Apply for a Work Visa While Visiting Canada

Lots of people fall in love in Canada when they visit the country. They are numerous job opportunities that tourists or visitors come across and they may wonder ” It is possible to change my visitor visa to a work visa to stay longer in Canada?” The answer was normally “not really”. 

Presently, the rules have changed. There have been some changes that permit visitors to become temporary workers in Canada.

New Rules That Allow Visitors to Stay in Canada While Applying for Canada Work Permit

On August 24, 2020, the IRCC released a statement that tends to benefit employers who are still having difficulty finding workers. Visitors or tourists who are presently in Canada and have a valid job offer are able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and if approved can start working without leaving the country.

Marco E.L. Mendicino, the minister of Immigration stated that this is a temporary policy that takes effect immediately. Lots of temporary residents who were stuck in Canada during the COVID-19 were urged to maintain legal status. With Canada and many other countries closing their borders it made it impossible to follow the current rules of the Canadian work permit.

“We have heard from employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the workers they need during the pandemic. At the same time, some visitors in Canada may be able to contribute their skills where there are labor shortages. The measures introduced today will now allow visitors to apply for work permits without having to leave the country first. This exemption from the normal temporary work permit requirements is aimed at removing barriers to create a more agile workforce that leverages visitors with the skills and experience to accelerate our economic recovery.”

These were the speech of the Honorable Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Marco E.L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.

Eligibility for the Temporary Visitor Visa to Work Visa Policy

In order to be eligible for this temporary offer, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • possess valid status in Canada as a visitor and remain in Canada
  • have a job offer
  • submit an application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment
  • meet all other standard admissibility criteria

Work Permit can be Cancelled by an Employer

Some of the temporary work permits are open work permits and others are known as closed work permits. 

If you are a foreign worker with closed work permits, be aware that you are limited to only one employer and you can mostly work in a specific location. This implies that these workers possess a greater risk of having to Canada if their employment is halted or terminated.

However, there are methods to handle employment issues for foreign workers such as those who are dealing with termination, immigration rules, and what to do if you feel you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job in Canada.

Will I Need to Leave Canada?

You will not be required to leave the country/be deported immediately if you are a temporary worker who holds a valid permit while the said permit was cancelled. Foreign workers who have employer-specific work permits (closed work permits) can legally remain in Canada until their work permit status expires. Note that, they will not be able to work for anyone else in Canada during that stay

If you have been utilizing a closed work permit to work in Canada and wish to start a new job, you will need to qualify and apply for a different, new work permit or change to an open work permit.

Additionally, you will have the option to remain in Canada as a visitor or student, this can only happen if you meet the requirements for these visas and apply before your cancelled work permit expires.

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