How to Work in Canada as an Immigrant: A Guide to Work Visas and Permits

How to Work in Canada as an Immigrant: A Guide to Work Visas and Permits

Canada is a popular destination for immigrants who want to work and live in a diverse, multicultural, and prosperous country. Canada offers many opportunities for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and students who want to contribute to its economy and society. But before you can work in Canada, you need to obtain a work visa or permit that allows you to legally work in the country.

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How to Work in Canada as an Immigrant

There are two main types of work visas or permits in Canada: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). Each program has different requirements, eligibility criteria, and application processes. In this blog post, we will explain the differences between these two programs, how to apply for them, and what to expect after you apply.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The TFWP is designed to help Canadian employers fill temporary labour or skills shortages with foreign workers. The TFWP is divided into four streams: high-wage workers, low-wage workers, seasonal agricultural workers, and caregivers. To apply for a work permit under the TFWP, you need to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer who has obtained a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the government. A LMIA is a document that shows that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker is available to do it.

The TFWP has strict rules and regulations to protect the rights and welfare of foreign workers and to ensure that they do not displace Canadian workers. The TFWP also has caps on the number of foreign workers that can be hired by an employer or in a specific occupation or region. The duration of the work permit depends on the stream and the job offer, but it is usually valid for up to four years. Some foreign workers under the TFWP may be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system or other immigration programs.

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International Mobility Program (IMP)

The IMP allows foreign workers to work in Canada without a LMIA. The IMP is based on reciprocal agreements between Canada and other countries or international organizations that facilitate the exchange of workers, students, professionals, and business people. The IMP includes various categories, such as:

  • The International Experience Canada (IEC) program, which allows young people aged 18 to 35 from eligible countries to work and travel in Canada for up to two years.
  • The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which allows citizens of these countries to work in Canada as traders, investors, intra-company transferees, or professionals in certain occupations.
  • The Global Skills Strategy, which allows high-skilled workers and researchers to work in Canada for up to two years with a short-term work permit or a work permit exemption.
  • The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which allows international students who have graduated from a Canadian educational institution to work in Canada for up to three years.

To apply for a work permit under the IMP, you need to meet the specific requirements of the category you are applying for. You may also need to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer who has paid the employer compliance fee and submitted an offer of employment through the online portal. The duration of the work permit depends on the category and the job offer, but it is usually valid for up to three years. Some foreign workers under the IMP may be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system or other immigration programs.

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How to Apply for a Work Visa or Permit in Canada

The application process for a work visa or permit in Canada depends on the program and the category you are applying for. In general, you need to follow these steps:

  • Find out if you need a work permit and which program and category you are eligible for.
  • Gather the required documents, such as your passport, your job offer, your educational credentials, your language test results, your medical exam results, your police certificates, and your biometrics.
  • Create an online account or sign in to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website1 and answer some questions to get a personalized document checklist and application form.
  • Fill out the application form and upload the scanned copies of your documents.
  • Pay the application fees, which include the work permit fee ($155), the open work permit holder fee ($100) (if applicable), and the biometric fee ($85).
  • Submit your application and wait for a decision. You can check the status of your application online through your account.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction and a work permit. You need to show these documents to the border officer when you arrive in Canada.

What to Expect After You Apply for a Work Visa or Permit in Canada

The processing time for a work visa or permit in Canada varies depending on the program, the category, the country of origin, and the volume of applications. You can check the estimated processing time on the IRCC website1. The processing time may be faster if you are applying under a priority occupation or a category that supports essential services.

After you receive your work visa or permit, you can start working in Canada according to the conditions and restrictions of your work permit. You need to comply with the laws and regulations of Canada and your employer. You also need to extend or change your work permit before it expires if you want to continue working in Canada or switch jobs. You may also be eligible to apply for permanent residence if you meet the requirements of the immigration program you are applying for.

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Conclusion

Working in Canada as an immigrant can be a rewarding and enriching experience. Canada offers many opportunities for foreign workers who want to contribute to its economy and society. However, you need to obtain a work visa or permit that allows you to legally work in Canada. There are two main types of work visas or permits in Canada: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). Each program has different requirements, eligibility criteria, and application processes. You need to find out which program and category you are eligible for, gather the required documents, apply online, pay the fees, and wait for a decision. If your application is approved, you can start working in Canada and enjoy the benefits of living in a diverse, multicultural, and prosperous country.

I hope this blog post was helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and good luck with your work visa or permit application! 😊

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