IRCC’s International Compliance Regime and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program


Temporary foreign worker program

Canada’s approach to temporary foreign workers has evolved over time, however, it is clear that protecting Canadian jobs is a priority for the government. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) work together to regulate, manage and oversee foreign worker programs in Canada and the government has emphasized that foreign workers should be brought into Canada primarily when no Canadian or permanent residents are available for the position. In addition, the government has developed and implemented a rigorous compliance process to monitor employers and has mandated harsh penalties for employers that are found to be non-compliant with the rules.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) includes work permits that are issued based on positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) granted by ESDC. In these cases the employer will need to first demonstrate that there is no Canadian or permanent resident who can perform the role before they can hire a foreign workers.

In contrast, the IMP includes all work permits that do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), such as spousal work permits, post-graduation work permits, intra-company transfers, global mobility work permits for youth, NAFTA and other free trade agreement work permits, and many others. If an individual and their prospective Canadian employer meet specific criteria under this program, no labour market test is required and the individual can apply directly for a work permit.

In the 2018 federal budget, the government pledged $196 million to the International Compliance Regime, as it relates to the International Mobility Program (“IMP”) and Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”), over the next 5 years.

The government’s newly announced funding will go toward continued labour market data collection relating to open work permits issued under the IMP. Open work permits require no LMIA and allow a foreign national to work for any employer, with some exceptions.

In addition, the government will utilize the allocated funds in the budget to support the International Compliance Regime and continued unannounced in-person and paper-based government inspections of employers participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

Employers can be found non-compliant for failing to meet their obligations to foreign workers, failing to adhere to labour market test rules or for misrepresenting information to the government or failing to provide information when requested on inspection. Often, employers face penalties for failing to pay workers the amount that they indicated in a LMIA or work permit application, not providing an employee with the job they indicated in a LMIA or work permit application, not providing the working conditions promised, or failing to have sufficient compliance-related documentation during an employer compliance review or a random inspection. Employers are required to keep all relevant documents for a period of six years.

With the enhanced level of oversight and funding for employer compliance with these programs, what are the consequences for non-compliant employers? Employers who are found non-compliant through an inspection can face monetary penalties of $500 to $100,000 per violation (up to $1 million for multiple violations within the same notice), or a ban from hiring temporary workers for a period of time determined by IRCC. Usually, bans are imposed for two year periods. In addition, the employer’s name will be published on IRCC’s website, including details of the infraction, location of the business and the monetary penalty issued, if applicable.

When the new compliance regulations were first implemented in 2015, we did not see the government taking significant action or issuing many fines. In 2017, the government ramped up its efforts and issued two-year hiring bans and fines to several employers.

Canada has yet to see employers fined in the $100,000 to $1 million range, as has happened in the US under their immigration compliance system; however, employers are regularly receiving fines in the thousands.

In today’s compliance environment, it is important to understand the obligations of hiring a foreign worker before you issue an offer of employment and support a work permit application. It is equally important to ensure that your business has systems in place to ensure compliance, and that it has appropriate record keeping in the event of an employer compliance review or random government inspection.

Related posts

I have a job offer in Canada, Can I apply for a work permit?

I have applied for the extension of my work permit but I want to switch employer – Can I?

Inland spousal sponsorship open work permit pilot program extended into 2019!

 

IEC Update – Limited Spots Still Available!


IEC update

Mary Keyork
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Mary Keyork

BARRISTER & SOLICITOR - CERTIFIED SPECIALIST IN CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION LAW at Canada Immigration Alliance
Mary Keyork provides Immigration Law services for hundreds of immigration applications in all categories and has appeared before all three divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as at the Federal Court of Canada, successfully representing clients in complex immigration applications and hearings.
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Earlier this year, we provided details about the International Experience Canada (“IEC”) program. The IEC program still has spots left in some countries. Check out our recap of the IEC process below and the list of countries with spots left for this year.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and want to apply, get your documents together as soon as possible so you do not miss out on your last chance for an IEC work permit in 2018.
Once these spots are gone, the program will be closed until late 2018 – early 2019 (depending on your home country).

IEC Eligibility
There are three categories of work permits that fall under the IEC program, Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship. The Working Holiday category is the most common and has the least restrictions.

