We represent employers and workers in securing positive Service Canada’s Labour Market Impact Assessment (also known as LMIA) and thereafter, in applying for a Canada work visa. Citizenship and Immigration Canada facilitates the entry of foreign workers needed to address labour market shortages and to encourage job creation and the transfer of new skills and knowledge. The foreign workers must have an approved job offer and a work permit before arriving in Canada with few exceptions.

Eligibility Requirements for Work Permits

    In order to be eligible to apply for work permit for Canada, you must:

  • have an offer of employment that is validated by the Service Canada in the form of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). There are few exceptions to the LMIA requirements
  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires,
  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home,
  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity
  • not be a danger to Canada’s security,
  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed,
  • not plan to work for an employer on the list of ineligible employers,
  • not have worked in Canada for more than four years after April 1, 2011 (with some exceptions), and
  • give the officer any other documents requested by the visa officer.
Exemption from LMIA requirement

    You are not required to provide a job offer in Canada or LMIA, if you fall under any of the following exemptions:

  • Exemption under International Trade Agreements such as FATA or NAFTA etc.
  • Exemption under Significant Benefits such as approved Entrepreneur applicants, Intra-company transferees or Emergency Repair Personnel etc.,
  • Exemption under Reciprocal Employment such as International Experience Canada, Academic Exchange or Performing Arts etc.,
  • Exemption under Minister’s designation for work related to research, educational or training program or public policy, competitiveness and economy such as work permits for spouses or common-law partners of highly skilled foreign workers, international students, post-graduate employment, off-campus work permits etc.
  • Exemption for charitable and religious work
  • Exemption for refugee claimants who are unable to support themselves and who are facing removal order in Canada,
  • Exemptions for certain in-Canada permanent residence applicant such as approved live-in caregiver applicants, approved spouse in-Canada class applicants, approved protected person applicants, approved in-Canada H&C applicants, and the family members of all of these applicants,
  • Exemption for destitute students and Temporary Resident Permit Holder who are unable to support themselves in Canada.
Four Streams of Foreign Worker Programs
  • High-skilled workers: If you are applying to work in an occupation which is a highly skilled occupation that is listed under NOC Level 0, A or B of the National Occupational Classification.
  • Low-skilled workers: If you are applying to work in an occupation which is a low skilled occupation that is listed under NOC Level C or D of the National Occupational Classification./li>
  • The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: If you are applying to work in a farm or agricultural land as a seasonal worker.
  • The Caregiver Program. If you are applying to work as a caregiver in Canada in child, elderly or care for disabled persons.
Types of Work Permits

    There are two types are work permits available to foreign workers:

  • Employer-specific Work Permit (LMIA required): Under such work permit, you would be allowed to work only for a specific employer who had offered you the job and had obtained LMIA to support your application for work permit.
  • Open Work Permits (no LMIA required): Under such work permit, you would be allowed to work for any employer except for working in designated trade or work.
Process of hiring a foreign worker

Step one: The hiring of a temporary foreign worker starts with employers applying for a positive "Labour Market Impact Assessment" (LMIA) to Service Canada. An employer must satisfy to HRSDC that the offer of employment is “genuine” before obtaining a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). For an offer to be “genuine” it must meet various requirements including salary standards, the occupational description and the employer’s documented efforts to hire local Canadians. Service Canada verifies whether the foreign worker fills a labour shortage, whether the employer has advertised the job for a minimum of 30 days on the national Job Bank website www.jobbank.gc.ca, and whether wages offered are compatible to that of Canadians or permanent immigrants.

Step Two: Once a positive LMIA is issued, the foreign workers submits his application for work permit to the Canadian visa office outside of Canada, or at the Canadian Port of Entry or to an inland immigration office depending upon the citizenship and visa status of the foreign worker in Canada.

Additional requirements for Lower Skilled Jobs

In case of the low-skilled foreign workers, an employment contract is to be signed outlining wages and working conditions. The contract must also indicate that the employer will pay for round trip cost from the home country of worker, will not recover recruitment costs from the worker, will help the worker find suitable and affordable accommodation, and will pay for health coverage insurance until the worker is eligible for provincial health coverage.

Benefits of Canadian Work Permit
  • Work Permit for accompanying family member
  • If you are authorized to work in Canada, your accompanying family members may be able to work in Canada by virtue of the permit you were issued. If they intend to work while in Canada, they can apply for an “open” work permit. Open work permits allow them to work in any job with any employer with limited exception. An open work permit also means that they may be hired without the employer having to obtain an LMIA. Generally your spouse’s eligibility for an open work permit depends on the skill level of your job. If you are considered a high skill worker, your spouse or common-law partner could be eligible for an open work permit.

  • Options to stay in Canada permanently
  • High-skilled workers can also apply to become permanent residents under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience program. Low-skilled worker may qualify under any of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

  • One-year credit in residency requirements to apply for Canadian Citizenship
  • Foreign workers who become Permanent Resident may be eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship after living in Canada for two years. A maximum of one-year residency credit is given to foreign workers who have stayed in Canada for two years prior to becoming a permanent resident of Canada.