Different Types of Work Permit for Canada

Work Permit Eligibility

Do you want to work in Canada? Do you feel like the job and/or career opportunities are better here than in your home country? If so, you should apply for a work permit. It is important to note that a work permit is necessary for all foreign nationals that wish to work and contribute to the Canadian economy. In some circumstances, a work permit is not needed. In this article I will explain in detail, who is eligible for a work permit and who is not, how to start the process of obtaining a work permit and further steps.

What is an Open Work permit?

An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. Due to it not being job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for a work permit:

  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC); or
  • Proof that an employer has submitted an offer of employment through the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee.

Who can apply for an Open Work Permit?

If you fall under any of these following situations, you may be eligible for an open work permit:

  • Permanent residence applicants who have applied to an office in Canada,
  • Dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants,
  • Spouses and common-law partners of some workers and international students,
  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members,
  • Some temporary resident permit holders, or
  • Some young workers participating in special programs.

In addition to each of these specific situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible. These additional criteria will be listed in the “Requirements for Eligibility for a Work Permit” of this article.

What is an Employer-Specific Work Permit?

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit. This includes:

  • The name of the employer you can work for,
  • How long you can work, and
  • The location where you can work (if applicable)

It is advisable to check on the Government of Canada website to see if you need a work permit or not. This strictly depends on what type of work you will intend on doing in Canada.

Requirements for Eligibility for a Work Permit

In order to be eligible and apply for a work permit, you must prove that you encompass all of the requirements. The requirements are as follows:

  • 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 (police clearance certificate may be needed)
  • Not to 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 listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions.
  • Not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.
  • Give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

Work Permit for Business

Business people come to do business in Canada under a free trade agreement. Business people can enter and work in Canada, if they qualify under one of these agreements:

How to Qualify under NAFTA:

NAFTA is a Trade Agreement specifically between Canada, the United States and Mexico. This agreement lets citizens gain quick entry into one another’s countries for temporary business or investment reasons.

These citizens do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) . As a result, Canadian employers do not need to have a job offer approved by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire an American or a Mexican business professional. Additionally, under NAFTA, business people must meet the general rules for temporary entry into Canada.

There are 4 groups of business people under NAFTA:

How to Qualify under FTA:

Other free trade agreements (FTAs) include agreements, such as:

  • The Canada-Chile FTA
  • The Canada-Peru FTA
  • The Canada-Colombia FTA
  • The Canada-Korea FTA

These agreements are modeled on NAFTA to make it easier for business people from one country to enter another country for a short period of time.

The rules are very similar to those under NAFTA as well and cover business people, such as:

How to Qualify under GATS:

Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, Canada agreed to make it easier for foreign business people to access the Canadian services market. Service providers from more than 140 World Trade Organization member countries can be applied to this specific agreement.

There are 3 groups of business people under GATS:

  • Business visitors
  • Professionals, and
  • Intra-company transferees

Please not, however, qualified business people can enter Canada more easily because they are not required to have an LMIA from the Government of Canada or, in the case of business visitors, a work permit.

What if I need to extend my Work Permit?

Many individuals who receive a work permit and enjoy their work in Canada request to extend their work permit. The first thing to notice before applying to extend your work permit is the expiry date on your existing work permit. Once you have your expiry date in mind, it is very important to apply before that date. The specific timeline that you must complete the Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada is at least 30 days before your current permit expires.

Work Permit Scenario Examples:

The following will be questions you may ask with regards to your work permit and/or any changes that may occur. I have included these here in order for you to better understand how work permits function and to resolve any confusion that you may have.

My job has changed its description and expectations of me and is extending beyond my authorized travel period. What should I do?

If your job description and expectations change and/or if the job is extending beyond your authorized travel period, then you should immediately apply to extend and change the conditions of your existing work permit before it expires. As previously mentioned, it is important that you apply to change these conditions at least 30 days before your current permit expires.

What if I’m offered a different or better job in Canada?

If you are offered a different job in Canada, then unfortunately your work permit will no longer be valid. You would need to apply for a new work permit. It is very important that you do not start your new job without the new work permit. When applying for a new work permit, you are required to still abide by all of the work permit conditions, and, most importantly, make sure you are still eligible to obtain a work permit.

What if I want to work in Canada permanently? I love it here!

If you love Canada and want to work here permanently, you would need to apply for permanent residence. The reason for this is because a work permit only allows you to work in Canada temporarily. Therefore, if you want to become a permanent resident, you must ensure that you qualify under one of the PR categories.

What if I want to travel outside of Canada and then re-enter to continue my work?

It is important to remember that a work permit is not a travel document. Thus, it does not give you the right to travel to Canada. Along with your work permit, you must have a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA); this depends on the country that you are coming from. Having one of these travel documents, along with your work permit, does not guarantee that immigration will let you back into Canada. When you try to re-enter Canada, you must once again prove to the immigration officer that you meet all of the requirements before they will allow you to re-enter. I would be very cautious before travelling outside of Canada on a work permit.

Contact Akrami & Associates for Work Permit Assistance

If you are still unsure if you are eligible for a work permit or you are not sure how to get the specific requirements, Akrami & Associates would be more than happy to assist you with obtaining your work permit. Feel free to contact our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you want to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. At Akrami & Associates, we have submitted many successful work permits and have helped our clients gain exceptional job and career experience for their future.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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