Work Visa Overview

Work Visa Overview

Every foreign national who desires to work in Canada must obtain a work visa to maintain their legal status. In Canada, another term for a work visa is a work permit. Thankfully, you can explore a large spectrum of opportunities to work in Canada as there are myriad options to obtain a work permit as per the individual situation.

The two main work visa options are the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP). The Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a crucial requirement for work visas under TFWP. You should consult an expert immigration counselor to find the most suitable work visa option by explaining your objectives.

Exploring Work Visa options

Canada enables foreign nationals to come and work in Canada under several work permit options. Most work permits need a job offer from a Canadian employer, while some require the individual to have a Canadian connection like education, refugee, and a spousal sponsorship.
The main types of work permits are:

  • LMIA required
  • LMIA exempt
  • Intra Company Transfers
  • Post Graduation Work Permits

Many work permits like Temporary Foreign Worker Programs make it mandatory for the prospective Canadian employer to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The main objective of LMIA is to convince the Canadian government about how the foreign national will have no impact on the local job market. LMIA ensures that such hiring will not negatively impact the wages of local workers or the availability of jobs for local candidates.

Thankfully, several LMIA exempt work visas fall under International Mobility programs. These may include international free trade agreements, working holiday visas, open spousal work permits, and post-graduate work permits, among others.

LMIA required work permits

Following is the typical process of obtaining an LMIA required work permit

  • A Canadian employer procures LMIA to demonstrate that issuing the work permit will have no impact on the Canadian job market
  • The Canadian employer sends a valid job offer to a foreign national with the letter of LMIA approval. These are crucial documents to apply for a work permit
  • The foreign worker applies for a work permit and a Temporary Residence Visa depending on the country of citizenship
  • Issuance of a Canadian temporary work permit

LMIA Exempt work permits

International Mobility Program facilitates LMIA exempt work permits to foreign nationals to secure Canada’s broad interests in social, cultural, and economic sectors. Following are a few examples of LMIA exempt work permits:

  • Dependents of foreign workers– You will not require an LMIA if you apply for a skilled position and a spouse or common-law partner of a foreign worker holding a Canadian work permit.
  • Reciprocal employment– Canada allows LMIA exemption to candidates from certain countries if Canadians have access to work opportunities in those countries.
  • International Exchange– Being a participant in several International Exchange Programs, Canada extends LMIA exempt work permits to candidates participating in such programs.
  • Charitable and religious workers– Volunteers in charity organizations do not impact the Canadian labor market and are exempt from LMIA requirements while seeking a Canadian work visa. Religious workers also fall under the LMIA exempt category if their work involves a religion-based objective.
  • Provincial nominations– Foreign workers with a Provincial Nomination certificate for permanent residence do not require LMIA

Intra-company transfers
Foreign nationals working in the capacity of managers, functional managers, and those having specialized knowledge may obtain LMIA exempt work permits. They must be working for a parent company with a subsidiary, affiliate, or branch in Canada.

Post-graduation work permit
After completing a Canadian post-graduation program at any Designated Learning Institute, foreign nationals can work for any Canadian employer. They can also leverage their professional work experience to obtain permanent resident status.

Navigating a broad spectrum of work visa options can be frustrating. Dev Immigration Services Inc will make the process easy by understanding your goals and requirements. Call us now to know the suitable work permit option to facilitate your immigration to Canada.


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