The IRCC released an update on November 7th to update the policy allowing certain visitors in Canada to apply for a work visa.
Previously, the Interim Work Authorization allowed a person to continue to work until a final decision was made, even if they had left Canada. However, this was updated to require a foreign national to remain in Canada while their application is being processed. The full update can be read on the IRCC’s website.
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also known as a visitor visa is an immigration document that allows foreign nationals to travel to and enter Canada. Many foreign nationals will need a visitor visa to enter Canada. This is regardless of whether they are coming as a student, temporary worker, or simply to visit.
TRV holders prior to the pandemic, could not apply for a work permit from within Canada. Instead, applicants needed to submit a work permit application while in Canada to their country of origin’s visa office. Then, if your work permit had been accepted, applicants needed to leave Canada. Only after re-entering would their work permit take effect.
However, this was adjusted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as travelling became difficult for many. In August 2020 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) started allowing TRV holders to submit work permit applications to IRCC from within Canada.
Although you can apply for a work permit from within Canada, you cannot work until IRCC approves the work permit. According to the IRCC’s current processing times, this can take about 169 days.
The IRCC introduced a policy called the Interim Authorization to Work to address this issue. This allows eligible applicants to begin working while the IRCC processes their work permit application. The goal is to allow those with an employer-specific job offer to start working immediately. It is also intended to address growing labour shortages by addressing IRCC processing times for work permits submitted inside the country.
A person’s work permit application can be rejected while on an Interim Authorization. However, if the work permit application is approved, Interim Authorization allows TRV holders to start working more quickly than if they had to wait for a firm approval.
Interim Authorization is not automatic. In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria for the work permit, a former work permit holder who converted to visitor status may also be eligible for interim authorization to work if they meet all the following:
To meet the eligibility criteria you must:
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