Work in Canada

Canada welcomes talented and skilled employees in the country. Therefore, it provides a wide range of opportunities to work in Canada!

LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessments. LMIA is basically an approval given by the Canadian government to a Canadian employer seeking to hire an international employee. In order to hire an international employee, the Canadian employer must first receive an LMIA from the Canadian government.

To acquire the LMIA, the employer must ensure with proof that hiring the international employee will have either a positive or a neutral effect on the Canadian Labour Market. It also must be proved that the foreign worker will be paid the standard wages according to the province.

Here is a list of the median hourly wages paid in the different Canadian provinces:

Province/Territory Wage ($/hr)
Newfoundland and Labrador $21.12
Prince Edward Island $17.49
Nova Scotia $18.85
New Brunswick $18.00
Quebec $20.00
Ontario $21.15
Manitoba $19.50
Saskatchewan $21.00
Alberta $25.00
British Columbia $22.00
Yukon $27.50
Northwest Territories $30.00
Nunavut $29.00

The employers must also provide a proof of the fact that they searched for and could not find a Canadian citizen skilled enough to assume the required job responsibilities.

The LMIA process is different for high wage and low wage workers.

High wage workers are the ones being paid at or over the median wages of the province. Employers seeking to hire such workers must submit transition plans to ensure that they will reduce their dependency on foreign workers in the coming years.

On the other hand, low wage workers are the ones being paid under the median wages of the province. Employers do not need to submit any transition plans to hire such workers. In order to ensure that the Canadians are considered first for all available jobs in Canada, the Government of Canada has introduced a cap to limit the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a company can employ. Also, some occupations are refused for LMIA.

The employers hiring low-wage workers must provide them with pay for their round-trip transportation, ensure affordable housing for them, pay for their health insurance and provide an employee-employer contract.

  • Your employer must apply for an LMIA
  • Your employer must give you a temporary job offer
  • You must have been granted a Temporary Work Permit by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

For immigration purposes, Canada defines work as an activity for which money is earned or an activity that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents in the Canadian Labour Market. Canadian immigration regulations also at times allow for Open Work Permits which are not employer specific.
R205(d) LMIA, exempts religious workers who are giving their religious services and duties for a Canadian religious organization. Volunteers are not included in this category. Missionaries who will be devoting their full time to missionary service for their religious organization, may choose to request a work permit under this. However, they should be attached to a congregation in Canada and their work should be an usual congregational activity.

Who is considered a religious worker in Canada?
  • An individual performing duties of a religious nature that benefit the community, educational or religious institutions.
  • The organization sponsoring such an individual must not be receiving any direct income from any source due to the individual’s services.

There is also a fee exemption code E02 available if the religious worker is not being paid anything other than a stipend for living expenses, which should be less than the prevailing minimum wage level.
The Government of Canada has started this program from October 26, 2013 for business startups to acquire work permits in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • There should be no more 5 individuals in the startup work permit proposal.
  • All the people who are part of the startup must meet the language requirements of Canada.
  • They should have completed at least one year of post-secondary education.
  • They should have enough funds to establish themselves in Canada and must demonstrate an intention to settle in Canada.
  • Every individual must provide a ComCert (Commitment Certificate) issued by the company stating that their role is vital for their startup’s functioning.
  • The occupation of every individual linked with the startup must be proven to be skill type 0, skill level A or skill level as per NOC.
If a business headquartered outside of Canada wants to bring in their key employees in a branch of theirs situated in Canada then this program is meant for them. Work permits obtained under this category do not require an LMIA.

In order to qualify to obtain work permit under this category, the Transferee, must fall under one of the following categories:
  • Executive: Primarily directing the management of the enterprise or a major component.
  • Senior Managerial: Managing the whole company or part of it and supervising other managers.
  • Specialized Knowledge: Possessing the ability to demonstrate advanced specialized knowledge over and above the knowledge about the company’s products and functioning.
The transferee must also hold at least one-year of full time work experience with the company. The Canadian branch of the parent company must provide proof of its relationship with it.
Temporary Work Permit Requirements:

  • You must provide assurance to an officer that you will leave Canada as and when you work permit expires.
  • You must show that you have enough resources to provide for yourself and your family members while in Canada and still have enough resources to return home.
  • You must obey the law and provide proof that you have absolutely no criminal record.
  • You must not be a threat to Canada’s security.
  • You must prove through a medical examination that you are in good health.
  • You must not work for an employer listed in the ineligible employers list or who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic messages.
  • You must provide all the necessary documents asked for by the officer.

After getting a temporary work permit you can apply for an extension for the same if:

  • Your job is extended or changes.
  • Apply online or on paper before your existing work permit expires.
  • You are offered a different job in Canada
  • You can either apply online or on paper before starting your new job.
  • You want to live and work in Canada permanently.
  • In this case, you must qualify for one of the permanent resident categories.
  • You want to leave Canada and then re-enter.
  • If you are from a country other than US, you have to provide your valid passport or travel document.
  • Work permit is granted only for a maximum period of four years in Canada.
Spouses of International students and skilled workers must have a work permit of their own if they want to work in Canada. To obtain that, they have to fulfill the same requirements as the international student or skilled worker. In some cases, the spouse may be required to apply for a work permit for a specific job and their employers may have to get an LMIA from ESDC.

However, spouses or common-law partners of international students and skilled workers can obtain an open work permit if they meet the following requirements:
  • You are allowed to work for at least six months in Canada.
  • Education: At least a college diploma.
  • Occupation: Must be listed in Skill Level 0, A or B in the NOC.

The tenure of the open work permit shall be the same as that of the international student/skilled worker’s work permit. The spouses may also in some cases need to undergo a medical examination to obtain a work permit.
If a temporary resident of Canada wants to renew his/her work permit then he/she can do so under implied status as long as he/she stays in Canada.

This includes different scenarios:

Implied Status and Travelling Outside Canada:
Such people are allowed to come to Canada again as temporary residents till a decision is made about the renewal of their work permit application and are TRV exempt as per R190 or on a multiple-entry visa. However, they are not allowed to start or resume their work in Canada until a decision is reached about the renewal of their work permit. This also applies to foreign nationals who are TRV exempt as per R190(3)(f) and those on multiple-entry visas).

Once an extension is granted the date of acceptance will be shown on the document. In case the extension is refused, the person will be considered under implied status till a decision is reached about their work permit extension. If the extension is all together rejected, the client will be considered under implied status till the TR document expires. A second document can be presented if the first one is rejected. In this case, the status on the second document will be the new status.
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