Work Permit Application

Discuss the types of work permits for foreign temporary workers

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Check if LMIA is required in your matter to obtain a work permit in Canada

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    The number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has tripled since 2001. More than 600,000 foreign workers and their spouses call Canada their temporary home.

    Each work permit works a little differently. The process can be overwhelming for first-time applicants. Open work permits have a variety of specific use cases. Similarly, employer-specific work permits make some particular requests about your documentation.

    That's why we're here. Today, we're going to look at each type of work permit application Canada offers. Many of them share similar needs, but some of them have additional requirements you'll need to meet.


    Work Permit Application: Canada Common Rules and Requirements

    If you want to work in Canada as a foreign national, you will usually need to go through the work permit process. This process includes a modest fee, currently set at $155.

    Canada offers two main types of work permits: employer-specific work permits and open work permits. Employer-specific work permits only allow the holder to work with a specific employer. Open work permits allow holders to seek work in Canada with almost any employer.

    As long as you have a prospective employer, you can pursue an employer-specific work permit. An open work permit will require you to meet one of the requirements listed for its use. Despite the limitations on who can get them, most temporary foreign workers in Canada use open work permits.

    Common Work Permit Processes

    All work permits require an application. The application has similar requirements regardless of which pipeline you intend to enter through. You can fill it out online or submit a paper application.

    Some requirements differ if you apply from within Canada instead of outside. To be eligible to apply from within Canada, you must fall under one of a specific set of exemptions, many of which mirror those involved in an open work permit. If you already held a Canadian work permit and it expired, you can apply to restore your status instead.

    Visitors to Canada cannot apply for work permits from within Canada under normal circumstances. Applications must generally come from outside. If you need help finding a way to apply from within Canada during COVID 19, contact an immigration lawyer.

    Employer-Specific Work Permit Processes

    To be admitted under an employer-specific work permit, you must have an offer of work from an employer. Your prospective employer must furnish you with both a job offer letter and a contract as part of this offer. You then submit them to Canadian immigration services.

    You or your employer may need to submit other documents depending on your situation.

    Do I Need a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

    The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applies only to employers who want to bring in a temporary foreign worker on an employer-specific work permit. The LMIA assesses the viability of hiring Canadian workers for the job posting. Under Canada immigration law, employers must do their due diligence in finding a Canadian employee before bringing in foreign talent.

    If you want to migrate to Canada, the LMIA process itself won't be your concern. You should remain in contact with your employer about the potential LMIA requirements of your hiring. You will need to submit a copy of the LMIA with your work permit application.

    If you're an employer looking to hire a foreign worker, make sure to stay ahead of the LMIA process. Hiring a foreign worker illegally can have immediate consequences for your bottom line. Depending on the circumstances, you may also lose the ability to hire foreign workers.

    Do I Need an Offer of Employment?

    An offer of employment serves as an alternative to an LMIA when a business does not need to pursue an LMIA. Like an LMIA, this element falls on the employer's shoulders and not the employee's.

    If your situation requires an offer of employment instead of an LMIA, your employer should give you an offer number. You will submit this alongside your application.


    What If I Need None of That?

    Few employer-specific permits in Canada require neither an LMIA nor an offer of employment. Most workers who need neither of the above come in as part of a government organization or mission. For circumstances like these, remain in contact with your employer about additional needs.

    Open Work Permit Requirements

    Unlike employer-specific work permits, open work permits do not require an LMIA or an existing offer of employment. Your permit will not be tied to any specific employer.

    You will need to pay an additional fee for the processing of an open work permit. The immigration office currently sets this fee at $100.


    To receive an open work permit, you will also need to document why you qualify. Common candidates for an open work permit include:

    International students graduating from programs.

    Employees at risk of abuse.

    Refugees and protected persons.

    Temporary residents permit holders.

    Applicants for permanent residence.

    Family members of other residents or workers.

    If any of these describe you, you may qualify for an open work permit.

    Biometric Data

    Canada requires your biometric data as part of many of its immigration processes. This ensures you are the person who was approved to travel to Canada. Not all work permit processes require biometrics, but most do.

    To give biometrics, you must make an appointment with a local support centre. You will be assessed a fee of $85 for this task, though families and groups have a cap on the expected final payment.

    The requested biometric data includes your fingerprints as well as a current photograph. You should do your best to avoid damage to the pads of your fingers in the days leading up to your biometrics appointment.

    Exceptions to the Work Permit Process

    Not everyone needs to fill out a work permit application to work in Canada. Some jobs would be difficult to perform or fill if they required the additional paperwork involved in a work application.

    These types of jobs include those that travel through Canada, those that support events and entertainment, and religious work. Common job titles include performing artists, foreign government representatives, convention organizers, clergy, and vehicle crew.

    These narrowly-tailored exemptions do not include everyone in these categories. If you think this may apply to you, Contact a Mississauga immigration lawyer for more information.

    Ineligible Jobs

    Even open work permits come with some restrictions on jobs. Two categories of employers cannot hire foreign workers.

    An open work permit does not allow the bearer to work at an establishment that provides erotic dance, striptease, escort, or erotic massage services. Some other employers have lost eligibility for Canada's work permit programs due to prior noncompliance. Immigration services can issue temporary or permanent bans depending on the degree of the infraction.

    Information on prohibited employers goes out through the immigration services website.

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    COVID-19 Pandemic Effects

    The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of the immigration process. Some of these requirements change from week to week, as they address emergent issues. New variants, vaccination changes, and countries with high spread get addressed as they appear.

    Some things, however, remain constant. Until February 2022, visitors can send a work application from within Canada. Foreign workers and immigrants must also abide by certain travel restrictions both within Canada and when they leave for short periods.

    Likewise, many support centres for Canadian immigration have been closed or had their services reduced. Biometric data collection and processing have been reduced. Applicants should keep an eye on the status of their local visa support centres and do their best to get an appointment as soon as possible.
    If you plan to come to Canada on a work permit, check the current restrictions both when you apply and close to your arrival date. You may be subject to additional requirements for quarantine, vaccination, or screening.

    A Path to Prosperity in Canada

    Working in Canada as a foreign worker will help you build your resume, contribute to a great economy, and achieve personal fulfillment. Once you submit your work permit application, Canada can open new doors for your future.

    The process takes time, and many of the documents have a technical bent. The expense and difficulty of having an application processed after a rejection can also discourage many potential applicants.

    Why not let our team of lawyers take care of some of the hardest parts for you? Contact us today and tell us about your situation. We'll help you sort out what you need and prepare your documents.

    You can rest easier knowing that your application process will have the help of some of Mississauga's best immigration lawyers.


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