The requirements are slightly different for each category, and also vary by country. However, the general requirements that you must meet are:
You must be a citizen of a participating country or go through a Recognized Organization. Recognized Organizations assist those who are not from participating countries (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/ros.asp);
You must be within the age range specified for your home country. It is usually 18-30, but some countries allow applicants up to 35 years of age;
You must have a valid passport;
You must be able to demonstrate that you have at least CDN $2,500 in liquid funds (i.e. in your bank account) to support yourself;
You must obtain health insurance (if approved) before you travel to Canada. It must be valid for the full duration of your stay; and
You will have to pass standard admissibility checks.

The Process
If you are eligible and your country is still accepting applicants, you will need to create an online profile and provide personal and background information.Your profile will be submitted into a pool with other candidates and if you meet the requirements, and there is still space, you will receive an Invitation to Apply. From there, you can apply online for your work permit.
You can only complete and submit one profile; however, there are multiple pools – one for each category and country combination. If you are eligible for more than one IEC category, your profile will be viewable in all of the relevant pools based on the answers you provide in your profile questions.

If you do receive an Invitation to Apply, you must be prepared to provide IRCC with documentation supporting the information that you included in your profile, as well as additional details regarding your education, work history and background.

Participating Countries with Available Spots
The countries listed below still have some spots left but they may not last long. Please apply as soon as possible for a chance to make it this year.

AustraliaDenmarkJapanSpain
AustriaEstoniaSouth KoreaSweden
BelgiumFranceNew ZealandSwitzerland
ChileGermanyNorwayTaiwan
Costa RicaHong KongPolandUnited Kingdom
CroatiaIrelandSan Marino
Czech RepublicItalySlovenia

 

Can I come to Canada to look for a job?


Temporary Work Program

Mary Keyork
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Mary Keyork

BARRISTER & SOLICITOR - CERTIFIED SPECIALIST IN CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION LAW at Canada Immigration Alliance
Mary Keyork provides Immigration Law services for hundreds of immigration applications in all categories and has appeared before all three divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as at the Federal Court of Canada, successfully representing clients in complex immigration applications and hearings.
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Can I come to Canada to look for a job?

Yes, it is not illegal for a foreign national to visit Canada to look for a job. However, foreign nationals need be part of a temporary work program or have a valid work permit before they can start work. Visitors on a job hunt will need to have a strong application to support a temporary, job-seeking, stay in order to avoid refusal from a visa office and gain entry at a Canadian port-of-entry.

When you apply to enter Canada as a visitor, either by making an application at a visa office outside of Canada or applying to enter directly at a Canadian port-of-entry, you need to demonstrate the reason for your visit. If you have prospects in Canada and can show evidence of interviews that you have scheduled, it may be helpful to show this in your application. In addition, it is important to show that you only intend to stay in Canada temporarily, that you have the means to support yourself while you visit (i.e. finances and accommodations) and that you have ties to your home country to return to. If you are applying directly at a port-of-entry, it is helpful to show that you have return travel booked already. If you need a Temporary Resident Visa and are applying at a visa office, hold off on purchasing air flight tickets until you receive an approval. There are no guarantees, after all.

It is important to have a plan before a job search and return you come to Canada – the chances of you being refused entry are higher if you have no contacts in Canada and do not have the financial means to support your stay. Immigration officers want to see that your reason for visiting is valid, that you intend to leave at the end of the period they authorize for your stay and that you can support yourself for the time you are in Canada.

Types of Work Permits

If you are successful in finding a job opportunity, you cannot start working right away. You must have a valid work permit first. There are different work permit categories that depend on your skill set, the type of job you have been offered and your country of citizenship.

We are not going to cover the details for every type of work permit, but we will discuss the basics as a starting point. There are two work permit programs (each with its own types of work permits).

1. The Temporary Foreign Work Program

This program includes all positions that require work permits based on Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs”). In order to obtain an LMIA-based work permit, there is a two-part process. In part one, the employer needs to complete certain requirements and apply to the government for an LMIA. Then, with a positively issued LMIA, a foreign worker can apply for a work permit. Workers have to wait for both the LMIA and work permit approval to start work. Having just an LMIA is not enough.

2. The International Mobility Program

This program includes all positions that require LMIA-exempt work permits. If a foreign national qualifies for an LMIA-exemption under this program, they can apply directly for a work permit and the employer does not need to obtain an LMIA first.

