• Compiled by Border Law

Applicant's Continue to Qualify for WP Exemptions Even if They Have Left Canada

To compact continual backlogs relating to Work Permit Applications, IRCC recently announced that the previously temporary policy designed to allow current Work Permit holders interim status while changing employers remains in effect until February 2023.


They also updated the current Policy to confirm that applicants are eligible to receive approval regarding interim status, and thus, authorization to work in Canada, even if they have left Canada.


So how does this Policy Impact Foreign Workers here in Canada?


Under the current Policy objectives, eligible foreign nations who have valid status to be within Canada are:

  • Permitted to apply for an employer specific work from inside Canada,

  • Permitted to obtain new work permits regardless of whether they have complied with certain temporary residence conditions or not, and

  • Are allowed to work for their new employer while a decision on their work permit application is pending

To qualify, foreign nationals currently or previously working in Canada must:

  1. Be in Canada with valid temporary resident status as a visitor, including status extensions under subsection 183(5) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), and

  2. Have already submitted an employer-specific work permit application using the Application to Change Conditions, extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710], or will be doing so on or before February 28, 2023, and

Foreign nationals who recently converted from a foreign worker to a Visitor may also qualify, so long as they:

  • have valid temporary resident status at the time of work permit application submission and have remained in Canada with status since;

  • held a valid work permit in the 12 months preceding the date on which they submitted their application for a work permit under this public policy, even though they are now only a visitor;

  • intend to work for the employer and occupation specified by the LMIA or LMIA-exempt offer of employment included in their work permit application submitted under the public policy;

  • have applied to IRCC for the interim authorization to work as per this public policy using the IRCC Web form; and

  • have requested that the authorization to work be applicable until a decision is made on their work permit application.

Upon approval, applicants will receive correspondence from IRCC noting their new status and period of authorized, thereby, allowing them to continue working until a final decision is made even if they have left and returned to Canada.


Typically, applicants need to obtain a positively approved Work Permit before they are permitted to begin working in Canada. Unfortunately, because of the current backlogs, many individuals who have an expired, or soon to expire work permit, or who are interested in changing employers have been left to question what this means for their status in Canada in the meantime.


Luckily, because of the current temporary policy’s extension, even more temporary works will be able to benefit from interim status in Canada, thereby, allowing them to continue working or change employment here in Canada with little to no interruption.


It should be noted, however, if applicants leave during the processing of their Work Permit Application, it will be on the part of the applicant to satisfy to the border services officer that they meet all admissibility requirements before being granted entry to Canada at any port of entry.


As such, if you’re currently in Canada and looking for employment, contact Border Law to see how to formally engage with the current policy, and begin working sooner than ever before.


This update has been compiled with the latest available information for the general information of Border Law clients and other interested parties. This Update is not comprehensive and should not be relied upon without appropriate legal advice.