The application process for any Canadian work permit starts with checking if the individual is LMIA Exempt. If not, then the individual must obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to be eligible to apply for a Canadian Work Permit.
The application process involved in applying for a Canadian work permit has been elucidated in the following sections:
Note: Certain class of individuals do not need a work permit to work in Canada. To know more about the category of persons who do not require a work permit to work in Canada, click here.
Step 1: Verification if an LMIA is required
The first step is checking if the individual who is applying for the work permit falls under the LMIA exempt category. Certain class of individuals as well as individuals who are coming to Canada on certain occupations are exempt from the need to have a positive LMIA prior to the issuance of a work permit. To know more about the LMIA exempt category, click here. Note: Employers whose business or company is registered in Canada’s Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Prince Edward Island) can now hire foreign workers without having to obtain an LMIA through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP). To know more about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), click here.
Step 2: Classification into high wage/low wage
If the individual does not fall under the LMIA exempt category, then to ascertain the complete requirements, a classification is required to be done to see if the individual falls under the high wage LMIA category or the low wage. This is because, if the individual falls under the high wage category, a transition plan is also required to be submitted to ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) for the processing of the LMIA application. If not, the transition plan is not required.
Step3: LMIA Application preparation and submission
Once the classification is done, the LMIA application is prepared on behalf of the employer. A transition plan, if applicable, also need to be submitted along with the LMIA application. The employer can initiate the hiring of the foreign worker or professional only if ESDC issues a positive labour market opinion.
Step4: Application for a work permit
Once the LMIA and the transition plan (if applicable) is approved, then the work permit application is submitted to the Canadian immigration authorities. Please take note that the issuance of a positive labour market opinion does not alone guarantee the issuance of a work permit by IRCC. Certain additional criteria are required to be met for the issuance of the work permit. Some of them would be, but not limited to:
Step 5: The conditions applicable for application submission
The conditions applicable while submitting a work permit application depends on whether the individual is a citizen of a country whose citizens need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to secure legal entry to Canada. To see if you need a TRV to enter Canada, click here.
Individuals belonging to TRV applicable countries: For individuals who are citizens of those countries that need to obtain a TRV to secure legal entry to Canada, the work permit application can be submitted in a Canadian visa office that serves the person’s country of citizenship or else, their country of residence. Whilst the individual has the liberty to choose through which office he or she want to apply,the decision on which visa office the application will be processed lies solely with the immigration authorities.
Individuals belonging to TRV not-applicable countries: For individuals who are citizens of countries whose citizens do not require a TRV to secure legal entry to Canada, the work permit application can be submitted in a Canadian visa office that serves their country of citizenship or else, their country of residence. However, these individuals also have the freedom to submit their application at a Canadian visa office at the port of entry after entering Canada. Whilst citizens of the USA and Mexico fall under this category quite often, they must obtain an eTA to secure legal entry to Canada. Nonetheless, citizens of the USA are exempt from the eTA requirement also.