Some LMIA-exemptions include Intra-Company Transferees, NAFTA or other Free Trade Agreement Professionals and Open Work Permits (generally issued to spouses or dependent children accompanying workers in Canada). The International Experience Canada program also falls under the LMIA-exemption umbrella and allows citizens of participating countries who meet a specific age range (usually 30-35 or under) to obtain work permits for a one or two year period to allow them to gain Canadian work experience. A list of participating countries, including the age range for each country, can be found on the IRCC website.

If you do not fall under a specific LMIA-exemption, then your potential employer will need an LMIA before you will be issued a work permit.

If you are considering relocating to Canada and are starting to think about a job search, take some time to familiarize yourself with the work permit requirements and what options are available to you based on your background and the industry you are interested in entering. Also, if you are 35 or less, you should start by looking at the International Experience Canada program to see if your country qualifies. If so, you could be lucky enough to have the chance to apply for an open work permit for a year or two.

Related posts for additional help:

Do I need an Immigration Lawyer?

eTA – What is it and who needs it?

 

 

 

Express Entry Trends and Draws


express entry trends

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Mary Keyork
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Mary Keyork

BARRISTER & SOLICITOR - CERTIFIED SPECIALIST IN CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION LAW at Canada Immigration Alliance
Mary Keyork provides Immigration Law services for hundreds of immigration applications in all categories and has appeared before all three divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as at the Federal Court of Canada, successfully representing clients in complex immigration applications and hearings.
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The Express Entry system was first introduced in January 2015 and there have been several changes to how the application process works and how points are awarded under Express Entry.
The most significant recent changes came into effect in June 2017, with minor changes in October 2017.

Backgrounder – What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online management system for permanent residence (“PR”) applications under the Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Provincial Nominee Programs can recruit Express Entry candidates through the online application pool.

Under Express Entry, PR candidates create online profiles with details of their work history, educational background, language ability, skills and other personal information. Candidates then enter the Express Entry “pool” and are awarded a score through Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”). CRS points are awarded based on specific criteria up to a maximum of 1200 points. Most candidates score under 600 points.

Once in the pool, candidates must be invited by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) to apply for permanent residence. These invitations are generally issued at least once a month, but there has been a biweekly trend in the second half of 2017. Each invitation sets a minimum CRS score and a select number of applicants are invited to each round. The CRS cutoff and number of invitations fluctuates in each round. If an applicant is invited, they can then make an online, or electronic, application for permanent residence (“eAPR”). An application for permanent residence begins processing once the complete eAPR is submitted.

In addition to meeting the cutoff score for an invitation, candidates must also qualify for a permanent residence application stream (i.e. Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Workers Program, etc.) and need to have a valid job offer, also known as an offer of arranged employment, from a Canadian employer.

Express Entry provides the option for candidates to register in a Job Match program when they enter the initial pool (before they receive an invitation). Job Match allows candidates to be matched with Canadian employers seeking qualified employees.

Employers need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) to support candidates unless the candidate is LMIA-exempt under certain conditions, including:

– Having worked full-time for the employer on their valid work permit for at least one year (or equivalent part-time work);
– Having a valid job offer (i.e. the employer is making an offer of indeterminate employment to you upon obtaining PR). Skilled trade positions can have two employers make a job offer and the candidate would need to work for both employers; or
– Having an LMIA-exempt work permit under a qualifying category.

Recent Changes

Two recent sets of changes came into effect for the Express Entry system.

On June 6, 2017, the following changes were made:

• Applicants can receive points for having a sibling living in Canada that is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen;

• Applicants can receive more points for strong French language skills;• The Job Match feature became optional, not mandatory; and

• A new method for separating candidates with tied CRS scores was put into place. Now, candidates are separated based on the date and time of profile submission, so, if there are candidates tied at the cusp of the maximum number of invitations received, those who submitted their profile first will get an invitation first.

Additional minor changes to the wording of the Ministerial Instructions that govern Express Entry, as it relates to the June 2017 changes, came into effect on October 24, 2017.

Latest Draws and Trends

Every year, IRCC has a target number of new permanent residents to hit their immigration levels targets. In 2017, the goal is 300,000 new permanent residents under all immigration programs. Of that, the government targets more than 170,000 new permanent residents from economic categories, and around 70,000 of those are managed under Express Entry. This means that Express Entry applications will account for just under a quarter of all new Canadian permanent residents in 2017.

