Work Permits

In most cases it is a necessity to obtain a job offer from a company within Canada and have that job approved by the Canadian Human Resources Department before a work permit is issued by immigration authorities within Canada. Work Permits are usually applied at Visa Offices located in various locations throughout Canada or in some cases work permits can be applied at the port of entry or at the airport coming into Canada.

The Regular Process of Work Permit Applications

As stated above, a job offer and approval by the Canadian Human Resources Department is usually required before the work permit application can be made/ processed. The employer needs to prove and demonstrate why a Canadian was unable to fill the job position. It should be noted that the foreign worker program is used as a realm when there is a shortage of Canadians to fill high skilled occupations in the labour market.

Upon approval by the Human Resource Department, an application for the actual work permit visa can be made to Immigration Canada. The immigration authorities then determine if the individual is qualified or inadmissible to Canada before issuing the applicant’s work permit.

Work Permits that do not Require Human Resources Approval

It is possible to obtain a work permit without having to obtain approval from the Human Resources department. Work permits for entrepreneurs and intra-company transferees and other individuals whose employment will bring a significant benefit towards the Canadian economy are exempt from prior validation.

There is also a special exemption for Foreign/International students who have completed an academic term/ course of study in Canada. These students are allowed to apply for an open work permit, permitting they have an employer willing to give them a position within his or her company.

Nafta Work Permits, etc.

Some categories of workers from specific countries do not require prior validation from the human resources department in order to obtain a Canadian Work Permit. Citizens of the United States and Mexico are eligible to apply for work permits under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if they fall under the categories of: professionals, business visitors, intra-company transferees, traders or investors. Citizens of countries that fall underneath the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement may also be exempt from prior approval from the Human Resources Department.

Live-in Caregivers

This is a category for individuals who have an offer of employment from a Canadian as a caregiver. The Canadian resident is willing to let the caregiver live in his or her home. A live in caregiver’s duties can either be taking care of small children, elderly persons, or disabled individuals on behalf of the Canadian Employer. In order to qualify in this category as a caregiver, the individual needs to have completed at least 12 years of education, is able to speak English or French (the fluency needs to be well enough to communicate without external help in an unsupervised setting). They also are required to have at least a six-month training program in relation to care- giving or have a minimum of one year full time experience as a caregiver. After working in Canada for two years, a caregiver is eligible to apply for permanent residence and their family members may be included in the application.

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