Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Work Permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The temporary foreign worker program is an umbrella program which includes all work permits an individual could apply for, which grant an individual permission to enter Canada temporarily for work, provided their job offer is supported by a positive LMIA assessment. There are many work permits within the temporary foreign worker program. It is our belief at Akrami and Associates, that understanding all of your options as a temporary foreign worker, is the first step to finding the right work permit, and applying for the solution which is most suitable to you. Therefore, this article will aim to provide a brief description of all the work permits one could obtain, which are a part of the temporary foreign worker program.

NAFTA Work Permit

The NAFTA free trade agreement, along with other free trade agreements Canada is a partner on, allows individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of Mexico, or the USA to come to Canada to fill a temporary position, without first having to obtain a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). You can come as a business visitor under NAFTA, a professional, as an Intra-company transferee (ICT), or, an investor. To apply for a NAFTA work permit, you must submit the following:

  • Proof of U.S. or Mexican citizenship (for example, a valid passport or birth certificate)
  • Documents that confirm a job offer from a Canadian employer (for example, a signed contract, a letter from the employer)
  • Documents to prove the Canadian employer is an eligible employer, the profession is on the list of designated professions, provide details of the position, and show that you have the required educational requirements or alternative credentials for the position
    • Or, show that you have the specialized knowledge required for the position, and this is why you’re the individual who must fill the job.
  • Must specify intended duration of stay in Canada, and convince an immigration officer you will leave at the end of your authorized stay.

Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Work Permit

If you work for a company which has an affiliated company located in Canada, and your position and skills and qualifications meet the standards needed to prove to an immigration officer that transferring you to the Canadian branch of your company, is necessary for the company, and will have great benefits for the company, and in turn the Canadian economy, then, you may be eligible to apply for an ICT work permit, without first having to obtain an LMIA. To do this successfully, you must provide with your application:

  • Proof of continuous, full-time employment with the affiliate enterprise outside of Canada for at least one year within the previous three years period preceding the date of application
  • Proof of executive or managerial position held by the applicant in the company or
    • Proof of Specialized knowledge if the worker is applying under that category
  • An outline of the position that the individual would hold in Canada including the title, place in organization and job description.

Live in Caregiver Work Permit

If you have a job offer from a Canadian individual looking to hire a live-in caregiver, and the job offer and the employer are complying with all the requirements of hiring a live-in caregiver, then you may be eligible to apply for a live-in caregiver work permit. To apply for a live-in caregiver work permit, you must have a job offer from a Canadian employer which is supported by a positive LMIA. To apply for a live-in caregiver work permit successfully, you must submit the following with your application:

  • Proof of job offer for a full-time, caregiver position, with a valid signed employment contract
  • Proof you have completed at least six months of training as a caregiver or at least one year of full-time paid experience as caregiver or related in the past three years
  • Proof you have completed high school (secondary education) or its equivalent in your country of origin
  • Proof the patient is either a children or a person with high medical needs
  • Proof you have knowledge of one of Canada’s two official languages, either English or French
    • It is recommended to take standardized test to convince the officer that is assessing your application to believe you are proficient in one of Canada’s two languages, you may also receive a request for an interview.
  • be admissible to immigrate to Canada (not criminally, medically inadmissible and if you are inadmissible, you must taking any necessary steps to remove that criminal inadmissibility)

Open Work Permit

The applicant of an Open Work Permit can work for any Canadian employer, without having an offer of employment. This permit is not job-specific meaning you can work for any employer in Canada and the employer does not need to go through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Employers who hire employees with an open work permit do not need to pay the employer compliance fee, of $1000CAD. To apply for an open work permit, you must submit the following documentation:

You must submit the documents necessary to prove you are eligible to apply for an open work permit, by falling under one of the following categories.

  • your spouse has study permit in Canada
  • your spouse has work permit in Canada (skilled worker in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B)
  • your spouse has a permanent residence
  • you are the accompanying family member of an individual whose application has been approved under one of the following:
    • Spouse or Common-law partner in Canada
    • Protected Person
    • Live-in Caregiver Program
  • You have applied for permanent residence and your application has been accepted under any of the following programs:
    • Live in care giver program
    • Federal skilled worker program
    • Canadian experience class
    • Provincial nominee program
    • Federal skilled trades program
    • Humanitarian and compassionate grounds

Beyond this, you must simply apply for the permit. You do not need a positive LMIA assessment, or an valid job offer from an employer, and you do not need to prove you are qualified to fill the position you have been offered, so, the application is simpler than most.

Off-Campus Work Permit

You do not always need a work permit to work off campus while you are studying at a Canadian institution. Though, if you have learned you will need an off-campus work permit to pursue the number of hours you wish to work, you should submit an application with the following documentation:

  • Proof that you are a full-time student and are complying with the conditions of your study permit,
  • Proof that you have studied full-time for at least six months out of the previous 12 months in an eligible institution and in a qualifying program that leads to a degree;
  • have satisfactory academic standing in their qualifying program of study at the time of their application for a work permit;,
  • have maintained satisfactory academic standing during the six months of full time study out of the previous 12 months and since their application for a work permit;

Post-Graduate Work Permit

This is a special type of open work permit available to individuals who have recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution, to allow you to find work in Canada. Luckily, the post-graduate work permit is considered an open-work permit, meaning you can work for any employer, anywhere in Canada. To be eligible for a post graduate work permit, you must ensure you submit the following with your application:

  • Proof that you have completed and passed your program of study and received notification that you are eligible to get your degree, diploma or certificate
  • You must apply within 90 days of receiving written confirmation that you have completed your degree
  • You must have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.

Please note a Post Graduate Work Permit cannot be valid longer than the official length of your program of study in Canada. For example, students graduating from a four-year degree program might be eligible for a three-year work permit. Students graduating from an eight-month certificate program would only be eligible for a work permit of 1 year.

Significant Benefit Work Permit (SBWP)

There are very little set criteria one could list which is necessary for this type of application. Though, with these applications, it is the responsibility of the applicant to prove to an immigration officer, that they should be granted the SBWP. The more comprehensive of an application one can create, the better chances they will have of having their application approved. Essentially, to apply for a SBWP, you have to pitch an idea for business, which will benefit the Canadian cultural experience, or the economy, significantly. Therefore, to submit a complete application, you must demonstrate that you can:

  • create or maintain significant social, cultural, or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • create or maintain reciprocal employment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada in other countries;
  • be engaged in work that is designated to be performed by a foreign national on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Work related to a research, educational or training program, or limited access to the Canadian labour market is necessary for reasons of public policy relating to the competitiveness of Canada's academic institutions or economy;
  • is of a religious or charitable nature.

You will need to come up with a detailed, realistic plan of how you are going to achieve your goals, and continue to be successful.

Student Co-op Work Permit

If the program you are enrolled in, in Canada requires you to complete a co-op term, you are allowed to do so. However, you must apply for a co-op student work permit first. Essentially, this is a work permit which lists the school as your official employer, and then allows the school to place you wherever is appropriate. To apply for this type of work permit, it is important you demonstrate that you are enrolled in a program which requires you to complete a co-op term, and that you are continuing to fulfill all the requirements of your study permit.

Contact Akrami and Associates

There is an over whelming amount of information to consider when applying to work within Canada. It can be very confusing trying to assess your specific circumstances and get all the things you need in your application ready and submitted properly, to give yourself the best chance of being allowed to work in Canada. Should you have any further questions or feel confused or unclear about how to apply for a work permit, it is important to talk about any questions you may have and discuss your concerns. 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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