Every year, over 90,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages, or as live-in caregivers.
A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada, though for some positions and business people it is not necessary.Regularly, before obtaining a work permit the employer requires a Labour Market Impact Analysis or “LMIA”. A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job you offer and that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job.
Citizens of visa exempt countries can apply for a work permit at the port of entry, having the positive LMIA in hand.This reduces the process of work permit dramatically.
Obtaining a LMIA depending on type of the job, job market situation and location of the position being offered by employer can be very challenging and complicated.This is why an experienced team of immigration attorneys can be very helpful.
Work Permits for Spousal Sponsorship Applicants
As part of its commitment to family unification, Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their spouses or common-law partners for permanent residency. For many couples, it is important that the sponsored spouse is able to work in Canada while waiting for their permanent residency to be finalized.
Permanent resident visa applications for sponsored spouses are processed in two categories: Inland and Outland. Spouses who are living in Canada at the time of application, and who will remain in Canada during the application process, apply through Inland sponsorship. Spouses who are living outside of Canada, or expect to be outside of Canada when their permanent resident visa is finalized, apply through Outland sponsorship.
Work Permits for Inland Sponsorship Applicants
CIC processes Inland sponsorship applications in two stages. First, the immigration office assesses the Canadian partner’s ability to sponsor his or her spouse. If they are approved, the office then proceeds to assess the foreign spouse’s admissibility to Canada.
Once the first stage of the application has been approved, the person being sponsored is eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit. An individual holding an Open Work Permit may work for any employer in Canada, or may be self-employed, while they wait to hear the results of their permanent residency application.
Work Permits for Outland Sponsorship Applicants
Outland sponsorship follows a two-stage structure similar to that of Inland sponsorship. However, unlike the Inland process, the first stage of Outland sponsorship does not make the sponsored spouse eligible for an Open Work Permit. A foreign spouse in this situation can still apply for a temporary work permit, but he or she will be subject to general requirements for work permit eligibility.
In order to be eligible for a standard work permit, an individual must typically receive a job offer from a Canadian employer. In most cases, the employer will have to receive a positive Labour Market Impact Analysis before the foreign worker can request a work permit. Depending on a spouse’s age, nationality, and profession, he or she may qualify for an LMIA-exempt work permit through a program such as the NAFTA Professional or International Experience Canada.
Sponsored spouses applying for a work permit should be aware that, in general, temporary work permits are given to individuals who plan to leave Canada after their work permits expire. If a government official determines that a work permit applicant is coming to Canada to live with their partner, it is possible that their work permit application will be refused because they cannot demonstrate that they will leave Canada once their work permit expires.