New temporary public policy will allow visitors to apply for a work permit without having to leave Canada

From: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

News release

Revised August 25

Change intended to benefit employers who are still facing difficulties finding workers

August 24, 2020—Ottawa—Visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and, if approved, receive the permit without having to leave the country, thanks to a new public policy announced today by the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

This temporary policy change takes effect immediately and will benefit employers in Canada who continue to face difficulties finding the workers they need, as well as temporary residents who would like to contribute their labour and skills to Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, temporary residents who remained in Canada were encouraged to maintain valid legal status. With air travel limited around the world, some visitors to Canada have been unable to leave, while some foreign workers had to change their status to visitor because their work permit was expiring and they didn’t have a job offer to be able to apply for a new work permit. Some employers in Canada have also faced ongoing labour and skills shortages throughout this period, including those who provide important goods and services that Canadians rely on.

To be eligible, an applicant looking to benefit from this temporary public policy must

  • have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply
  • have been in Canada on August 24, 2020 and remained in Canada
  • have a job offer
  • submit an 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 March 31, 2021
  • meet all other standard admissibility criteria

This temporary public policy also provides the opportunity for applicants who meet these criteria and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months to begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved. To do so, they need to follow the instructions for the process described here:

Settlement and resettlement services continue to be available during COVID-19 pandemic

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides funding to more than 500 service provider organizations across Canada (outside of Quebec) to deliver pre- and post-arrival settlement and resettlement services. These organizations provide free information to eligible newcomers about life in Canada and the community in which they will settle, as well as language training, help finding a job, and help setting up connections with established immigrants and Canadians. The needs of refugees are addressed by resettlement service providers.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, IRCC is taking measures to ensure the well-being, safety and security of newcomers and the people working for service provider organizations. To mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, IRCC has asked organizations across the country to follow public health and provincial guidelines. This means that these organizations have been resuming in-person services at different times, depending on their location. Until service providers have clear guidelines for safely reopening their offices, they will focus their efforts on delivering critical services. This includes providing income support and immediate and essential services to government-assisted refugees, as well as interpretation services and short-term counselling.

Service providers have also quickly adapted to provide many non-critical services by telephone, by email or online. Many language classes, for example, are now being delivered entirely online.

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