Getting A Work Permit In Canada

Work permits are normally submitted to the government of Canada visa an immigration office abroad. If not filed there, then sometimes the application is filed at a port of entry into Canada such as an airport. Traditionally, the prerequisite for receiving approval of a work permit is to have obtained a job with a Canadian company that has been approved by the Human Resources Department of Canada. If this requirement has been met then a person is eligible to receive a work permit from immigration authorities, which can be aided by receiving the help of a Canada Immigration Lawyer.
Obtaining employment in Canada is the initial step in acquiring a Canada work permit.

Work Permit Applications The Regular Process
In most cases approval will be necessary from the Human Resources Department of Canada before filing a work permit application. To obtain approval from the Human Resources Department an employer must prove that a job was unable to be filled by a Canadian. The employer would have to show, for example, that they had placed newspaper and online ads in an attempt to fill the job by a qualified Canadian citizen before offering it to a non-citizen. A Canadian Immigration Lawyer will point out that this stipulation may be set aside if the job is classified as an Occupation Under Pressure. These positions are recognized as being a part of a skill shortage in Canada making them eligible to be filled by non-Canadian citizens. The foreign worker program is actually geared toward filling positions that specifically fall into this category which look to fill in gaps in Canadas labor market. Low-skilled jobs can be approved by the Human Resources Department but an employer may find the justification process much more onerous.

Once the Human Resources Department has approved a job offer, an application for the Work Permit visa can be sent in to the Canadas immigration authorities. Your Canadian Immigration Lawyer will point out that just like with other temporary residence applications, immigration authorities will seek to ensure that an applicant is qualified and otherwise admissible to Canada prior to approving the work permit.

Work Permits not requiring Human Resources approval
In some cases a work permit can be obtained without first receiving approval from the Human Resources Department. Entrepreneurs, people whose employment will benefit Canada significantly, and intra-company transferees can expect exemption from receiving prior validation.
A Canadian Immigration Lawyer can help Foreign students also qualify for a special exemption if they have completed a coursework study in Canada. An open work permit can be filed by these students which will allow them to work any employer willing to hire them.

NAFTA Work Permits, etc.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows people from either the U.S. or Mexico to obtain a Canada work permit without previous authorization from the Human Resources Department of Canada. These people must either be professionals, business visitors, traders, investors, or intra-company transferees. Signatories to other treaties can also gain work permits for their citizens with help from a Canada Immigration Lawyer based on these treaties with Canada. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) would also qualify for this exemption from approval from the Human Resources Department.

Live-in Caregivers
The Live-in Caregiver may also apply for a work permit under a category of the same name. If a person has received an offer of employment to work as a caregiver in Canada where they will live in their employers home, they can qualify to apply for a work permit under this category. These people will be taking care of the disabled, the elderly, or small children; In addition they must have completed 12 years of education, be able to speak French or English well enough to conduct basic unsupervised conversations, and have finished a six-month training program on being a caregiver. If the person has not had the training, a year of work experience may be substituted. A Canada Immigration Lawyer can help the caregiver obtain permanent residency in Canada after working for 2 years (may be obtained for family as well).

As a licensed Canadian Immigration Lawyer, the author is authorized to represent clients in immigration cases related to Work Permits in Canada. The author is a Canadian Barrister & Solicitor and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.