Can Visitor Apply For Open Work Permit In Canada

Can a visitor apply for open work permit in Canada? A job offer is required from a Canadian employer in order to be eligible for a work permit in Canada. A Temporary Work Permit is usually issued for one year and can be extended for another year if you have been working full-time (30 hours or more per week) with the same employer.

Can Visitor Apply For Open Work Permit In Canada

Open Work Permit (OWP): Canada has signed agreement with more than 60 countries somewhere in the world to exchange labour migrants. These citizens need to apply for a visa. It is a multiple entry visa and it allows them to stay in Canada for duration of up to three years and can seek employment during this period. Citizens of those selected countries who intend to work must apply for an OHIP card before applying for a Work permit.

The Government of Canada offers a visitor visa for individuals who wish to travel to Canada for up to six months, or one year. It is useful for tourists, friends and those who have been invited by the Canadian government. This permit is called a Temporary Resident Visa (eTV), and it allows individuals to enter Canada and enjoy legal employment in Canada for up to 6 months.

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: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/permit/temporary/after-apply-next-steps.html#visitors

Quotes

“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 labour 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.”

—The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Any type of visitor who meets the criteria is eligible to apply under this new public policy, including super visa holders, business visitors and those who entered Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption. 
  • Foreign nationals who arrive in Canada as visitors after August 24, 2020, are not eligible under the public policy.
  • Prior to this temporary policy change, a person applying as a temporary resident would usually need to apply for their initial work permit before they came to Canada. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to leave Canada and return before their work permit was issued to them.    

Associated links

Contacts

Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

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