As of mid-October, most candidates in the pool waiting for invitations were in the 351-400 or 401-450 point range with another significant portion at 350 points or less. Based on the recent trends of invitations, the 401-450 point range is a good place to be if you are hoping for an invitation before 2017 closes. Only about 200 candidates (out of approximately 60,000 currently in the pool) had scores above 600 and those applicants would have received invitations in the most recent draw.

Throughout 2017, we have seen higher and higher numbers of invitations issued, and more frequent draws from the pool than in 2015 and 2016. This can be attributed to government immigration targets and the clearing of pre-Express Entry applications in the processing backlog. As older applications are cleared out, there is room for more Express Entry applications that are processed much more quickly than pre-Express Entry economic category applications.

We can likely expect to see continued bi-weekly draws of 2500+ invitations throughout the rest of 2017.

The table below details the latest rounds of invitations this year.

Latest Rounds of Invitations Under Express Entry (2017)

Date CRS Points Number of Invitations Issued
Oct 18, 2017 436 2,757
Oct 4, 2017 438 2,801
Sept 20, 2017 433 2,871
Sept 6, 2017 435 2,772
Aug 23, 2017 434 3,035
Aug 9, 2017 433 2,991
Aug 2, 2017 441 3,264
July 12, 2017 440 3,202
June 28, 2017 449 3,409
May 31, 2017 413 3,877

Bridging open work permit & PR


open work permit

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Mary Keyork
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Mary Keyork

BARRISTER & SOLICITOR - CERTIFIED SPECIALIST IN CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION LAW at Canada Immigration Alliance
Mary Keyork provides Immigration Law services for hundreds of immigration applications in all categories and has appeared before all three divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as at the Federal Court of Canada, successfully representing clients in complex immigration applications and hearings.
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I Applied for Permanent Residence and My Work Permit is Expiring. Do I Have to Stop Working Until My Application is Approved?I Applied for Permanent Residence and My Work Permit is Expiring. Do I Have to Stop Working Until My Application is Approved?

The answer depends on the type of work permit you have and the category of permanent residence (PR) you applied for. You may be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) if you made an Application for Permanent Residence under one of the Economic categories.
If you have not applied under an Economic category, you may still be able to extend your existing work permit. Your eligibility and the documents required will depend on the type of work permit you hold.

Bridging Open Work Permits

The BOWP category lets foreign nationals with pending applications for PR under an Economic category obtain an open work permit. The BOWP will bridge the gap between your temporary and permanent residence. If you hold a work permit that is likely to expire before your PR application is processed, you may be able to get a BOWP.

In order to be eligible for a BOWP, you must:

• Be physically present in Canada;
• Hold a work permit that is expiring in the next four months;
• Be the principal applicant on an application for permanent residence under one of the Economic categories. These categories include: Federal Skilled Worker Class; Canadian Experience Class;       Federal Skilled Trades Class; Provincial Nominee Class; Caring for Children Class; or Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class; and
• Meet certain PR application eligibility check requirements, which depend on the type of application you submitted.

In order to apply for a BOWP, your application must have passed an initial eligibility check from IRCC and you must be able to provide proof. This looks a little different depending on the category you apply under:
• For applicants who applied under Express Entry, you can apply as soon as your electronic Application for Permanent Residence (e-APR) has been submitted online and you have received the initial Acknowledgement of Receipt letter from the online system. It is important to note that this Acknowledgement does not confirm that your e-APR has passed the initial completeness check and, while you can apply right away, your BOWP application will not be processed until your PR application passes this check and you receive your second Acknowledgement of Receipt letter. If your application does not pass this completeness check, your BOWP application could be refused; or
• For applicants who applied on paper, you can apply once you receive a letter confirming your positive eligibility assessment.

It is very important that you make your BOWP application at the correct time – if your PR application has not passed the required processing stage or your work permit is not expiring within the four month timeframe, your application will be refused and your ability to work in Canada can be impacted.

BOWPs and Family Members

If you qualify for a BOWP, you may also be able to extend your family member’s status at the same time you apply for your BOWP. Spouses or common-law partners of BOWP applicants may be eligible to extend or obtain open work permits.

In order for a spouse or common-law partner to qualify, the BOWP applicant must be a skilled worker (working in a NOC 0, A or B position in Canada) and be applying for a work permit for a duration of at least six months. The relationship between the BOWP applicant and spouse or common-law partner must also be proven.

