Work Permit

Working in Canada

For foreign nationals to be eligible to temporarily work in Canada, they must obtain a Work Permit. We can categorize work permits into the following groups:

Temporary Work Permit

A job offer is a must in order for a foreign national to be able to come to Canada on a work permit. For it to be possible for a Canadian employer to offer a job to a foreign national, the employer must be able to prove with documentation to Service Canada that s/he cannot find an employee for this position in Canada despite his/her efforts; that s/he has advertised for the position and interviewed many candidates. The employer must then apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) in order to obtain permission to hire a foreign national. If they obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion, the employer can then forward this to a foreign national, along with an offer of employment, with which the foreign national can use to apply for the Temporary Work Permit. This work permit is limited to a maximum of four years.

The Labour Market Opinion will be positive if there is a high demand for this type of work, there is a large shortage of qualified people, it is borderline impossible for an employer to fill this position within Canada, and that it is believed that hiring foreign nationals will have a positive impact on the economy.

The jobs that usually fall within this category are the ones requiring higher education and are currently experiencing a shortage. For example, university research staff, computer science, agriculture, the oil industry, and family-operated small businesses.

If you would like to come to Canada with a work permit, the first thing to do is to find an employer that is willing to offer you employment and take the necessary steps to be able to hire you. Those who come to Canada with a work permit and work continuously for two years are eligible to apply for permanent residency.

Domestic Workers

In order for a foreign national to obtain a work permit from this category, an employer must make an offer of employment, and obtain permission from Service Canada in the form of a Labour Market Opinion. The employer must also prove that they have the necessary financial resources to be able to support a full-time domestic worker.

Meanwhile, the foreign national must ensure that they have the relevant work experience and/or formal training, and be able to speak at least one of Canada’s two official languages at a basic conversational level. These languages are English and French. The foreign national cannot have any medical restrictions or a criminal record for their application to succeed.

Work Permit Applications for Job Categories that do not require post-secondary education.

The compass of this category was expanded with the most recent changes in immigration law. Among the jobs that fall within this category now are: construction workers, heavy machine operators, farmers, and oil workers.

These jobs may require a certificate or licence from the province or their respective regulatory bodies, depending on their location. If this is the case, the foreign national may obtain the certificate within a limited period of time after their entry into Canada with a Work Permit.

Business Visits for Businessman

It is not necessary to obtain a Work Permit for business visits. If necessary, a temporary visitor visa will be sufficient.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The parties in this contract are Canada, The United Stated of America, and Mexico.

Under NAFTA, it is necessary to obtain a Work Permit for inter-company transfers, investors, and businessman. However, the parties to the agreement do not need to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

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