Sas & Ing, Barristers & Solicitors, Immigration Law Centre

COVID Changes Allow Canadian Visitors to Apply for Work Permits

Sas & Ing Immigration Lawyers in Canada discuss new policy that will allow temporary works to gain work permits without leaving the country


Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/15/2020 --COVID has had a profound impact on Immigration Law. According to Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced a new temporary policy that will allow visitors currently in Canada to apply for employer-specific work permits without having to leave the country. For more, go to

The temporary policy which came into effect on Monday, August 24, 2020, is valid until further notice. The intent is to get visitors with job offers quickly back to work for the Canadian employers who need them.

Under normal circumstances, applicants would be able to apply for work permits inside Canada, but a work permit would only be issued after leaving Canada and returning to a Canadian port of entry. Many applicants choose to 'flagpole', which refers to a person who crosses the Canada-US border only to turn around immediately to apply for a permit. However, COVID means this is unviable.

Over the past few months, Vancouver immigration lawyers have heard many stories from former workers who lost their ability to work because they expected to qualify for permanent residence before permits expired. In some cases, they expected employers to obtain Labour Market Impact Assessments ("LMIAs") to get new work permits. However, layoffs and well-documented delays in immigration processing derailed plans.

Regardless of the reasons for extended stays in Canada, many visitors are facing a common dilemma—it is unsafe to travel during a global pandemic, but it is impossible to stay indefinitely in Canada without the legal right to work.

The Minister's announcement is a game-changer that will allow visitors with qualifying job offers from Canadian employers to apply for work permits without having to leave the country. This will benefit both workers and employers who are struggling to recover from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

To take advantage of the new temporary public policy, applicants must have arrived in Canada before August 24, 2020, and hold valid visitor status. In addition, they must possess a qualifying job offer, which means that the employer making the job offer must have obtained an LMIA or qualify for an exemption from needing one.

Visitors who previously held work permits within the past 12 months will benefit significantly from the new temporary public policy because they will also be allowed to begin working after submitting their new work permit applications. However, these applicants must write directly to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to request authorization to work before receiving their permits, and it will take approximately six weeks for that authorization to be granted.

For Canadian immigration lawyers, it is extremely encouraging to see that the Minister is responding to the challenges of the day and creating new temporary public policies to address them.

To learn more about immigrating to Canada or applying for work permits, please call 1-604-689-5444 and connect with one of the Canadian Immigration lawyers at Sas & Ing.

About Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre
Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre has over 30 years of continued in-depth and comprehensive expertise in most aspects of Canadian Immigration practice. Sas & Ing have facilitated applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and Canada Border Services Agency. Catherine & Victor work closely with other lawyers specializing in Business, Employment, Tax, and Real Estate to provide comprehensive legal advice to companies and individuals as they navigate the regulatory requirements necessary for temporary or permanent establishment in Canada.

For additional information, please visit or call (604) 689-5444

Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre
Catherine Sas
(604) 689-5444
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