Children that are in Canada as students or visitors will also be eligible to extend their study permits or visitor records along with the principal applicant’s BOWP application.

What If My Work Permit Extension Application Is Not Approved Before my Work Permit Expires?

It is important to consider the timing of your application and apply as soon as possible once you are within the four-month expiry timeline.

Once your work permit application is submitted you, and any family members included in your application, have implied status until a decision is received. Implied status means that, if your work permit or other status document expires after you submit your application but before you get a decision on that application, you can remain in Canada and continue to work until a decision is received.

It is very important to note that implied status is lost as soon as you travel outside of Canada. You could lose your right to re-enter Canada if you exit while under implied status.

We have over two decades of experience handling permanent residence and work permit applications. If your work permit will expire before your PR application is processed and you are concerned about maintaining your status and ability to work, we can guide you through the process and proper timing of your application.

Are You Ready for The New Changes Coming to Express Entry?


express entry to canada

Nancy Elliott
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Nancy Elliott

Barrister and Solicitor at Canadian Immigration Alliance
Nancy Myles Elliott is a business person and lawyer, focusing on solutions for individuals and companies seeking to invest or relocate in Canada. Ms. Elliott leads her own law firm, focusing on immigration and citizenship law, as well as advising on corporate legal matters relevant to new immigrants.
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Express Entry – There are Changes Coming

Changes are coming soon to Canada’s Express Entry system. Express Entry is the electronic management system designed to selected skilled workers for immigration to Canada, in force since January 2015.

  • Any person applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program,
  • Canadian Experience Class must apply through Express Entry.

Several Canadian provinces also participate in Express Entry and nominate qualified, skilled workers for it. Based on an online profile created by the user, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) awards points for a variety of factors, including age, education, language ability, employment experience, Canadian employment experience, adaptability (including a job offer from a Canadian employer) and similar factors for an accompanying spouse.

Applicants are ranked and placed in a pool, and the Canadian government issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) on a regular basis, allowing applicants to submit a complete application for permanent residence then. To date, the lowest score of a person issued an ITA was 450.

On November 19, 2016, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will award points differently for several factors.

Most notably, applicants who have a job offer from a Canadian employer approved by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), known as a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), will no longer receive 600 points. Instead, they will receive 50 points for most occupations, and 200 points if they will work in an executive position. The Comprehensive Rankling System severely impact applicants who were relying heavily on points achieved due to a positive LMIA.

On the positive side, applicants who have a work permit issued under international agreements or Canadian interests may now be eligible for points based on arranged employment without their employers needing to apply for an LMIA.

If they have employer-specific work permits, are currently working for that employer and have accumulated at least one year of full-time work experience (or the equivalent in part-time employment) over a continuous period of work for that company, they are eligible for the 50 or 200 points referred to above.

However, this can is extremely helpful for applicants in Canada under NAFTA or other free trade agreements, intra-company transferees, and other special work permits. Unfortunately, international students working under post-graduation work permits will not benefit from this change.

As before, applicants who receive a nomination from a Province under a Provincial Nominee Program will continue to receive 600 points.

Happily, for students, a new factor has been introduced to award additional points to Express Entry candidates who have Canadian education credentials. This factor will award 15 or 30 points, depending on the type of diploma or degree, to candidates who have eligible credentials from a post-secondary program.

Finally, changes have also been made on Invitations to Apply (ITA). Candidates will now have up to 90 days to prepare their permanent residence applications, up from 60 days in the past. TInvitations to apply (ITA) allows applicants extra time to prepare the numerous documents to support their requests for permanent residence.

Candidates who are already in the Express Entry pool are highly recommended to review and update their profiles, and they, along with prospective applicants, should urgently check how the changes on November 19th will affect their ranking, and therefore their chances for immigrating to Canada.

I want to move to Canada. Is it possible?


Moving to Canada

Nancy Elliott
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Nancy Elliott

Barrister and Solicitor at Canadian Immigration Alliance
Nancy Myles Elliott is a business person and lawyer, focusing on solutions for individuals and companies seeking to invest or relocate in Canada. Ms. Elliott leads her own law firm, focusing on immigration and citizenship law, as well as advising on corporate legal matters relevant to new immigrants.
Nancy Elliott
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I want to move to Canada. Is it possible?

Very.

