Visitors to Canada can apply for work permits without leaving for another two years following the extension of a temporary public policy announced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government is hoping the extension of the public policy will be a boon to employers who are having a hard time filling jobs due to a severe labour shortage in Canada.
“This COVID-era temporary public policy has been extended by two years, until Feb. 28, 2025,” noted Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in a statement.
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“Leaving this temporary policy in place makes visitors an option for employers in Canada as many are facing significant labour shortages during this period of economic expansion.”
Foreign nationals in Canada as visitors need to have a valid job offer to be able to apply for these work permits.
“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,” notes the IRCC.
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 Feb. 28, 2025, and;
- meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
This temporary public policy first came into effect on Aug.24, 2020, smack in the middle of the first year of the pandemic when immigration to Canada was plummeting.
IRCC data reveals that after welcoming 341,175 new permanent residents to Canada in 2019, the country saw immigration fall by 45.9 per cent, to only 184,585 new permanent residents in 2020.
Immigration To Canada Dropped During First Year Of Pandemic But Then Rebounded
Immigration to Canada quickly rebounded in 2021 to 406,005 new permanent residents and then rose to set a new record again last year with 437,120 new permanent residents.
That level of immigration is expected to grow over the coming years.
In its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, Ottawa has set the target for 2023 at 465,000 new permanent residents. The country is to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and another 500,000 in 2025.
That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over the coming three years.
Canada issues two types of work permits: employer-specific work permits and open work permits.
Employer-specific work permits include conditions such as:
- name of a specific employer;
- how long a candidate can work, and;
- the location of a candidate’s work.
Candidates applying for an employer-specific work permit must get a positive LMIA from their employer or an offer of employment before applying.
Open work permits, in contrast, allows the foreign national to work for any employer in Canada but they are issued only in specific circumstances.
Canadian employers can also recruit and hire foreign nationals through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).
TFWP Allows Foreign Nationals To Come Work In Canada
The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the TFWP, can under normal processing situations lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.
Under the Express Entry system, immigrants can also apply for permanent residency online if they meet the eligibility criteria for one of three federal immigration programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST), and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC), or a participating provincial immigration program.
Candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates will be considered for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a delay of 90-days.
Through a network of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can also nominate skilled worker candidates for admission to Canada when they have the specific skills required by local economies. Successful candidates who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities.