Author: Parminder Singh LL.B (Canada)
Who needs a Canada Work Permit?
A foreign national needs a work permit to work in Canada.
Canada Work Visa is issued by the visa office and Canada work permit is issued in Canada either at the port of entry or inside Canada.
What is the procedure to obtain a work permit?
The Canada Work Permit is acquired in a three-step process
- Obtaining a Job offer from Canada
- Obtaining a Labour Market Opinion (LMO)
- Obtaining a Canada Work Visa at the visa office and obtaining a work permit at the port of entry
An applicant must have a job offer from a Canadian employer. The applicant’s employer must get a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for the job from the Human Resource and Skills Department of Canada (HRSDC). The applicant must apply for a work visa before he is issued a work permit at the port of entry.
What is a labour market opinion (LMO)?
A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is the opinion provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to the Canada immigration officer which enables the officer to determine whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to have a positive or negative impact on the labour market in Canada. HRSDC considers several factors, including the availability of Canadians and the offered wages as well as the economic benefit the foreign worker would bring to Canada. A LMO may be required for most occupations in order for a work permit to be issued.
Note: For LMO-exempt work permits, these assessments will be completed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Maximum 4 year limit for Canada Work permit
Canada Work Permit may be issued for a maximum period of 4 years. Usually, the Canada Work permit is issued for a year which may be extended for up to 4 years provided your employer obtains a positive LMO.
Exceptions to the 4 year limit
Your Canada work permit can be extended beyond 4 year limit under following circumstances the work you intend to do in Canada creates or maintains significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents,
- the work you intend to do in Canada relates to an international agreement between Canada and one or more countries (including seasonal agricultural workers),
- your work is done while you are authorized to study,
- 48 months have passed since you accumulated 4 years of work in Canada.
- for reasons beyond your control (e.g sickness, maternity etc), you could not work for 4 year.
Canada PR status for Skilled Workers
“Skilled workers” who have worked in Canada for 1 year are eligible to apply for Canadian PR under Canadian Experience Class, if they have English language abilities according to the requirements of their skilled work: IELTS score of 5 bands for technical skills (Type B skill Level of NOC) and a score of 6 bands for managerial and professional occupations (Type O and A skill Level of NOC). You must apply for Canada PR while working in Canada or within a year after completion of 1 year work in Canada.
Unskilled workers are not eligible for Canada PR status.
Skilled Work requirement
If you have Canadian work experience in occupations that meet the minimum requirements for workers with Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B (management, professionals and skilled and technical occupations) of the National Occupation Classification (NOC), you are eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class category. Work experience in several occupations may also be used.