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Canada has above 330,000 temporary foreign workers presently working in Canada which strongly indicates that Canadian employers rely on globally trained workers’ experience and skills.

When an employer wishes to hire a foreign worker, the employer will require a document known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This document will allow a worker to get a work permit to work within Canada and thus the document is needed to be attached to their application for a work permit.

The Government issues a positive or a negative LMIA to the employer after applying. A positive LMIA also known as a confirmation letter will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. The employer must prove that there is no Canadian or Permanent Resident worker available to fill the vacancy and therefore a foreign worker is required.

The following conditions are considered in an application for an LMIA application by an Employer:

  • Skill Level: Employers should verify the occupation’s skill level through National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.
  • Advertising Requirements: Employers must prove that they have made a legitimate attempt to engage a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Meet or exceed median wage rate: Employers must ensure that their wage for the position does not fall below the average wage rate for their particular geographical location
  • Special Conditions: Consider any special conditions required for the specific industry sector the employer selects the temporary foreign worker.
  • Exceptions for Applying for LMIA: There are some work classifications which are exempted from the application of an LMIA.

Once the employer gets a positive LMIA, the Applicant or worker can apply for a work permit.

Open Work Permit

For a foreigner to be permitted to work in Canada in ANY job without any restrictions requires an Open Work Permit (OWP). Applicants do not need an LMIA or a job offer to apply for an OWP. Once, an Applicant has gotten their OWP, they can apply and work in any job in Canada.

Eligibility for OWP:

  • Spouse or common-law partner being sponsored for Permanent Residence through an Inland Spousal Application
  • Spouse or common-law partner of a Temporary Foreign Worker
  • Spouse or common-law partners of International Students studying in Canada
  • International Students who recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit

Post – Graduation Work Permit

After graduating from an eligible program at an accredited Canadian institution, you may qualify to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. This is a program offered to graduates to obtain a three year open work permit.. A job offer is not required to obtain an open work permit.

Once you receive a written confirmation that you are graduating (transcript or an official letter from your institution) you must apply within 180 days of receiving that confirmation. Please make sure that you still have status as a student when you are applying from a Post Graduation Work Permit.

Eligibility for Post – Graduation Work Permit:

  • Possess a valid study permit
  • Have studied full-time and maintained satisfactory academic standing in their program of study for atleast eight months preceeding their application for a post-graduation work visa
  • Have graduated from an accredited Canadian institution and have applied for a work permit within 180 days of receiving confirmation of meeting the requirements for the program

A post - graduation work permit may assist applicants towards permanent residency; however, it should be noted that to be granted a three year work permit, the program of study must have been a minimum of two years.

Intra-Company Transfer

The Intra-company category allows international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to branches of their company in Canada. This can be done for the purposes of improving management effectiveness, expanding Canadian exports, and enhancing competitiveness in overseas markets.

As an intra-company transferee, the applicant must have worked:

  • At least one year in the last three years,
  • For the same or related employer in the United States or Mexico
  • Be transferred to Canada to work short term for the same or a related employer,
  • work as a manager, as an executive or in a job that uses specialized knowledge
  • have a work permit

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