Working in Canada

The Canadian government has very strict policies to protect its labour market, ensure that Canadian companies have access to qualified employees and to minimize unemployment rates. This is why there are specific programs for foreigners who wish to work in Canada. Most of the time, foreigners require work permits to work in Canada.

In general, to be able to work in Canada the company who wants to hire a foreign worker must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). To simplify it, one can think of a positive LMIA as an authorization that the government gives the Canadian company to hire a foreign worker. Obtaining a positive LMIA is not a simple task. The employer must provide proof that they are unable to find qualified candidates for the jobs they offer. The LMIA process has a cost of $1000 for each position to be filled and can take several months to process, depending on the job. Several employers in Canada do not want to go through the LMIA process, and this is why North Horizon Immigration Consulting focuses on providing several alternatives for foreign nationals who wish to work in Canada.

Programs that do NOT require LMIA

There are many programs that do not require an LMIA that can be attractive to Canadian employers who want to hire foreign workers. Here is a brief summary of each:

  1. Mobilitée francophone

This program is offered to foreign workers who consider themselves francophone. Generally, this means that they have fluency in French (minimum level CLB 7) and use French in their daily life or with their family. Other requirements are:

  • To have a job offer at a skilled level NOC code 0, A or B.
  • The job offer MUST be OUTSIDE the province of Quebec.
  • The foreign worker has previous experience or studies related to the job offer.
  • French is NOT mandatory for the job. This means the position does not need to require the worker to communicate in French to qualify.

 

  1. FTA Professionals

This program is based on the free trade agreements (FTA) that Canada has with several countries. These countries have listed certain professionals who can receive a work permit to work in Canada on short- or long-term periods upon receiving a job offer. Other requirements are:

  • The foreign worker must be a citizen of a country that has an FTA with Canada such as Mexico, the USA, Peru, Colombia, Chile or South Korea.
  • The foreign worker must show that they qualify for the job being offered through education and/or work experience.
  • The job offer must be on the list of professionals in the FTA. The lists are NOT identical.

 

  1. Intra-company Transferee

This program is meant to facilitate the well-functioning of a company in Canada that has a relationship with a company abroad such as a branch, affiliate or subsidiary. As the name indicates, it is a program by which an employee of a company abroad relocates to work in Canada, in the same company operating on Canadian grounds. Other requirements are:

  • The company employing the foreign worker must be registered in a country listed on the General Agreements of Trades and Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or have an FTA with Canada.
  • The foreign worker must be a citizen of a country who is listed on the GATS or has an FTA with Canada.
  • The job offer must be for an executive, a management or a specialized worker position.
  • The foreign worker must show that they qualify for the job being offered through education and/or work experience.

 

  1. Young Professionals, Working Holidays, and International Co-op

Canada has entered into bilateral agreements with some countries to facilitate the movement of young professionals. These categories fall under the umbrella of the International Experience Canada program. Requirements vary from country to country, here is a general list:

  • The foreign worker must be a citizen of and reside in the country participating in this program. See here for a list.
  • The foreign worker must be between the ages of 18 to 30 or 35.
  • For the Young Professional and the International Co-op, a Canadian employer must provide a job offer at level NOC code 0, A or B.
  • The Working Holidays is an open work permit and does not require a job offer.

 

  1. Open Work Permits
    An employer cannot help a foreign worker obtain an open work permit. The foreign worker must have this permit on his own, usually as a result of another immigration program. Examples are:
  • An international student who has graduated and holds a post-graduation work permit.
  • An international student who is in a co-op study/work program and can work full time.
  • The spouse or common law partner of an international student who has an open work permit.
  • A holder of a working holiday open work permit.
  • A refugee claimant, waiting for a decision on his case who holds an open work permit.

Most of the programs listed above have a very specific application process that can be complex and requires attention to details. book an appointment with our regulated immigration consultant to review all the details of your case,decide which program is best suited for your situation and start your application.