At any time, there are nearly 200,000 people in Canada employed on temporary work permits. These work permit holders are an important part of Canada’s labour force. With the establishment of the Canadian Experience Class, the Canadian Government has made it easier for those here on Work Permits to become Permanent Residence.
There are a number of ways of obtaining a work permit:
- Employer linked work permit (usually facilitated by obtaining a Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada), and a job offer from an employer.
- Spousal work permits. Spouses, and common law partners, of certain Work Permit holders and Student Permit holders can often obtain an open Work Permit, which mirrors the length of time granted to their partner.
- International students can usually work, under limited conditions, while they are studying in Canada.
- Business owners who are starting a business, which is deemed to be of significant economic, social or cultural benefit to Canada.
- Under certain international agreements, such as NAFTA, there are provisions for certain professions to obtain work permits.
- Part of reciprocal agreements between Canada, or its Provinces/Territories, and other countries that have entered into exchange programs relating to such things as youth and teacher exchanges.
- Some religious workers, or workers for charities, are also elegible to obtain work permits.
- Those making refugee claims.
CONVERTING TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY
With the recent introduction of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), it is much easier to obtain a Permanent Residence Visa from a Work Permit than ever before. All Work Permit holders must demonstrate that they are willing and able to return to their home country after the expiry of their work permit. With the introduction of the CEC, it is understood that many work permit holders will eventually apply for a Permanent Residence Visa once they qualify. For the CEC, any work permit holder must be employed in a skilled or management position to apply.
An alternative route is through provincial nominee programs, almost all of which allow for temporary workers to apply for nomination. In many provinces, they will approve some unskilled workers in addition to skilled workers. This makes these nominee programs very attractive to service workers and those working in low skilled jobs.
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