As of August 24, 2020, Canada Immigration has allowed visitors residing in Canada to apply for work permits within Canada. Click here to see the announcement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
This is a significant change in Canadian immigration regulations. While this change is a temporary measure, the federal government appears to be acknowledging how the pandemic has impacted the Canadian labour market, economy and population.
Previously, foreigners normally had to apply for work permits from outside of Canada. With this temporary policy change, those in Canada on a valid visitor visa can apply for a work permit while continuing to remain in Canada. And, for those who had a valid work permit within the past 12 months may be able to work while awaiting a formal approval from Canada Immigration.
What does this mean for you, as a foreigner?
If you are a foreigner in Canada before or on August 24, 2020, you can apply for a work permit without having to leave. You will need a valid job offer from an employer, along with other requirements set out below. And, having a work permit, employment history and entrenchment within Canada’s culture will improve your chances to obtain permanent residency.
Specific requirements as a work permit applicant is as follows:
- you are in Canada on a valid visitor visa;
- you are physically in Canada on or before August 24, 2020;
- you have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada;
- you 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; and,
- meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
What does this mean for you, as an employer?
Canada Immigration may have made hiring during the pandemic easier for you. Due to the pandemic, hiring qualified staff may have been challenging. Former employees or candidates may have left the job pool for various reasons. With immigration being paused, new entrants into the labour market also slowed. Overall, the pool from which employers could hire was shrinking due to the pandemic. But, Canada Immigration’s temporary policy may have slightly widened that pool.
While the requirement of obtaining a LMIA still remains an issue, how and what type of standard Labour and Social Market Canada (LMSC) applies during this pandemic remains to be seen. We will have to wait and see how LSMC reacts to LMIA requests.
CIC News reported on August 19, 2020, that Canada Immigration invited 600 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residency. Why is Canada Immigration taking these steps now, while we are still in the pandemic? With immigration being over 60% lower during the pandemic, it has had a sharp impact on the Canadian economy.
For more information and assistance with how these changes may impact you, contact us now.