As a foreign national, if you want to work in Canada, then you will require proper authorization from the government body called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This authorization comes in the form of a temporary work permit for a temporary foreign worker.
If you want to work and permanently stay in Canada, then you must transition to permanent residency through 1 of more than 60 available Canada Immigration programs at the federal and provincial and territorial levels.
There are 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada:
Certain requirements must be met such as having a prearranged employment offer from a designated employer. The employer must also apply for a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
The ESDC determines from the LMIA if there is an actual need to hire a foreign worker, which is called a positive LMIA.
Several permits authorize work for certain occupations such as live in-caregivers, business owners or agricultural workers.
Temporary work permits are issued for a certain period of time. A temporary work permit also sets conditions for specific employers, location of the job, etc.
To apply for a temporary work permit, you must have a valid job offer from a designated employer and a positive LMIA. If you want to work in Quebec, then you must attain additional approval from the Quebec government.
There are also open work permits where you can work for any employer anywhere across Canada with a few exceptions of types of employers and don’t require a LMIA.
There are LMIA exempt work permits which occur with certain occupations that fall under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), certain occupations that have benefit to specific regions within Canada and certain occupations that the federal and provincial governments have marked to be beneficial or in demand.
Intra-Company Transfers, this program is for international companies who have a Canadian location or want to establish one and would like to transfer qualified employees (called transferees) for temporary work.
With a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) international students can work, however, there are different lengths of PGWP available from 8 months up to as long as 3 years.
Spouses and family of international students where the student is on a study permit and in this case the student's spouse can apply for a spousal open work permit.
The Inland Spousal Sponsorship Open Work Permit is for the spouses of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. You must have a valid temporary residence visa and an application for permanent residency under process to be eligible to apply.
You can also apply for temporary work permits while you are living in Canada. You must be 1 of the following:
If you want to work in Canada permanently or for as long as you want without renewing work permits, then can obtain permanent residency or attain Canadian citizenship, the ultimate goal.
Foreign workers who have gained work experience in Canada can increase their chances of gaining permanent residency through the several immigration streams available.
Foreign workers can apply for permanent resident status through the following programs:
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