Foreign nationals who wish to work in Canada usually require a work permit. Canada offers a number of different work permit options under various programs to global talent and employers. However, there are two major types of work permits programs in Canada:
Temporary Foreign Worker Program: A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required for a foreign national to obtain a work permit. Such a type of work permit is a closed work permit and is employer-specific.
International Mobility Program: An LMIA is not required for a foreign national and allows you to work for any employer in Canada. However, it is issued under some circumstances.
- Temporary duration to support a work permit application only.
- Permanent duration to support a permanent residence application
- A combination of permanent and temporary duration to support both a permanent residence application and a work permit application.
Permanent duration to support a permanent residence application. Work permits issued under a permanent duration LMIA will be issued for a maximum period of two years, provided the candidate meets the requirements set out in the LMIA. The work permit will not be extended regardless of whether or not a permanent residence application is underway
Workers who are eligible for the International Mobility Program (IMP) include:
- Those entering Canada on an open work permit.
- Those entering Canada as intra-company transferees.
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An LMIA exempt or an open work permit is issued to the following individuals are eligible to be issued an open work permit:
- Applicants with no other means of support. (Foreign Nationals with No Other Means of Support)
- Certain kinds of permanent resident applicants living in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada)
- Foreign nationals living in Canada for humanitarian reasons. (Humanitarian-Based Open Work Permits)
- Canada World Youth Program participants
- Participants in certain international student and young worker exchange programs
- The family members of military personnel and foreign representatives who are exempt from the LMIA requirement
- Professional athletes entering Canada who require other work to support themselves while playing for a Canadian team
- Spouses of skilled worker residents
Foreign nationals currently in Canada whose work permit will soon expire and who have submitted an application for permanent residence under:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- A Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
Foreign nationals who have submitted an application for PR under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC) will be eligible if:
- They have submitted a Permanent Residence Application under the SCLPC class
- The applicant’s spouse/partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- The applicant’s spouse/partner has submitted a sponsorship application on the applicant’s behalf
- The SCLPC applicant resides at the same address as the sponsor/spouse/partner
- The SCLPC applicant has valid temporary resident status as a visitor, student or worker