Work Permit

Work Permit

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the Government of Canada facilitates the temporary entry of foreign workers to work for Canadian employers. Foreign workers make it possible to respond to market shortages and to provide other economic opportunities for Canadians such as job creation and the transfer of new skills and knowledge. With few exceptions, foreign workers must have a validated job offer and a work permit before arriving in Canada. The authorities in immigration work with the Employment and Social Development Canada Department (ESDC or HRSDC) for the admission of foreign workers does not adversely affect employment opportunities for Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents.

The TFW program consists of four components: skilled workers, low-skilled workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and for caregivers. Readers who have received temporary jobs in Canada and employers who would like to temporarily hire foreign workers can use our guidelines for applying for a EIMT and a Canadian work permit.

Interested employers : please contact us here to receive more information.

Interested candidates : Find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada by completing our free online assessment . You will get the results of your evaluation in 2-3 business days.

Important information:
  • How to apply for a temporary work permit
  • open work permit in Canada - Working in Canada
  • Where to apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit
  • Applicants for permanent residence: apply for an open work permit in Canada
  • How to apply for a EIMT to work in Quebec
  • Extend or change a Canadian temporary work permit
  • Extend and renew work permits in Quebec
  • How CIC evaluates the temporary foreign worker applications
  • The jobs exempt from the requirement of a EIMT
  • The jobs do not require a work permit in Canada
  • Impact studies on the labor market (EIMT) in Canada
  • The language requirements for temporary foreign workers
  • Canadian EIMT for low skilled workers
  • Documents required for Canadian temporary work permit
  • Business visitors do not require a work permit in Canada
  • Foreigners who have no other means of support
  • Foreign representatives and members of their families having no work permit in Canada
  • Foreign workers and strike situations
  • grounds of inadmissibility to work in Canada
  • foreign worker hiring process
  • Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) & other consequences for offending employers hiring temporary foreign workers
Options for family members to work in Canada

The family members can accompany you to Canada. All family members must complete their own form, but these forms may be submitted at the same time. If a member of your family would like to work in Canada, it must meet its own demand for work permits.

In some cases, the spouses or spouses will be eligible for a temporary work permit. If your children want to study in Canada, they must apply for a study permit.

Generally, the eligibility of your spouse for an open work permit depends on the skill level of your work.

If you are considered a specialized skill worker, your spouse or partner may be eligible for an open work permit. You must be authorized to work in Canada for a period of at least six months.

If you are considered a low-skilled worker, your spouse and dependent children are eligible for an open work permit that through a pilot project in progress or positive LMO

For more information on the conditions of a work permit, validity and duration, Contact us.

 
Work permit for temporary foreign workers

Most foreign workers require a valid work permit and Labour Market Opinion to work in Canada, however there are some exceptions. Take the free eligibility assessment and we will advise you on your options.

Regulation 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act 2002 defines a Work Permit as “a written authorization to work in Canada issued by an officer to a Foreign National”. To elaborate, a Canadian Work Permit is a temporary resident visa issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to grant permission to foreign workers seeking to perform / engage in employment in Canada.

The process of obtaining / acquiring a Canadian Work Permit usually involves obtaining employment in Canada. It is noteworthy mentioning that foreign workers are temporary residents who may be legally authorized/permitted to work with or without a work permit. The majority of prospective foreign workers secures a work permit, and then applies to immigrate to Canada.

 

Positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO)

In most cases, foreign workers must have obtained a labour market opinion from their potential employer before applying for a work permit.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada,  is responsible for issuing a confirmation letter (positive labour market opinion). “The confirmation is a letter from ESDC to your employer stating that having a foreign worker do the job you are going to do will not have a negative impact on the labour market in Canada.

The HRSDC analysis pertaining to the offer of Employment will comprise / include critical elements and points. Regulation 203 of the IRPA 2002 provides “broad authority for HRSDC to weigh several factors in assessing the impact on the Canadian labour Market.

Pursuant to Regulation 203 HRSDC will consider the following critical elements / factors:

  • “Whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to result in the creation or transfer of skills and knowledge for the benefit of Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to fill a labour shortage.
  • Whether the wages offered to the foreign national are consistent with the prevailing wage rate for the occupation and whether the working conditions meet generally accepted Canadian standards;
  • Whether the employer has made, or has agreed to make, reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and
  • Whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute.

