Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Foreign workers

COVID-19 has changed how you’ll apply for a work permit and how we’ll process your application.

If you haven’t applied for a work permit yet

Due to COVID-19, we can’t process applications normally.

To keep processing applications from people who are exempt from the travel restrictions, we’re temporarily changing how you can apply to visit, work or study in Canada.

Even if your work permit application is approved, you can only travel to Canada if you’re exempt from the travel restrictions. In most cases, you must qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

You must apply online when you apply for a work permit from outside Canada.

Priority processing for work permit applicants

If your occupation is not on the lists below, we’ll still process your application. However, it may take longer than it normally would.

People who perform or support essential services

We’re prioritizing applications for people who perform or support essential services.

When you fill out the work permit application form

To get priority processing, follow these steps:

  1. Get the National Occupational Classification (NOC) number your employer entered on the
    • offer of employment or
    • labour market Impact assessment (LMIA)
  2. Enter that number as your Job title.
    • This is box 4 in the Details of intended work in Canada section.
    • You must only enter the number.
The NOC system is changing

Starting November 16, 2022, we’ll switch to the 2021 version of the NOC system. At that time, the NOC codes for the eligible occupations will change.

If you apply on or after November 16, 2022, make sure you use the NOC 2021 codes.

Eligible occupations that perform or support essential services
Agriculture and agri-food occupations
NOC 2016 codes NOC 2021 codes
Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale (NOC 6331)
  • Butchers – retail and wholesale (NOC 63201)
  • Meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale (NOC 65202)
Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC 8252)
  • Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors (NOC 82030)
  • Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators (NOC 84120)
  • Livestock labourers (NOC 85100)
General farm workers (NOC 8431)
  • Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators (NOC 84120)
  • Livestock labourers (NOC 85100)
  • Harvesting labourers (NOC 85101)
Nursery and greenhouse workers (NOC 8432) Nursery and greenhouse labourers (NOC 85103)
Harvesting labourers (NOC 8611) Harvesting labourers (NOC 85101)
Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 9463) Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 94142)
Labourers in food and beverage processing (NOC 9617) Labourers in food and beverage processing (NOC 95106)
Labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 9618)
  • Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 94142)
  • Labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 95107)
Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 9462) Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 94141)
Health-care occupations
NOC 2016 codes NOC 2021 codes
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors (NOC 3011) Nursing coordinators and supervisors (NOC 31300)
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012) Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 31301)
Specialist physicians (NOC 3111)
  • Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine (NOC 31100)
  • Specialists in surgery (NOC 31101)
  • Police investigators and other investigative occupations (41310)
General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 3112) General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 31102)
Allied primary health practitioners (NOC 3124)
  • Nurse practitioners (NOC 31302)
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 32103)
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating (NOC 3125)
  • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating (NOC 31209)
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
Pharmacists (NOC 3131) Pharmacists (NOC 31120)
Medical laboratory technologists (NOC 3211) Medical laboratory technologists (NOC 32120)
Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants (NOC 3212)
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
  • Medical laboratory technologists (NOC 32120)
  • Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations (NOC 33101)
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 3214) Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 32103)
Medical radiation technologists (NOC 3215) Medical radiation technologists (NOC 32121)
Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c. (NOC 3217) Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists (NOC 32123)
Licensed practical nurses (NOC 3233) Licensed practical nurses (NOC 32101)
Paramedical occupations (NOC 3234) Paramedical occupations (NOC 32102)
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413) Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 33102)
Home child care providers (LMIA-required in-Canada applicants) (NOC 4411) Home child care providers (NOC 44100)
Home support workers, excluding housekeepers (LMIA-required in-Canada applicants) (NOC 4412)
  • Home support workers, caregivers and related occupations (NOC 44101)
Film and television workers

You’re eligible for priority processing if you apply online for your work permit and you’re either

How to get priority processing

After you apply for your work permit, you must use the web form to tell us that you’re a film and TV worker. When you complete the form, copy and paste the message below into the Your enquiry field:

FILMTV2020: Requesting priority processing for Film & TV Industry workers due to COVID-19.”

Where possible, you’ll get a decision on your application within 3 weeks (5 days to identify your application for priority processing and 14 days to process it).

If you don’t include the code FILMTV2020, it may take longer to identify your application.

COVID-19 restrictions: Who can apply at the port of entry

There are restrictions on who can apply for a work permit or give their biometrics at a Canadian port of entry right now due to travel restrictions.

You should only apply at the port of entry if you’re eligible.

Before you travel to Canada

All travellers entering Canada must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe. Under certain conditions, you may be exempt from some of these requirements.

Find out if you’re exempt from any testing and quarantine requirements.

Completing your application

Office closures or service changes due to COVID-19 may affect how you complete some steps in the application process. Find out how COVID-19 has affected

If we ask you to submit documents for an application in progress

Because many applicants can now provide the supporting documents needed for us to process applications, we’ll no longer be automatically giving you more time to submit information.

Find out what to do if you still have documents to provide for your application.

If you’ve been approved for a work permit

Due to COVID-19, there are additional requirements for workers travelling to Canada.

Make sure you’re prepared to arrive in Canada.

If you’re already in Canada

If you’re already in Canada, in most cases, you must apply online to extend your work permit or get a new work permit.

If you can’t apply online because of a disability or because there is a problem with the online application, you can apply on paper.

The deadline for restoring your status has changed

As of September 1, 2021, you can no longer restore your status if it expired more than 90 days ago.

Check your application status

Due to COVID-19, we can’t provide accurate processing times.

Check your application status to get updates on

  • your application
  • where we’re at with processing during the pandemic

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirement for in-Canada temporary residence applicants

As a temporary measure, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics. Learn more about the exemption.

If we ask you to submit documents for an application in progress

Because many applicants can now provide the supporting documents needed for us to process applications, we’ll no longer be automatically giving you more time to submit information.

Find out what to do if you still have documents to provide for your application.

If you have a valid work permit

Change your status to visitor

Extend your stay in Canada as a visitor if you’re no longer working

Change jobs or employers

Get permission to work while we process your employer-specific work permit

If you don’t have a valid work permit

Visitors who need work permits

Temporary process for visitors to apply online for a work permit (includes former workers who changed status in the last 12 months)

Workers whose status as a worker has expired

Restore your status and get a new work permit

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