Canadian work visa processes can be lengthy and challenging; however, with adequate research and documentation you can streamline this process.
Before applying for a work permit, your employer must obtain an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Analysis) from Employment and Social Development Canada. They must demonstrate that no Canadian worker could do the job.
What is a work permit?
Work permits are temporary authorizations granted by the Government of Canada that authorize foreign nationals to work temporarily within Canada. They are issued through various programs and eligibility requirements may differ between programs; most work permits require passing an LMIA assessment which shows how their job offer won't harm local workers in any way.
Individuals applying for a work visa typically need a passport with at least six months remaining on its validity after their planned date of arrival in Canada, an application form filled out and all supporting documents. Depending on the type of permit applied for, applicants may also have to submit a medical examination report and meet with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada officials for interviews.
Under International Experience Canada (IEC), certain work permits do not require any type of visa at all. This program offers young people from 30 different nations the chance to travel and gain work experience in Canada without visa restrictions. Applicants enter into a pool, from which random selection is then made when invited to apply for relevant work permits.
To qualify for an IEC work permit, a person must first present an official job offer from their employer in the form of an Employment Letter and LMIA. They also require financial resources sufficient for supporting themselves while in Canada as well as the ability to cover any application-related costs; it is expected that they return home at the conclusion of their stay.
Are You Eligible for a Federal Skilled Worker Work Permit or Provincial Nominee Program Work Permit in Canada? In order to secure either, one must fulfill certain criteria such as points scored on the Comprehensive Ranking System and a formal job offer, as well as passing medical exams, police record certificates and showing proof of financial resources. They cannot engage in activities prohibited under Canadian law such as escorting services, exotic dancing or erotic massage services.
How do I apply for a work permit?
There are various work visa options available to individuals looking to enter Canada temporarily for employment purposes, with each process depending on which permit type you require and your country of application. Typically, the application process with IRCC involves providing supporting documentation as well as attending an exam before paying a fee and providing your biometrics (fingerprints and photo). Submitting your biometrics with your work permit application can speed up its processing time while giving you online access to monitor its status at any point during its lifecycle.
Application requirements typically include providing copies of your passport and recent photographs that meet IRCC specifications, along with details regarding employment history, education history and personal details - it is vital that these be filled in accurately or else mistakes could delay processing your work permit application.
Dependent upon the type of work permit you seek, additional requirements may need to be fulfilled in order for it to be processed. For instance, applying for an open work permit means finding employment before your application can be processed while postgraduate work permits require you to have successfully completed a degree program before your application can be considered processed.
Once your work permit has been approved, the next step should be making travel arrangements and booking accommodation if necessary. A valid return ticket as well as enough funds for your stay in Canada may also be necessary; depending on which work visa type is appropriate to your situation. Depending on which work visa category is desired, physical work permits may even be available at ports of entry upon arriving in Canada.
At the port of entry (PoE), you will be asked to present all documents and go through a medical examination if required. PoE officers will then decide whether or not you are allowed into Canada on your work visa for however long, printing out your physical work permit at PoE so you can begin working immediately in Canada.
What are the requirements for a work permit?
The requirements for applying for a work permit depend on which kind of visa you seek. In general, an LMO (labour market opinion) from a Canadian employer must accompany any application for work. There may be exceptions based on reciprocal treaties, transfer of senior employees or preliminarily selected for permanent residency but who have yet to receive their visas.
If you are applying for an open work permit in Canada, IRCC requires the submission of a completed application form along with supporting documents that meet its criteria. You may also need a police clearance certificate depending on your country of origin and type of work you plan to perform here.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you plan to enter Canada, if applying for a temporary work permit and need proof of financial means (bank statements, credit card bills or any other evidence of income), enough funds must be available to support yourself and any dependents while in Canada.
If eligible, applying for your work permit at a port of entry (POE) can be an expedient option. Applying this way may be faster than applying from home but under certain conditions only; such as having been submitted a Labour Market Impact Analysis by your future employer which shows they cannot fill your role with domestic workers alone. In some instances, taking part may involve medical examinations as part of this process or providing police clearance certificates as proof.
If you are coming to Canada solely for business reasons, no work permit is needed; rather, entry can be as a "business visitor." Your employer must submit an LMIA showing they cannot hire domestic workers for your position of interest.
How long do I have to wait for a work permit?
Work permits permit foreign nationals to work in Canada for an outlined time period, though this varies based on the type of permit being sought (for instance, some temporary work permits are valid only for one year). It's essential that when applying for one you plan ahead and submit accurate information; otherwise penalties and delays in your application process could arise.
To secure a work permit when entering Canada is typically best. There may be exceptions; for example if you are working as a temporary foreign worker or foreign government representative on behalf of their country. Furthermore, students or graduates from countries with free trade agreements with Canada could potentially apply at their port of entry directly.
Once your application has been received by immigration officers, it may take up to 20 days for them to review and make a decision on it. They will look through your supporting documents and interview you to assess whether you meet all requirements necessary for a work permit; these could include proof that there are sufficient funds available for support during your stay in Canada; proof of medical examination report or police certificate may also be considered criteria for approval.
Applicants obtaining work permits through employer sponsorship in Canada must also complete and have submitted to them an LMIA to ensure that you bring valuable skills and expertise into the Canadian labor market without competing against native workers.
Immigration officials may request that you undergo both a medical exam and interview in order to assess your health and determine if you will return home once your work permit has expired. They want to make sure they've hired honest individuals.