Travellers who are currently staying in Canada on a visitor visa and are offered a job during their stay, can apply for a work permit. They do not have to leave the country in the meantime to do so. The extension of this policy was announced by the Canadian government last week.
Applying for a work permit on a visitor visa still possible
It has long been possible for travellers who are staying in Canada on a visitor visa, to apply for a work permit. This possibility ensures that travellers with a visitor visa can obtain a work permit without having to leave the country. Originally, this policy was supposed to be temporary and expire on 28 February 2023. Because of the increased shortage of labourers in several sectors of the Canadian economy, the Canadian government has decided to extend this policy until 2025.
With the extension of the policy, all eligible travellers can apply for a work permit. This also applies to travellers who initially travelled to Canada on a visitor visa. Everyone with a visitor visa, regardless of his or her nationality, is offered this possibility.
Policy extended in the hope of solving the labour shortage
The Canadian government hopes that the extension of this policy will make it easier for foreigners with a valid visitor visa to apply for a work permit in Canada. This should then ensure that the shortage in Canada’s labour market is resolved. Previously, travellers who wanted to work in Canada had to apply for a work permit before departure. Those who were already staying in Canada on a valid visitor visa, had to leave the country briefly to apply for and be granted a work permit.
Requirements for applying for a work permit with a visitor visa
Travellers who want to apply for a work permit need to have valid visitor status in Canada on the day of applying for this permit. To be able to apply for a work permit, the job the applicant was offered must have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption or a labour market impact assessment. This assessment is issued by the department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) of the Canadian government. Its purpose is to assess the impact of employing a foreign citizen in Canada. Travellers wishing to apply for a work permit under the extension of this policy can do so until 28 February 2025. Of course, they must also meet all the requirements for applying for a work permit.
Work permit not always required
If you travel to Canada for work or a business trip, it is not always required to apply for a work permit. However, you always need to have a valid eTA or visa before departure. Travellers from the United Kingdom and Ireland who travel to Canada for tourism or business can easily meet the Canadian visa requirement by applying for an eTA online. After completing the digital application form and making the payment, an eTA application is almost always processed immediately. Usually, an eTA application is processed within 3 days , and in the case of an urgent application, the average delivery time of the eTA is only 45 minutes.
Permitted work activities with an eTA
With an eTA Canada, you are allowed to stay up to six consecutive months in Canada for tourist or business purposes. However, it is always important to check before departure if you and your travel purpose meet the requirements set for travelling with an eTA. For example, with an eTA, you are generally not allowed to perform physical labour. This is only allowed in exceptional cases, for example, when you are going to work in Canada at university or management level. In addition, even in these exceptional cases, this is only allowed for 15 consecutive days each six months or up to 30 consecutive days per year.
Many business trips are allowed with an eTA. For example, you can attend business meetings (such as a fair or congress), visit customers or suppliers, buy or sell products from your company, organise a trade fair, provide after-sales service, or attend a short business-related course or training.