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Work Visa Overview

Work Visa Overview

Work Visa Overview

With a few exceptions, most people entering the Canadian labor market require a work permit as a prerequisite for visiting and seeking employment in the country. Getting a Canadian work permit involves two steps. As a thumb rule, most applicants must secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer before they can apply for a Canadian work permit.

The Steps for Getting a Work Visa

The first step for getting a Canadian work permit is applying for Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is obtained from the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The onus is upon the Canadian employer to ensure that efforts have been taken to use local talents for the job position. They must also conclusively prove that no Canadian citizen or permanent citizen passed the test, and hence they had to pick a foreign worker for the job.

On obtaining a positive LMIA, you can apply for a Canadian work permit. These permits are specific to the employer. If you want to change your employer, you must get a new and relevant work permit before joining another job. Most work permits issued in Canada come with a limited time duration. A worker can also apply for an open work permit. It does not restrict your area of work to one employer. You can use this permit to work for multiple employers at various locations in Canada.

Work Permit Duration

The Canadian government places restrictions on Canadian work permits and also the accumulated time that non-Canadians can work in Canada. The total time individuals may work in Canada, whether continuously or with gaps between permits, is 48 months or four years.

After the maximum work time is reached, you will have to leave Canada and remain outside of the country for a specific period before being eligible to work in Canada again.

Open Work Permit Canada

An open work permit works differently than a regular Canadian work permit. It is not employer-specific and does not specify a particular occupation or employer. If you are approved for an open work permit, you need not limit your working hours to one company or employer. You are legally allowed to work for multiple employers across Canada and in any capacity.

You need not show an offer of employment or a positive LMIA when you have an open work permit. Canadian immigration rules state that open work permits can be applied for by the following:

  • Spouses or common-law partners of temporary foreign workers
  • Spouses or common-law partners of foreign students pursuing full-time educational courses
  • Foreign students having graduated recently from a Canadian institution

General Eligibility Requirements

Regardless of your location in Canada, you must

  • Demonstrate to the authorities that you will leave Canada on expiry of the work permit when your work permit expires,
  • Show your financial stability to take good care of yourself and family members while in Canada and while returning back home
  • Comply with the local laws and prove you don’t have a criminal record through a police clearance certificate
  • Prove you will not be a danger to the country’s security
  • Exhibit good health and agree to undergo a medical test if necessary
  • Not plan to work for an ineligible employer
  • Must comply with all work permit rules and agree to provide regular and additional documents when asked for

Work permit processing does not have a fixed time frame and depends on many factors, such as the completeness of your application and the office you have submitted the application at. It may take four to twenty weeks to process a Canadian work permit.

Want to know more about Canadian work permits and how to apply for one? We can help. ASI Immigration is one of the most reputed immigration services and consultancy with an excellent record of successfully assisting foreign workers in applying for a work permit. If you are planning to visit and work in Canada and want to reduce the risks associated with the process, contact us now.

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