As the dust settles after the hard-fought US presidential battle, many Americans are considering a move to Canada. Of course, threatening to go to Canada in exasperation is not the same thing as analyzing, planning and relocating, and many Americans do not know where to begin.

Here’s what to do:

1. Decide that you want to transfer
Consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of moving to Canada. It’s tough to leave home, and relocating can be both intimidating and exciting. Canada is a beautiful, clean and diverse country with sophisticated political and legal systems, universal healthcare, advanced technology infrastructure and world-class education. Research employment, business and investment opportunities, taxation, housing and education, and consider where you would like to live. For example, the climate is warmer in Vancouver, but Toronto is Canada’s centre of commerce.

2. Consider the time frame
Maybe you are ready to move tomorrow, but your kids have just started a new school year. Obtaining permanent residence (a Canadian green card) can take many months and often over a year. Perhaps you are qualified for a work permit that could allow you to relocate within weeks or months. Which would work better for you?

3. Get proper advice
Canadian immigration law can seem daunting, as there are many different categories with specific requirements. We can assess your situation and provide you with the best solution to successfully immigrate or work in Canada.

4. Apply
Many work permit applications can be made right at the Canadian border. Others require prior approval and consideration at a Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the United States. We can guide you through the process.

5. Move to Canada!
Get ready to begin your new life in Canada. Explore places to live, schools and communities.

So how can you successfully apply for residence in Canada?

Get a Work Permit

There are many different types of work permits available to US citizens. They include the following:

  • NAFTA professionals for a large variety of occupations, from scientists to management consultants – the catch is you need to find a job in your profession first.
  • Intra-company transferees – if your company has a parent, subsidiary or affiliate in Canada, you can be transferred provided you are a senior manager or possess specialized knowledge. Your business can even set up a new entity in Canada and send you up to get it started.
  • Owner/Operator – if you are self-employed or an entrepreneur, you can set up your own business in Canada provided you have a decent plan. This category requires careful consideration and planning.

Spouses of these types of work permit holders can also qualify for open work permits and look for employment in Canada. Kids can obtain study permits to go to school.

Often, work permit holders can qualify for permanent residence through one of the economic categories, which means that remaining in Canada permanently

Apply for Permanent Residence

You have probably heard that applications for permanent residence take quite a while to process. Applicants in the Express Entry system who are invited to apply can have their applications processed in six months, whereas self-employed applications can take years.

Canada’s Express Entry system allows applicants to apply through an electronic platform that assesses candidates according to a comprehensive ranking system. Those with higher scores are invited to apply and will have their applications quickly processed. The system allows applicants in various categories to apply, the most common program being the Federal Skilled Worker program.

  • Federal Skilled Worker – The program is based on a points system that considers an applicant’s education, experience, language ability, adaptability and whether there is a valid job offer.
  • Federal Skilled Trades – This program targets people in a variety of skilled trades, but requires them to have a minimum of English skills and a valid job offer or a certification of qualification from a province to apply.
  • Self-Employed – This category addresses athletes, actors, musicians, and others engaged in cultural activities which are either highly skilled or have significant self-employment experience. It is also open to experienced farmers who wish to operate a farm in Canada.
  • Start-up Visas – The Start-up Visa Program allows entrepreneurs to be fast-tracked for permanent residence if they can obtain financial support from a Canadian venture capital or angel fund, or from a business incubator. This underutilized program is very suitable for new and existing innovators and entrepreneurs.

Are you ready to get Started?

We have over two decades of experience handling all types of immigration applications and have a broad understanding of Canada’s immigration and citizenship laws and procedures.

We can expertly guide you through the process and assist you to plan your new life in Canada.

I Have A Job Offer In Canada, Can I Apply For A Work Permit?


An employer in Canada offered me a job, can I apply for a Work Permit?

Yes. When applying for work permits in Canada there are several options.

One option is to obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO) and subsequently apply for a work permit. An LMO is an opinion issued by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) regarding the employer, the position, the offer of employment and the need for temporary foreign workers to fill labor shortages in Canada. With a positive LMO, an individual can apply for a work permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Some positions are LMO-exempt.

Citizens and Permanent Residents of the United States and Mexico may also be eligible for LMO-exempt work permits under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if they meet the requirements.

Citizens and Permanent Residents of participating countries may also be able to obtain a working holiday visa to work in Canada.

Can I Accompany My Husband To Canada If He Has A Work Permit?


