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Can you apply for a work permit in Canada as a Visitor?

Updated: Mar 6

Temporary Public Policy Allowing Certain Visitors in Canada to Apply for a Work Permit


Visitors in Canada applying for an Employer specific work permit

In Force:

August 20, 2020


February 28, 2025

A Canadian flag flying in front of a clock tower.

Visitors are normally required to apply for work permits and study permits outside of Canada. Under this COVID-19 policy, foreign nationals in Canada with valid temporary status as Visitors (including maintained status) can apply for a work permit from inside Canada (using the Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]). In order to qualify, they must remain in Canada with status while the work permit application remains in process.

In order to apply for a work permit, Visitors in Canada must first be eligible for an employer specific work permit (under the International Mobility Program or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program). This means having an offer of employment under the International Mobility Program or a positive LMIA under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Some foreign nationals benefiting from this public policy can also request interim authorization to work while their work permit application is in process. In order to qualify for interim authorization to work, the foreign national must have held a valid work permit in the 12 months preceding the date they applied for a work permit under this policy, intend to work for the employer and in the occupation specified in the offer, have requested interim authorization to work from IRCC using the IRCC Webform submitted in the prescribed form, and have received a letter from IRCC granting interim authorization to work.

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