Canada is among the world’s leading economies and very popular with individuals looking to work abroad. It is among the friendliest and most tolerant countries and even though unemployment is low, the job market is competitive. However, employers are encouraged to offer jobs to Canadian citizens and residents ahead of foreign applicants.
Most foreigners seeking employment must obtain a work permit. Typically, applicants need to have a job offer before applying.
What types of Work Visas are there in the Canada?
There are two options:
• Temporary Work Visas (TWV). The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a temporary work visa giving opportunities for foreign workers over a short period. The TFWP allows employment for only six months, with possible extensions. https://visaguide.world/canada-visa/temporary/work/
• Through Permanent or Immigrant Work Visas given to those emigrating to Canada because they have found suitable employment
A TWV is a combination of a TRV and a work permit, allowing applicants to stay for six months or less, while the work permit allows persons to work in the job that they have already found or to look for employment.
Work permits can be issued as either:
• An Open Work Permit meaning the holder can work for any employer, also known as an International Mobility Program for Canada. Check here:
• Employer-specific Work Permit allows the holder to work only for a named employer, including the length of the employment and, where applicable, the location. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/hire-temporary-foreign.html
The many different categories of work permits and exemptions cover workers, business people, professionals, intra-company transferees, traders and investors. TRVs include Business People and Business Delegations visas, which allow visits for business trips
The ‘Start-up’ Visa Program aims to recruit entrepreneurs and link them with Canadian private sector businesses to promote start-ups in Canada and grants permanent residence to those who qualify. https://www.immigration.ca/start-up-visa-program
What are the requirements to obtain a Canadian Work Visa?
There are particular requirements depending on where and when the application is made. These include:
• Documentation proving they will leave Canada when the visa expires
• Have sufficient funds for their stay and return journey
• No criminal record, possibly requiring a police clearance certificate
• Be prepared to undergo a medical examination
• Not plan to work for an “ineligible” employer previously found to be non-compliant https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/employers-non-compliant.html
Employers must meet specific requirements detailed in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Employers of temporary foreign workers should comply with obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the IRPR.
• Comply with the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program
• Keep records of their Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for six years
• Inform the authorities of any changes to the foreign employees’ working conditions, by regularly reviewing the TFW program conditions
For eligibility requirements for applicants from outside Canada:
Applying for a Work Permit for Canada
Since COVID most applicants must apply online. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/permit/temporary/apply.html
Applications must meet different criteria depending on the respective immigration program. Questions focus on work experience, income, details of job offers, education, languages, age, nationality and family members.
At port of entry:
• Tell the officer that a work permit is required
• Have all travel documents and passport available
• Any documents that prove eligibility
• Have a valid medical certificate if necessary
For an Employer-specific Work Permit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required for employment, bring:
• A job offer
• A copy of the LMIA
• Proof of qualifications and experience for the job
H2: How much is a Canadian Work Permit?
The fee for an employer-specific Work Permit is CAD155. The work permit fee for an Open Work Permit is CAD155 plus Open Work Permit holder fee of CAD100.
An open work permit is not job-specific.
Business Visa for Canada
Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or weeks, but can stay for up to six months, in order to:
• Take part in international business activities and look for ways to expand business, or invest
• To qualify as a business visitor to Canada, applicants need to:
• Stay less than 6 months with no plans to seek employment
• Have their main location for business, income and profits outside Canada
• Provide supporting documents with the application
• Have a valid passport or travel document
• Have money to cover stay and return home and confirm they will leave at end of trip
• Are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians
To enter Canada the following documents are also required:
• Visitor Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization
• Letter from the parent company
• Invitation from Canadian hosts
• Any other relevant documentation such as service agreements or contracts
More information is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/business/eligibility.html
Visitor Visa Fees are CAD100 per person. Biometrics CAD85 per person.
Make sure of eligibility before applying. Fees are non-refundable.
Paying for visa go to: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/fees/pay.asp
NOTE: Business visitors are not the same as business people who enter Canada to work under a free trade agreement. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/permit/business-people.html
Canadian Visa for EU citizens
Canada has an agreement with the European Union giving opportunities for EU citizens to work in Canada, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). EU nationals covered by CETA may be able to work in Canada without needing a work permit.
Canadian Visa for UK citizens
UK Citizens, after Brexit, are not covered by the Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). For more permanent work, employers need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Looking for a job on Canada’s shortage occupations list eases the process through the Federal Skilled Worker Program by applying through the ‘Express Entry’ route.
Canadian Visa for USA citizens
USA passport holders can visit Canada for up to 180 days without a visa. However, to work, a visa or other lawful immigration status is required.
Although the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) makes it easier for US Citizens to obtain a work permit, these requirements must still be met:
• A job offer from a Canadian employer
• The occupation has to be listed in the USMCA
• Proof of citizenship
• Proof of qualifications and relevant experience
• Employer must obtain a positive Labor Market Opinion (LMO) showing that no Canadians can fill the position
• Supply a copy for work permit application
Canadian Visa for Chinese citizens
Chinese citizens must obtain the appropriate visa, via Canadian Embassies and Consulates. Individuals travelling to Canada on a temporary basis, whether to visit family, study (for less than six months) or for a short business trip need a Temporary Resident Visas. For employment; a separate work permit will be required.
All Chinese residents need to provide a biometric profile (fingerprints and photo) as part of the visa application.
NOTE: The China Transit Program allows persons travelling through Canada to or from the US to do so without a temporary Canadian visa (some conditions apply). Some offices have restrictions, so check online regarding which office services which areas.
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