My husband obtained a Work Permit to work in Canada. Can I accompany him to Canada?
Yes you can. If you wish to visit your husband while he is working in Canada, you will need to obtain visitor status.
If you wish to work in Canada, as your spouse has a work permit, you may be entitled to apply for an open work permit, provided your husband’s work permit is valid for at least six month and is for a position in NOC category A, B or 0 (Professional, Trade or Management).You will receive an “open” work permit, which means that you will not be restricted to a specific employer. You can chose to apply for this work permit either when your spouse applies for his work permit, or afterwards.

Can I Apply For An Off- Campus Work Permit?


I am studying at a private college here in Toronto, and I am going to graduate in 2014. My question is whether I can apply for an off-campus work permit?
Not many private colleges are eligible for the off-campus work permit category, as the general rule is only publicly-funded colleges qualify. However, there are some limited exceptions to the rule, and you can find out whether your college qualifies by checking the CIC website at the following link:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work.asp

In addition, you can only apply for an off-campus work permit after a full six months of full-time study at your college, and once you obtain the work permit, you may only work a total of 20 hours per week.

I Heard That Is Is Harder To Immigrate To Canada As A Worker Right Now – Why?


The Canadian Government is currently in the process of revising its immigration policies. As a result, it has temporarily suspended the acceptance of applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) until 2013 for any individuals who do not have an approved job offer. This means that applicants must have a job offer that has been arranged by an employer and approved by the relevant government department in advance of their application.
While no date has been announced for the re-opening of the Federal Skilled Worker Class for applicants without job offers, the Government has announced that the new regulations will include improvements to the FSW Class and a new category for applications, called the Federal Skill Trades Class. It is anticipated that this new category will be better suited to receive applications from individuals with training and experience in skilled trades.
If you do not have a job offer and would like to find out more about the new regulations once they are announced, please check back with us in Fall 2012/ Winter 2013. More details will be posted to this website as they become available.

How Do I Hire Foreign Workers For My Canadian Based Company?


We are a mid-sized company in Markham, Ontario that wishes to hire several foreign workers to join our team. We are extremely confused by the requirements, and would like to clarify the following:

1. Do we need to advertise the positions and show that no Canadian can do the job? and 2. Do we need to pay foreign workers a specific wage?
Generally, employers that wish to hire foreign workers must demonstrate that there are no Canadians or permanent residents who could do the job, as it is the government’s policy to ensure that all Canadian residents are able to find employment. In order to demonstrate that there is no one available to do the job, employers must show that they have made sufficient recruitment efforts in Canada. However, the minimum requirements to demonstrate these efforts depends on the type of employment being offered. For workers in management and professional occupations, the employer must simply demonstrate efforts that are consistent within the industry. For workers in trades and technical positions, the employer must also demonstrate advertising on the National Job Bank.

For some types of workers, such as post-graduate work permit holders and software engineers, no advertising is required. Employers must learn the detailed requirements for each position they hope to employ a foreign worker in . Foreign workers must be paid the same amount as Canadians, however it is sometimes difficult to know what that amount actually is. Prior to May, 2012, employers were required to pay the “median wage” for workers in the same occupation in their geographic location. However, now they are allowed to pay up to 15% less than the median wage, depending on the job offered, and providing they can prove that this is the wage paid to other employees. This is because many employers complained that HRSDC was requiring them to pay foreign workers more than their local staff. In any case, it would be wise to seek advise of experienced counsel to determine the requirements in each case.

Can I Obtain A Second Post-Graduate Work Permit?


I studied a one-year postgraduate work program and obtained a one-year post-graduate work permit. If I return to study my master’s degree at university, can I subsequently obtain a two-year post-graduate work permit?

Although the maximum duration of a post-graduate work permit is three years, the three-year permit is only granted to students who have completed a program of study which is two years or longer. For any program under two years in length, the work permit is granted for the same period as the period of study. In addition, a person can only be granted one post-graduate work permit, so even if you return to university and study for several more years, you will not be granted a further post-graduate work permit under the current law.

You should obtain personalized legal advice to determine if there are other options.

I Was Refused My Post-Graduate Work Permit As The College I Attended Was Not Qualified – What Can I Do?


