Most foreign nationals who want to work in Canada will require a work permit. You will have to apply for the work permit before you enter the country. In some cases, foreign nationals will be able to do it at the border.
If you had applied for a work permit before entering Canada, the visa office will send you a POE (Port of Entry) Letter of Introduction. The letter will state that your application was accepted. Present the letter to immigration officials when entering Canada. The work permit is then printed and issued.
There are two types of work permits. These include:
1. Employer Specific Work Permit
2. Open Work Permit
Employer Specific Work Permit
An Employer Specific Work Permit enables you to work in Canada subject to the conditions specified in the work permit.
· Name of specific employer you will be working for; and
· Duration of work.
· Work location (if applicable)
Before you submit an application for this permit, the employer needs to fulfill certain requirements. The employer should offer an employment number or a copy of the Labor Market Impact Assessment to include in the application.
Open Work Permit
You will be able to work for any employer in Canada with an open work permit. This permit is given only in specific situations.
Open work permit is not allowed for certain professions. These include:
· Those listed as ineligible on the list of employers failing to comply with the conditions or
· Those regularly offering erotic massages, escort service, erotic dance, or striptease.
Eligibility Requirements for All Applicants
Depending on where you are, certain specific eligibility requirements are to be met.
· Prove that you will leave Canada to an officer on the expiry of your work permit.
· Show that you have adequate money for you and your family during your stay in Canada. You should also prove that you have enough money to return home.
· There is no record of criminal activity and you obey the law. A police clearance certificate may also be insisted.
· You should not be a danger to the security of Canada.
· Prove good health and undergo a medical examination if necessary.
· Should not work for an employer listed as ineligible for failing to comply with the conditions.
· Not work for an employer who offers erotic massages, escort service, erotic dance, or striptease on a regular basis.
· Provide any documents that the officer asks for as proof so that you can enter Canada.
Eligibility Requirements for Applicants from Outside Canada
Anyone can apply for a work permit before they enter Canada. You do need to remember that depending on the country or territory you are applying from; you may have to fulfill visa requirements.
Eligibility Requirements for Applicants from Inside Canada
You will be able to apply for a work permit from inside Canada if:
· You have a work permit or a valid study.
· Your parents, spouse or common-law partner have a work permit or valid study.
· You graduated at a program at a community college, Canadian university, publicly funded technical/trade school, CEGEP or other eligible schools.
· Temporary resident permit which is valid for six months or more are available with you.
· You have applied for permanent residence from inside Canada and waiting for a decision on the application.
· You will or already made a claim for refugee protection.
· You are recognized as a protected person or convention refugee by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
· You are allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but you will need it for a different job.
· You are a professional, intra-company transferee, investor or trader under NAFTA.
Eligibility Requirements for Applicants Entering Canada at a Port of Entry (POE)
You can apply for a work permit when entering Canada if:
· You don’t need a visitor visa to enter Canada
· You are applying for an open work permit.
· The employer has completed all requisite formalities for employer-specific work permit.
You will need to undergo a medical examination before you come to Canada.
Application Process – How to Apply
You can choose to apply for the work permit on paper or online. In most cases, you will have to provide your photo and fingerprints after you apply.
Why Apply for Work Permit Online?
· Get the application process done immediately. You don’t have to wait for mail delivery and no courier costs.
· Online applications are processed quickly.
· You will be able to avoid processing delays.
· You will be able to submit additional documents if necessary, immediately when you apply online.
· Get quick updates on the status of your online application.
Work Permits for Different Categories
· Business People
Business people can come and do business in Canada if they qualify under any of the free trade agreements.
§ NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
§ FTAs (Other Free Trade Agreements)
§ GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services)
Business visitors are individuals who come to Canada to explore international business opportunities. They are not part of the Canadian labor market.
Business visitors often stay for a few days or weeks. If necessary, they can stay in Canada for six months. Business visitors don’t need a work permit.
If you want to work as a professional in Canada, you should:
§ Have a work permit.
§ Be qualified to work in any one of the jobs specified in NAFTA (examples of jobs include engineer, computer systems analyst, accountant and more).
§ Get a job offer from a Canadian firm in that field.
· Intra Company Transferee
Intra-company transferee is an individual sent to work for the same company but in a different country. You should have worked on an ongoing basis for at least one year in the last three years. You should have worked for the same or related employer in Mexico or the United States.
§ Have a work permit.
§ Transferred to Canada for short term work by the same or related employer.
§ Works as an executive or manager in a job that requires specialized skills.
· Traders and Investors
If you want to work in Canada as an investor or trader, you should:
§ Have a work permit.
§ Be involved in planning as an executive or supervisor in a role that involves specific skills. Make a large investment in Canada for the company.
§ Fulfill any other rules of NAFTA.
· Agricultural Workers
You must be eligible for a work permit if you want to work as an agricultural worker in Canada. Apart from this, you will also need to meet certain requirements.
If you are hired through SAWP (Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program), you will be able to work with any SAWP employer in Canada. You will be able to qualify for the program if:
§ Your government recruited you.
§ You are a citizen of a country that takes part in the SAWP program.
§ In Canada, you will be working for SAWP employers.
· International Student
You will be able to start working in Canada as soon as the study program starts. Working before the study program starts is not possible.
In Canada, you will be able to work as an international student if the study permit allows you to work on and off-campus. You can work on the school campus without a permit if you:
§ You are full-time post-secondary student at CEGEP in Quebec, or college or university (public post-secondary school).
§ Student at a private level school in Quebec. The rules of the private school are the same as the public schools.
§ A Canadian private school that is legally allowed to award degrees.
§ A valid study permit is necessary.
§ Social Insurance Number is necessary.
You will have to stop working on campus the day your study ends or when the study permit expires.
Work Permit – After You Complete the Application Process
After you apply, you should submit your photograph and fingerprints (biometrics). The biometrics details have to be provided in person. Ensure that you give the biometrics within 30 days of applying.
The work permit application is processed and checked for all the relevant documents. If the application is incomplete, it will be returned without processing.
You may have to go for an interview with the officials in your country. Apart from this you will also be asked to provide more information.
If the application is approved, you will get a letter that allows you to work in Canada. Bring the letter with you when you travel to Canada. It is important to know that the letter is not the work permit.
You will get the work permit when you submit the letter on arrival in Canada. The work permit will outline the following:
· The employer you can work with.
· The type of job you are allowed to do.
· Place of work.
· Duration of work.
If the application for a work permit is done at the port of entry, the border services officer will give you a work permit. It will set out the conditions of your stay and work in Canada.
If the work permit is applied from inside Canada, it will be mailed to the Canadian address that has been provided.
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