Canada Temporary Work Permit
If you are planning to work in Canada, you must get a Temporary Work Permit which allows you to find an employer.
You will receive a temporary work permit based on your citizenship and the type of occupation you are intending to perform in Canada. Additionally, you’ll have to meet other conditions. Again, depending on your country of citizenship you might not need a work permit. Foreigners from countries that have bilateral agreements with Canada (e.g., the European Union), don’t need a temporary work permit.
This work permit for Canada is not permanent and will expire after a few months or years depending on the type you have. This means that after the visa expires, you must return to your home country unless you apply to get it extended or renewed. You cannot stay and work in Canada after your visa expires because you will put yourself at risk for deportation, which means you will not be able to get a Canadian visa again.
Temporary Work Permit Requirements
Canada has established certain criteria for qualified foreign workers. Skilled workers can apply for a permanent residence. Here are the main requirements you need to meet:
- Fluency in English or French
- Work Experience
- The employment contract
- An applicant also has to prove he has sufficient funds for living in Canada.
In addition, you must plan to work for an eligible employer. You should have no record of a criminal background and have a medical exam if required. Lastly, you must prove to an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires.
Programs Under the Temporary Work Permit
There are two programs which temporary workers can apply to:
- Temporary Foreign Workers Program – for which you’ll need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
- International Mobility Program – for which you don’t need an LMIA.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Temporary Foreign Worker program is what allows employers to hire foreign workers with the purpose of obtaining permanent residence (PR) in Canada. These workers if hired can acquire the status of temporary workers. After their employers receive a Labor Market Impact Assessment document, they can apply for the foreign worker program to receive their work permit.
And once you spend at least one year in Canada on LMIA based visa, you can apply for a permanent residency under certain immigration programs. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is the stream leading to PR, created for foreign temporary residents who have Canadian work experience.
International Mobility Program
The International Mobility Program is designed for Canadian employers who seek to hire foreign workers on a temporary work permit. The advantage of this program is no need for an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment). While under a Temporary Foreign Worker Program, employers have to comply with the labor market conditions, the International Mobility Program is more flexible in this sense.
Apply for a Temporary Work Permit
Anyone who is seeking to work and live in Canada must obtain a Temporary Work Permit. Foreign government workers and representatives, including their family members;
- Military personnel;
- Business visitors;
- Performing artists;
- Religious workers;
- Judges, referees or workers alike;
- Media workers and news reporters;
- Public speakers and convention organizers;
- Evaluators and examiners;
- Medical students;
- Students working on campus;
- Civil aviation inspectors;
- Emergency service providers;
- Expert witnesses and investigators;
- Researchers who come to Canada to work only 120 days.
If you cannot find yourself on this list, then you need a Temporary Work Permit. However, whether you can apply for a work permit will be contingent on many factors. Applicants can apply on paper and online.
For the most part, you will have to find a Canadian employer willing to hire you. Besides, the employer will have to provide a positive LMIA. However, not all jobs require this.
Note that if you are going to work in Quebec, then the Quebec government must approve the job offer. The employer is responsible to send the job offer letter to the relevant agencies a copy of which you should include in the application.
Temporary Work Permit for Entrepreneurs
Canada offers many exciting opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs. So you are welcome to this country and play your part in building the local economy.
Prospective entrepreneurs from the US or Mexico can take advantage of a NAFTA Investor agreement if they have already made a significant investment in Canadian business. Another option is an Intra-Company Transfer. This program allows multinational corporations to transfer their key staff between branches, which can also be applied to entrepreneurs.
If you are a major shareholder of the Canadian business, you can also consider a C11 Entrepreneur work permit. But to apply for this program, your primary location of residence should be outside of Canada. If you are looking for living permanently in Canada, then you need to apply through one of Canada’s business immigration programs. For entrepreneurs who own a little share in Canadian business, an Owner/Operator LMIA-based work permit might be an option.
How to Work in Canada Without a Work Permit?
The Canadian government has a list of specific workers traveling to Canada who are exempt from a temporary work permit.
Other foreigners who can come to Canada are business visitors. They can attend conferences or workshops on a Temporary Resident Visa. Board of directors who must attend a meeting in Canada are also eligible to do so as business visitors.
If a foreigner needs to come to Canada to repair, install or test commercial or industrial equipment, he doesn’t need a temporary work permit. But the respective contract must stipulate the after-sale service. Similarly, foreigners that have contracted Canadian companies to deliver services in Canada fall under business visitors. They can send their employees to Canada to supervise the work in a way that satisfies a foreign company.
Domestic servants, personal assistants or live-in caregivers can enter Canada as business visitors. However, they can stay and work in Canada for not more than 6 months. Otherwise, they will have to extend their stay, apply for a temporary work permit, and secure an LMIA.