I am currently in Canada on a study permit, and I was recently refused my post-graduate work permit as the college I attended was a private college, and is not qualified for the purpose of the post-graduate work permit program. What should I do? I did not know that the college was not qualified, and now I have a two-year diploma and no work permit!
This is a rather unfortunate and difficult situation, and you are not alone as many students were misinformed about their colleges. Depending on your particular circumstances, you can either ask your prospective employer to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for the position they wish to offer you, or you can go back to a qualified college and obtain a new diploma.
The LMO would only be available in limited circumstances, and if you are a new grad without previous work experience it is unlikely to succeed as the level of position offered would likely be too low.
You should obtain detailed legal advice based on your particular circumstances to determine the best course of action.

I Came To Canada On A Work Permit And I Would Now Like To Bring My Wife And Son Over – How Does It Work?


I came to Canada on a work permit, valid until 2015, to work for a company in Markham. My wife and son have remained in China. As we are finding it difficult to spend so much time apart, we have decided to apply for permanent residence in Canada, and my employer supports that. In the meantime, I would like to know if they may join me in Canada while we are waiting. My son is 18 years old, and would like to work in Canada instead of going to school. Is this allowed?
Both your wife and son may apply for open work permits provided your work permit was given for a position that is NOC A, B or 0 (professional, trade or management) and must be valid for at least six months (which it is). As long as your son remains a dependent child pursuant to the Immigration regulations, he will be entitled to the work permit. In addition, as the dependent child working-age work permit is only granted as part of a pilot project in Ontario, they must make the application before July 31, 2013, and will receive permits which will expire on the same date as yours. In addition, they will need to meet the normal requirements as visitors to Canada, including demonstrating an intention to remain only temporarily in Canada, or dual intent. As this adds some legal complexity you should obtain specific legal advice. In addition, as you have indicated that you wish to apply for permanent residence, I urge you to do so quickly, as the regulations and requirements are changing constantly.

I Applied To Extend My Work Permit – Can I Travel Outside Of Canada?


How to address traveling with a Canadian work permit

My work permit will expire on April 30, 2014, and I have applied to extend my work permit. I would like to leave Canada on holiday on April 30th and return on May 15th. Will I have a problem re-entering Canada?
You should be very careful in this situation. You have not indicated when you applied to extend your work permit, nor provide details regarding your current work permit and your new work permit application. If you have applied for a work permit with respect to continuing the same employment, you will have implied status until the new work permit is issued. If you have applied for a work permit with a different employer or different job, then you will not be permitted to continue working. In your situation, if you leave the country, you would also not have the benefit of implied status. In such a case, you may still be able to return to Canada if you have a multiple entry temporary resident visa (visitor visa) which has not expired, however, you would need to explain the circumstances surrounding your work permit and your intentions in Canada. Generally, I would recommend remaining in Canada until the new work permit is issued. You should consult with an immigration lawyer to obtain proper, detailed legal advice before leaving Canada.

I Have Applied For The Extension Of My Work Permit But I Want To Switch Employer – Can I?


I am currently working in Canada but my work permit expired on June 30, 2014. I applied to extend my work permit on June 22, 2014, and I was informed that I could keep working until my work permit extension was processed. I was recently offered another job which is much better than my current one, and I wonder if I can switch employers while I am waiting.
Although you have implied status and can continue working for your current employer, you may not be able to switch employers, depending on the type of work permit you had. If your work permit was open (for example you were on a student work permit and you are waiting for your post-graduate work permit), then you could switch. However, if your work permit was restricted to a particular employer, then you would likely need to apply for a new work permit (and perhaps a labour market opinion (LMO)). You will need to get specific advice for your particular situation.

I Am Attending A Conference In Canada, Do I Need A Work Permit?


Our Ontario-based company conducts business in several countries around the world, including in China, Korea, the United States and Germany. We have several foreign workers in Canada from various countries, as well. We are organizing a large event to bring key people from our various offices to Toronto for a three-day conference in July, 2012. Several of the foreign managers will be asked to give speeches and conduct seminars during the conference, and we were wondering if there would be any issue with that. Would this be considered work that requires a work permit?
The people entering Canada to attend the conference would simply be considered business visitors. For those who are giving speeches, conducting seminars or workshops, or giving corporate training, they are exempt from obtaining a work permit pursuant to section 186(j) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as long as the event last no longer than five days. If on other occasions, there will be a longer duration in Canada, you may still be able to enter without a work permit, depending on the circumstances. It is a good idea to seek legal advice well in advance.