable for port of entry applications. To be eligible, the foreign national must meet the following requirements:

  • be in Canada with valid status (including maintained status)
  • has submitted an employer-specific work permit application using the Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710], including a LMIA or an offer of employment through the Employer Portal
  • have remained in Canada with status since submitting the application
  • submit the application while the public policy is still in effect

The public policy not only allows visitors to apply for employer-specific work permits from inside Canada, it also allows certain visitors to start working while awaiting decisions from their work permit applications.

Regarding eligibility requirements for interim work authorization, applicants must have valid status at the time of application submission and maintained valid status since. And, applicants held valid work permits in the last 12 months, even though they are now with visitor status only. They must make a further request using the IRCC Webform following IRCC’s specific instructions, as the interim authorization to work is not granted automatically.

Applicants must not start working until hearing back from IRCC with a positive decision, which may take about 30 days. If the request seeking interim work authorization meets the eligibility requirements, the following response will be sent by the officer:

As per the information provided in your request below, you have been deemed to meet the eligibility criteria under the Temporary Public Policy to Exempt Certain Visitors in Canada from Immigration Requirements during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Please print a copy of this email and attach it to your existing work permit or authorization to work as proof of ability to work for your stated employer or occupation until a determination is made on your current work permit application or it is withdrawn.

Please note that misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that causes an error in decision is a violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. For further advice on the topic, please consult one of our team members.