Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it would be extending a temporary policy that allows visitors to Canada to obtain work permits if they have a valid job offer. The policy, which was first introduced in August 2021, has been extended until August 31, 2023.
Under the policy, visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer can apply for a work permit without having to leave the country. The policy applies to visitors who have valid status in Canada as a visitor, student, or worker, and who have maintained their status in Canada for at least 6 months prior to applying for the work permit.
The policy is intended to help employers in Canada fill labour shortages and support economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides an opportunity for visitors to Canada to gain valuable work experience and potentially apply for permanent residence through one of Canada’s immigration programs.
To be eligible for the policy, visitors must have a valid job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in an occupation that falls under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A, or B. They must also have a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or be exempt from the LMIA requirement.
The extension of this policy is a positive development for visitors to Canada who are looking for employment opportunities and for Canadian employers who are struggling to fill vacancies. It also underscores the Canadian government’s commitment to supporting economic recovery and maintaining a robust and flexible immigration system.
Canada labor shortage and immigration
Canada is currently experiencing a labor shortage in several key industries, including healthcare, hospitality, and construction. This shortage is due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian economy, as well as to an aging workforce and a declining birth rate.
To address this shortage, the Canadian government has been actively promoting immigration as a solution. Immigration has long been a key driver of Canada’s economy, and the government has been taking steps to attract more skilled workers and graduates to Canada.
One of the ways the government is promoting immigration is by increasing immigration targets. In 2021, the government announced that it would be increasing immigration levels to 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, with plans to increase to 421,000 in 2022 and 450,000 in 2023. The government has also been expanding pathways to permanent residence, including through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Express Entry system.
Another way the government is addressing the labor shortage is by offering incentives to encourage workers to move to Canada. For example, the government has launched the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, which provides a pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers and graduates who want to live and work in smaller communities across Canada. The government has also introduced a new program called the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which provides a pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers and graduates who want to live and work in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces.
The government has also been working to streamline immigration processes and reduce processing times to make it easier for candidates to immigrate to Canada. For example, the government has been using technology to speed up the processing of applications and has been expanding the use of biometrics to simplify the application process.
Overall, the Canadian government recognizes the importance of immigration in addressing the labor shortage and supporting economic growth. The government’s efforts to promote immigration and provide more pathways to permanent residence are expected to help address the labor shortage and ensure Canada remains competitive in the global economy.