Foreign nationals who are visiting Canada and receive a valid job offer will be able to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave the country, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The move, an extension of a Covid-era temporary public policy that was set to expire today, has now been extended by two years, until February 28, 2025.
Visitors applying under this public policy who have held a work permit within the last 12 months may also request interim work authorization to begin working for their new employer sooner.
Prior to this temporary policy change, those wishing to work in Canada had to apply for their initial work permit before arriving.
If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would have to leave the country before their work permit could be issued.
Leaving Canada is no longer necessary with this policy in place.
Those seeking to take advantage of this temporary public policy must have valid visitor status in Canada on the day they apply, as well as a job offer supported by a labor market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment.
An LMIA is a form that an employer submits to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to determine whether hiring foreign workers will have a positive, neutral, or negative impact on the Canadian economy.
According to CIC News, if ESDC determines that the impact is negative, the employer will be unable to hire foreign nationals.
Applicants must also submit an application for an employer-specific work permit by February 28, 2025, according to the policy.
According to IRCC, maintaining this policy gives visitors an option for Canadian employers, many of whom are facing significant labor shortages during a period of economic expansion.
According to Statistics Canada data from December 2022, the total number of vacancies fell from over one million to 848,000.
However, critical industries such as healthcare, food, and social assistance continue to require more workers to fill in-demand positions.