Work Visa

Foreign nationals wishing to work in Canada on a temporary basis usually require a work permit.

Two of the main programs through which work permits are issued are the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

The TFWP offers work permits for candidates whose employers obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

A positive LMIA confirms there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job at hand and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job.

IMP work permits do not require a positive LMIA. They do require the employer to submit an employment offer under their employer portal.

LMIA based Work Permits

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document a Canadian employer needs to hire most types of foreign workers. A positive LMIA confirms there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job at hand and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job. A LMIA application must be made by an employer. Once the LMIA is obtained, it must be sent to the candidate to accompany the work permit application. Generally, a temporary foreign worker will need a work permit and a positive LMIA in order to work in Canada.

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Open Work Permits

An open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any Canadian employer he/she wants over a specified period of time. Some open work permits may restrict the kind of job or place in which the foreign national may work. A worker may apply for an open work permit from outside of Canada, within Canada or at a Canadian port of entry.

Global Talent Stream

Under the Global Talent Stream, skilled workers can expect their Canada work permits and Canada visa applications processed within two weeks. A key element of the Global Talent Stream is that registered employers will need to commit to creating jobs for Canadians and transferring knowledge to Canadian workers, under a Labour Market Benefits Plan.

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International Mobility Program

Hiring a foreign worker through the IMP normally involves the payment of a $230 employer compliance fee. Where an employer is hiring an open work permit holder, the fee is not required. Other fee-exempt positions include those covered by a non-trade agreement, certain research positions and charitable or religious work.

International Experience Canada Program

Canadians aged 18 to 35 can live and work in one of 34 countries as part of the International Experience Canada Program. Reciprocal agreements are in place with each of the 34 nations, young people from those countries can live and work in Canada. There are three categories under the IEC program.

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The Quebec LMIA

Quebec has identified certain high-skilled occupations that are in high-demand and in areas with labour shortages. The LMIA applications for these occupations are exempted from including proof of recruitment efforts. More information about Quebec’s facilitated process can be found here. The facilitated process means Quebec employers can recruit Temporary Foreign Workers for selected positions without needing proof of recruitment efforts.

Work Permit for a Caregiver

Both pilots provide caregivers with a pathway to permanent residence once they have two years of eligible Canadian work experience. The pilots also allow the caregiver to bring family members with them to work or study while they are gathering their work experience.

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