Work Permit

Temporary Immigration

Temporary Immigration Status refers to people who wish to come to Canada to visit, work or study. They are coming to Canada for a temporary period and are considered visitors and require Visitor Visas, unless they are citizens of visa exempt countries.

To visit Canada one must be:

  • Must be healthy and may need to go through a Medical exam.
  • Must abide by Canadian laws;
  • Need a valid passport.
  • Need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
  • Workers May need a Work Permit with LMIA.

Work Permit – Employment Authorization:

A Work Permit is a document issued by the Canadian government that permits a foreigner to legally work in Canada for a temporary period.

The foreign worker must have a job offer to temporarily work in Canada before he or she can apply for an Employment Authorization. The federal government does not assist in placing foreign workers who are eager to find a job in Canada.

The Employment Authorization approval involves both consideration of the job offer and consideration of the applicant. Most foreign individuals who want to work temporarily in Canada must first have an approved job offer and an employment authorization, prior to arrival.

The steps that have to be followed before one applies for a work permit are:

  • An employer must first offer you a job.
  • Job validation – Employer must have the job offer approved by the local Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  • ESDC must normally provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or ‘Confirmation’ of your job offer. However, some types of work are exempt from this process.
  • After ESDC confirms that a foreign national may fill the job, you apply to IRCC for your work permit.
  • Visa Officials will make a decision if the foreign worker qualifies for the Employment authorization.
  • If an employment authorization is issued, it is valid only for a specified job, employer and specific period of time.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada needs to obtain from ESDC before hiring a foreign worker. Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for the work permit. In order to apply for a work permit a worker needs:

  • A Job Offer letter
  • A Contract
  • A Copy of the LMIA
  • LMIA Number

LMIA is the first and foremost step towards getting a Work permit to Canada.

NOTE: Work Permits will only be granted by Canadian immigration authorities if supported by a positive ” Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” letter issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), indicating that the proposed employment will not adversely affect Canadian workers and not have a negative impact on the labour market in Canada.

A positive LMIA shows there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job.

Canada Immigration does not offer open Work permits, allowing a foreign national to work anywhere. They are always employer specific, tied to one employer who you have approached and the employer has offered a job that they could not fill with a Canadian candidate.

An applicant who requires a Work permit must meet the following:

  • Prove that they will leave Canada when their work permit expires.
  • Show they have enough money for their stay in Canada.
  • Have no record of criminal activity and not a danger to Canada’s security.
  • Be in good health and have a medical exam.

To work temporarily in Canada you must have a temporary work permit where an employer starts the process of acquiring such a work permit. A work permit does not allow you to immigrate to Canada. You may qualify to become a Permanent resident by applying for your Permanent Resident Visa once you are working in Canada.

Special Programs:

IRCC puts forward several programs to facilitate the application process for work permits in industries with a greater need for skilled workers.

Provincial Nominee Program:

The Provincial Nominee Program aims to address skill shortage issues in certain provinces within Canada under a slightly different Canada work visa program.

Under this program an Employer can nominate a limited number of candidates for certain skilled positions and make an application to a participating Province for sponsorship of the work permit for Canada. The following requirements apply:

  • Position must be one that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Position is a guaranteed permanent and full time job offer.
  • Position is offered to a candidate who has the required qualifications for the occupation.
  • Position is offered to a candidate who has the required training & work experience.
  • Position offered to a candidate who meets the licensing/accreditation requirements of the occupation of that province.
  • Position meets provincial employment and wage standards.
  • You will have to apply under the non-Express Entry process or through Express Entry depending on which (PNP) stream you are applying under.

Provinces involved in PNP programs have different requirements to be met in order to be sponsored for a Canada work visa; however the requirements listed above are essential in every case. If you are interested in exploring this avenue to obtain a Work Permit please contact us for further information.

Atlantic Immigration Program

The Atlantic Immigration Program is a partnership between Government of Canada and four Atlantic Provinces – New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Atlantic businesses can attract international graduates and skilled foreign workers to fill job vacancies. The job offers do not need Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire employees under the Pilot program.

To hire through this AIP program, employers do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Candidates should possess the following:

  • Applicants should have 1 year + of experience in the last 5 years in an Occupation under NOC TEER 0,1,2,3 or 4.
  • Applicants with a job offer in NOC TEER 0 or 1 must have a Canadian 1-year post-secondary educational credential or equivalent from outside Canada
  • Applicants with a job offer in NOC TEER 2,3, or 4 must have a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent from outside Canada.
  • Language requirements to be met
  • Applicants need to have settlement funds to support themselves when they get to Canada.
  • Applicants need a Settlement Plan after receiving an Offer of Employment.

International Graduates:

  • Applicants do not need to meet work experience requirements
  • Applicants do not need to meet work experience requirements
  • has a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification requiring at least two years of studies in a recognized institution in one of the four Atlantic provinces.
  • was a full-time student for the entire time they were studying.
  • lived in one of the four provinces for at least 16 months.

Global Skills Strategy

An employer under this program can get workers faster with:

  • A 2 week processing time for 80% of work permit applications.
  • Work permit exemptions for highly skilled workers on short term assignments and for researchers involved in short duration research project in Canada.
  • Dedicated service channel for companies looking to make large, job creating investments in Canada.
  • Workers qualify under 2 week processing time if they are applying from outside Canada and are LMIA exempt or
  • Have a positive LMIA for an employer specific job which has indicated eligibility through the Global Talent Stream of Temporary Foreign Worker program.
  • The Employer has submitted an Offer of Employment using the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee.

The Global Skills Strategy (GSS) Program is to help Canadian businesses access skilled workers from around the world.

  • An applicants job must be either TEER 0 or 1 of NOC 2021 to be eligible for the Global Skills Strategy.
  • An employer must be hiring to fill a position on the Global Talent Occupations List – a list of high skilled, in demand occupations.
  • The position must pay a salary equal or above the prevailing wage for the position
  • ESDC issues a positive decision letter that will be required for Work Permit application

International Experience Canada

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program provides youth with the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. An applicant’s country of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that allows one to apply for an IEC work permit. There are 3 travel and work experiences:

  • Working holiday
  • Young Professionals
  • International Co-op Internship

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Foreign nationals currently in Canada who meet program eligibility requirements may be considered for a Work permit to bridge the gap between the expiry of their current work permit and the final decision on their Application for Permanent residence (APR).

To be eligible for a BOWP, foreign nationals must:

  • be currently in Canada;
  • have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within the next four months;
  • be the Principal applicant on an APR under the FSWC, the CEC, the FSTC, the PNC (see note below), or one of the two caregiver classes;
  • have completed one of the following APR stages: o their electronic application for Permanent residence (e-APR) submitted under Express Entry has passed the R10 completeness check; or
  • they have received a Positive eligibility assessment on their paper APR submitted by mail under one of the economic classes above;
  • have applied for an open work permit;
  • have paid the work permit processing fee and the open work permit holder fee; and
  • have provided, as applicable, evidence (e.g., nomination certificate) that their provincial nomination is unrestricted.

This Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) enables applicants to keep working while IRCC makes a decision on their Permanent Resident application.

Note: A Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) will be refused if the Permanent resident application is not complete and the processing fee will not be refunded.

Extending Stay:

Whether you are visiting Canada as a tourist or business visitor, working temporarily or studying in Canada, you are required to leave Canada at the end of your stay. If you desire to stay beyond the authorized date, you must apply for an extension before the expiry of your visitor status. If you want to change the terms and conditions of your stay, you must also submit an application.

It is illegal to stay in Canada beyond the validity of your visitor status or to work or study without necessary authorization.

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