As we know COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives. Concerning immigration, foreign nationals, especially temporary resident visitors, have been impacted because of their inability to travel to Canada or who have not been able to leave Canada.

A temporary public policy issued allows certain temporary residents in Canada with a visitor status to apply for a work permit from within Canada. The original public policy came out on August 24, 2020. However, eligibility criteria were recently expanded to allow ALL visitors who are in Canada with valid temporary resident status to apply inland for an employer-specific work permit, regardless of when they arrived in Canada. The Minister has announced that this policy is extended until February 28, 2022.

This is a temporary change as foreign workers who are in Canada on a visitor visa cannot change their status without leaving the country.

Eligibility requirements for an employer specific work permit

The foreign national must meet the following criteria:

  • Is in Canada with valid temporary resident status as a visitor.
  • Has submitted an employer-specific work permit application using the IMM 5710 form.
  • Has remained in Canada with status since submitting an application.
  • Submitted the application on or before February 28, 2022.

Eligibility requirements for interim authorization to work

In addition to meeting the above criteria, a former temporary worker who converted to visitor status may also be eligible for interim authorization to work if they:

  • Had valid status at the time of work permit application submissions and have remained in Canada with status since;
  • Held a valid work permit in the past 12 months preceding the date on which they submitted their application for a work permit under this public policy;
  • Intend to work for the employer in the occupation specified by the LMIA or LMIA-exempt offer of employment;
  • Have applied to IRCC for the interim authorization to work; and
  • Have requested that the authorization to work be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application.
Officers may reject public policy request forms if the applicant does not include any of the following:
  • A request for assessment has been submitted to IRCC.
  • Sufficient information to confirm the receipt of an employer specific work permit application
  • There is no indication that the applicant held a work permit in the preceding 12 months’

If you have any questions regarding this new public policy, or wish to see if you are eligible to change your status from a visitor to worker, please feel free to contact our office. We would love to assist you with any of your immigration matters.

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