Canada Work Visas and Permits
Rosenblatt Immigration Law carefully advises and represents employers and foreign workers regarding Canada work visas and permits. We advise whether the job offer requires a work permit or a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and how they can be obtained. Canadian work permits can often act as the first step towards permanent residence.
New Global Talent Stream
The Global Talent Stream is a program for expedited work permit applications with a two-week processing time. Fast-growing companies with a focus on information and communication technology (ICT) can expect to fill positions with foreign skilled workers quickly. To qualify for the program, a company must show its commitment to lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market through a Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP). There are two categories of the program, Categories A and B:
Category A – Referral by Designated Partners
Category A assists innovative firms to hire foreign workers with unique and specialized talents. An employer must be referred by one of the Designated Partners:
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, BC Tech Association, Business Development Bank of Canada, Communitech Corporation, Council of Canadian Innovators, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training, Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc., ICT Association of Manitoba (ICTAM), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service, Invest Ottawa, National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Venn Innovation.
Category B – Filling Positions on the Global Talent Occupations List
The foreign worker’s occupation must be listed under the Global Talent Occupations List as of June, 2018:
0211 Engineering managers
0212 Architecture and science managers
0213 Computer and information systems managers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
2172 Database analysts and data administrators
2173 Software engineers and designers
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175 Web designers and developers
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists & technicians
2283 Information systems testing technicians
5131 Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager; visual effects & video game
5241 Digital media designers
Work Permit Exemptions
An employee with a NOC skill level Type 0 (executive, managerial) or skill level Type A (professional) does not need a work permit for short-term assignment. Academic researchers may also qualify for work permit exemption when performing research in Canada for up to 120 days a year.
Contact us for advice on how the Global Talent Stream can benefit your business.
Obtaining Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC
To bring foreign workers to Canada, usually employers must first apply to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Once an LMIA is issued, applicants will need to apply for a work permit, which visa offices usually issue quite quickly—or at a port-of-entry, if eligible. Employers must pay prevailing wages and run recruitment ads to show that no Canadians are ready, willing, and able to take the job.
Please visit LMIAs for more information.
Intracompany Transferees (LMIA-Exempt)
Senior-level staff in corporations with a Canadian branch do not need to apply for an LMIA for transfer to Canada. We advise clients on the steps necessary to transfer international executives to Canada—you may be eligible.
- Qualifying corporate relationships: Parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate
- Applicant’s position: Executive, Senior Managerial, or Specialized Knowledge capacity
- Previous employment: One year in the past three years with an affiliated entity in a similar role
Spouses of Work and Study Permit Holders
Spouses or common-law partners of international students and skilled people coming to Canada as temporary foreign workers for more than six months (not low-skilled workers) may receive an “open work permit” allowing them to work for any employer without first having a confirmed job offer.
Provincial Immigration Programs
Most provinces have provincial immigration programs that enable foreign workers to get permanent residence more quickly than through IRCC alone. In many cases, employers file a joint application with the foreign worker after the worker has begun work with them.
Business owners, managers and self-employed applicants may be able to obtain work permits to buy, start, or manage their business.
The revised caregiver program facilitates work permits and permanent residence for caregivers who care for children, elderly persons, or those with disabilities in private homes or institutions without supervision. Caregivers must have a job offer from a Canadian employer and an LMIA. Caregivers must have completed a high school education equivalent to grade 12, and those applying for permanent residence must have a one-year post-secondary credential and must have completed six months of full-time training within the last three years or twelve months of full-time employment in Canada in a related field. Functional English or French is required.
Students may be eligible for a variety of work permits. Often students can work part-time during their study period and may work as part of an internship if it is a required element of their studies and not more than 50% of their program. Students may be eligible for one-time post-graduation open work permit if they graduated from an eligible school and program. Graduates of eligible programs lasting two or more years can receive work permits of up to 3 years.
International Experience Canada
Canada has entered numerous bilateral agreements with other countries enabling young people to come to Canada to work temporarily. As of November 21, 2015, the new application process requires candidates to create an online profile and wait for an Invitation to Apply before initiating their work permit application.
Applicants may qualify for permanent residence after working in Canada for a year in a qualifying position. There are three types of programs, and applicants may be able to use more than one program to extend their stay. Quotas are often filled very quickly.
- Working Holiday: Most popular program
- Young Professionals: Usually requires a job offer—useful for extending a work authorization
- International Co-op Internship: For applicants still in school
List of Countries with bilateral Agreements with Canada:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
Please contact us to find out more about the International Experience Class and how we can help you obtain a work permit and permanent residence in Canada.
Free Trade Agreements
Canada has entered various trade agreements with countries such as the US, Mexico, and Chile, which include special labour and mobility provisions for citizens.
Applicants approved by provincial governments may be able to obtain a work permit to start or manage a business in Canada.
Bridging Open Work Permits
Foreign nationals currently in Canada may be considered for a “Bridging Open Work Permit” to bridge the gap between the expiry of their current work permit and the final decision on their permanent residence application if their work permit will expire within 4 months of applying. In the Express Entry application process, only an “Acknowledgment of Receipt” can be used to support a BOWP.