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Obtaining a work permit in Canada

Jamaicaa To Canada

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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Dear Mr Brown,

I would like to obtain a work permit in Canada. How does one go about this process?

— OH

Dear OH:

work permit is a written authorisation to work in Canada, based on a specific position with a specific employer. It is subject to certain restrictions such as:

• Type of employment in which the foreign worker may work;

• Employer for whom the foreign worker may engage;

• Location where the foreign worker may work; and

• Length of time for which the foreign worker may work.

Please note that there are different types of work permits. An open work permit does not require a job offer, for example.

While some occupations do not require a work permit, in general, to be eligible to apply for a work permit you must have an approved job offer from a Canadian employer.

Labour Market Impact Assessment

An approved job offer refers to a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is based on an assessment of the proposed wages and working conditions, the availability of Canadians or permanent residents to do the work in question, the skills and knowledge transfer, and the job creation for the benefit of Canadians or permanent residents.

The LMIA states whether the issuance of a work permit to a foreign worker will have a neutral or positive effect on Canada's economy.

The employer must show recruitment efforts and results, as well as an explanation of how the company would benefit from a foreign worker's employment — such as in profitability, employee skills, and positive spillover affecting Canadians.

Work permit

The criteria of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for eligibility for a work permit are similar to temporary residents, in general. They include:

• Intention to leave Canada at the end of the authorised period;

• Possession of a passport;

• Compliance with the medical examination; and

• Admissibility.

The requirements of the working class include:

• A genuine offer to work in Canada from a Canadian employer;

• Approval of the LMIA (unless exempted);

• Compliance with the requirements of the job in Canada, such as education, training, and experience; and

• Access to sufficient funds for living expenses.

In summary, the general rule is that if you have a genuine job offer, LMIA, qualifications for the job, and you are admissible, then you may be able to obtain a work permit.

Of course, if the job does not seem genuine or if an applicant has a history of contravening immigration laws, then that would establish grounds for the refusal of a work permit application.

Please visit jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian permanent residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study & Work programme as well as visas and appeals.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of jamaica2canada.com — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com.


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