It is important to note that the labour market opinion is specific to employer, position and geographical region. In other words, if a foreign worker receives a positive LMO and decides to change positions, even within the same company, the foreign worker will need a new LMO (ESDC).

 

Do you really need a work permit?

Most foreign worker require a valid work permit and LMO to work in Canada, however it is necessary to categorize / list certain exceptions:

  • Some Foreign Workers don’t require an LMO, only a Work Permit.
  • Some Foreign Workers don’t require an LMO or a Work Permit.
  • There are special Work Permit Rules for International students.

It is sometimes possible to obtain a Work Permit without obtaining prior approval from HRSDC. The types of work permits which are exempt from prior validations include work permits for certain categories of workers which are “considered to be beneficial” and will bring significant benefit to Canada by virtue of Regulation R 205 (a) of the IRPA 2002. Please consult one of our adviser if you are unsure about your situation.

 

Special job categories

It is noteworthy mentioning that there are specific LMO instructions for:

 

1. Low-Skilled Worker Program .

Occupations that are classified as “Low-Skilled” by the National Occupational Classification Low system are coded “C” or “D” skill level. They usually require at least a high school diploma or a maximum of two years of job-specific training.

2. Software Professionals

Facilitated entry for software professionals was implemented to streamline the entry of certain high demand software workers in response to the need of employers to fill critical shortages in the software industry.

Effective October 1, 2010, employers who wish to hire foreign workers previously eligible for IT facilitated processing will be required to apply for a Labour Market opinion.

 

List of Software Professionals:
  • Senior Animation Effects Editor (NOC 9990.1)
  • Embedded Systems Software Designer (NOC 9990 . 2)
  • MIS Software Designer (NOC 9990 .3)
  • Multimedia Software Developer (NOC 9990.4)
  • Software Developer (NOC 9990.5)
  • Software Products Developer (NOC 9990.6)
  • Telecommunications Software Designer (NOC 9990.7)

 

3. Live-In-Caregiver

The Live-In-Caregiver Category is another type of Work Permit application for persons who have an offer of employment as a caregiver with a Canadian who is willing to let the Caregiver live in his / her home. Live-In-Caregivers are required to comply with the following conditions:

  • A positive LMO from an Employer in Canada.
  • Job confirmation letter from a Canadian Employer.
  • Written contract with your future employer explaining clearly responsibilities/duties, hours of work, salary + benefits.
  • Completed a high school education equivalent to grade 12 in Canada.
  • At least six months training or at least one year of full-time paid work experience as caregiver or in a related field or occupation (including six months with one employer) in the past 3 years.
  • Able to speak one of Canada’s official languages (English or French).
  • Work Permit before entering Canada.

To re-cap it is important to reiterate that certain foreign workers may be eligible for a Canadian Work Permit in the absence of HRSDC confirmation of a job offer on the basis of demonstrated benefit to Canada as a result of their employment. The interpretation of Regulation 205 (a to d) “Canadian Interests” result in the classification of applications in this category in the following main categories:

  • Canadian Interests (general)
  • Entrepreneur / Self-Employed Candidates.
  • Intra-Company Transferees.
  • Emergency Repair Personnel
  • Reciprocal Employment
  • Charitable or Religious work.

 

Foreign workers who do not require a work permit

In certain cases, foreign nationals/workers may enter Canada to engage in work in the absence of a Work Permit and without the need for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Such cases are generally restricted to situations in which the individual will not enter in the Canadian labour market directly, the primary source of remuneration for business activities is outside Canada, and the principal place of business remains predominantly outside Canada.

