Canadian Immigration News

Work in Canada During the Pandemic

3 minute read
"Do you want to work in Canada but are discouraged by the current travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic? Don’t be discouraged! You may still be able to get a work permit in Canada for an occupation that isn’t exclusive to healthcare or other essential sectors."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 27, 2021
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Do you want to work in Canada but are discouraged by the current travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic? Don’t be discouraged! You may still be able to get a work permit in Canada for an occupation that isn’t exclusive to healthcare or other essential sectors. 

Currently, only certain individuals are exempted from travel restrictions. This includes Canadian citizens, permanent residents, their family members, certain international students and temporary foreign workers, protected persons, and other individuals seeking refugee status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds

Can You Still Travel to Canada for Work?

Coming to Canada for work during the pandemic will require you to have a letter of introduction for a work permit issued by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and a valid medical examination result. 

You must also have a negative Covid-19 test result and a 14-day mandatory quarantine plan. You will also require a prearranged offer of employment unless you will be working with a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) as a spousal sponsorship applicant. Not having a valid job offer, having an expired medical examination test or having your employer's business close down due to Covid-19 will get you denied entry to Canada.

What Types of Work Permits Are Currently Available in Canada?

There are 2 types of work permits offered in Canada:

An LMIA is a document that states that despite making recruitment efforts, the employer was unable to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to occupy the position offered to the foreign national. An LMIA justifies the need to hire a foreign worker. Your employer is responsible for attaining an LMIA. However, under certain circumstances, your occupation may be exempt from the LMIA requirement. These circumstances include:

  • Your work being significantly beneficial for Canada, socially or culturally
  • Being part of a reciprocal employment agreement such as the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or the International Experience Class (IEC)
  • Intend to carry out religious or charitable work in Canada
  • A self-employed person or an entrepreneur looking to establish your business in Canada
  • Intra-company transfer
  • Dependent on a temporary foreign worker in Canada
  • Fluent in the French language and intend to stay outside the province of Quebec
  • An academic individual, such as a visiting professor or guest lecturer
  • Received provincial nomination to work in a province or territory in Canada as part of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

To work in Quebec, you will require a Certificate of Acceptance or Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) issued by the Quebec immigration ministry to be eligible for a work permit. Once you have the job offer from your Canadian employer, you can submit that along with your work permit application and an approved LMIA, if required and a CAQ, if you are applying for Quebec.

Do You Need a Job Offer to Get a Work Permit in Canada?

The process to apply for a work permit depends on the kind of work permit you want. There are 2 types of work permits: Open work permits and Employer-specific work permits, also known as closed work permits.

As the name suggests, open work permits allow you to work for any employer in Canada. Employer-specific work permits will allow you to work for a specific employer in a specific location in Canada. Open work permits do not require you to have a prearranged offer of employment.

There are also different types of open work permits. International students who graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI) can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). Applicants who have applied for permanent residence through Spousal Sponsorships may be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). These do not require a valid job offer for applicants to be eligible.

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