Work Permits (with a LMIA)
The standard work permit application process is a 2-step process:
1. you need to have an prospect Canadian employer first, then your employer applies for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
2. you then apply for a work permit.
What is a LMIA
A LMIA is assessed by a separate Canadian government branch (Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation), other than the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to ensure your prospective employer can’t find a qualifying employee in Canada and they have to hire someone like you from abroad. Key elements in a LMIA application are listed as follows:
- No qualifying Canadian workers available – Your prospective employer is expected to take the required steps set by the Canadian government to hire Canadians before they look abroad.
- Genuine job offer – The job offer provided to you by your prospective employer must be genuine.
- You qualify for the job – You must have the required skills and experiences for the job.
- Evidence on employer’s effort – Your prospective employer is expected to provide solid evidence or documentations to prove they have gone through all the required steps.
- Evidence on your effort – You also need to provide solid evidence to demonstrate that you qualify for the job offered.
Applying for a LMIA is a very complex process and professional assistance is strongly recommended.
Work Permits (LMIA-exempt)
There are circumstances where you may be able to work in Canada without first obtaining a positive LMIA. It is a LMIA exempt work permit.
Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)
If you have successfully completed a at-least-8-month-long program from a qualifying Canadian post-secondary school, you may be to apply for a work permit without first having to find an employer. There are eligibility requirements and strict time-line to follow.
Spouses of work/student permit holders
If your spouse or qualifying common-law partner has a valid work permit (in some high-skilled categories) or a valid study permit (attending a qualifying Canadian post-secondary school), you may be able to get a work permit because of this. This is a type of open work permit with almost no restriction on who, where and what type of job you can take.
International Experience Canada (IEC)
This applies to you if you fall under one of the following categories: Working Holiday, International Co-op, or Young Professionals.