Regulation 186 (R 186) of the IRPA 2002, describes and lists the types of work that a foreign national is permitted to perform without the need of a Work Permit. The following categories listed hereunder are examples of employment in which a foreign national may engage within Canada without the requirement of a Work Permit:

  • Athletes and Coaches
  • Aviation accident or incident investigators
  • Business Visitors.
  • Civil Aviation Inspectors
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizers
  • Crew Members
  • Emergency Service Providers.
  • Examiners and Evaluators
  • Expert witnesses or Investigators
  • Family members of foreign Representatives
  • Foreign government officers
  • Foreign Representatives
  • Health-Care Students
  • Judges, Referees and similar officials
  • Military Personnel
  • News Reporters, film and media crews
  • Performing Artists
  • Public Speakers
  • In certain cases, foreign nationals/workers may enter Canada to engage in work in the absence of a Work Permit and without the need for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Such cases are generally restricted to situations in which the individual will not enter in the Canadian labour market directly, the primary source of remuneration for business activities is outside Canada, and the principal place of business remains predominantly outside Canada.Regulation 186 (R 186) of the IRPA 2002, describes and lists the types of work that a foreign national is permitted to perform without the need of a Work Permit. The following categories listed hereunder are examples of employment in which a foreign national may engage within Canada without the requirement of a Work Permit:
  • Athletes and Coaches
  • Aviation accident or incident investigators
  • Business Visitors.
  • Civil Aviation Inspectors
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizers
  • Crew Members
  • Emergency Service Providers.
  • Examiners and Evaluators
  • Expert witnesses or Investigators
  • Family members of foreign Representatives
  • Foreign government officers
  • Foreign Representatives
  • Health-Care Students
  • Judges, Referees and similar officials
  • Military Personnel
  • News Reporters, film and media crews
  • Performing Artists
  • Public Speakers
 
International free trade agreements

In addition, some categories of workers from certain countries do not require prior human resources approval in order to obtain a Canadian Work Permit. Citizens of the United States and Mexico may apply for work permits under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if they are professionals, business people / business visitors, intra-company transferees or traders or Investors. Citizens of countries that are signatories to other treaties such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) may also benefit from this type of Human Resources approval –Exempt Work Permit.

  • Learn more about NAFTA.
  • Learn more about CCFTA.
  • Learn more about GATS.
  • Learn more about CCFTA.
 
Where to apply?

Regulation 11(2) of the IRPA 2002 states / requires that an application for a temporary resident visa or a study work permit must be made outside Canada at the visa office responsible for the country where the applicant is present and has been lawfully admitted or at the applicant’s country of Residence. In most cases, foreign workers must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa, which is usually issued along with the Work Permit. Applicants from “Visa Exempt Countries” can apply for their Work Permit at the border.

Therefore, as a general rule an application for a Work Permit is submitted to a Canadian Visa office abroad if an individual requires a visa (TRV) in order to appear at a Canadian Port of Entry. If an individual doesn’t require such a passport visa, than it may be possible to submit the application at a Canadian Port of Entry (POE).

 
How long does it take?

The process of obtaining a Canadian Work Permit is contingent upon various factors such as the qualifications of the applicant, nature of the job offer, nationality and residence of the applicant. Moreover, the time frames pertaining to applications for Canadian work permits vary, especially if the applicant / foreign national require an HRSDC confirmation, and the requirement of Medical Examinations. Canadian Work Permit processing delays can range from weeks to several months, which all depend on the aforementioned reasons.

 

Processing times shall differ depending on whether the application is submitted inside or outside Canada

 
How to apply?

The following documents listed below are required:

  • Application Form – Work Permit (IMM 1295)
  • By virtue of Regulation 299 (1) “a fee of $150 CAD is payable for processing an application for a Work Permit. (Unless fee is Exempt – Regulation R 299(2) Exceptions).
  • Evidence of Job Offer / Contract of Employment – Compliance with Regulation R 200 (1) c of IRPA 2002.
  • Statutory Documents – Passport (Exception citizens and PR of US + residents of ST. Pierre and Miquelon.
    • Birth Certificate
    • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
    • Evidence of Professional & Academic Credentials
  • Copy of the Applicant’s current immigration document if applying within Canada.
  • Any other documentation deemed necessary and essential towards satisfying the officer and complying with the requirements of the Act and Regulations.
 

Applicants who have been resident in a designated country within the past 12 months, and who are seeking a work permit of six months or greater are required to undertake a medical examination with a designated medical practitioner (DMP). This can sometimes cause processing delays.

 

A step-by-step guide of how to apply for a temporary work permit in Canada