Canada permits the temporary entry of qualified visitors, students and foreign workers under various employer ‘sponsorship’ programs.
A visitor means a person who is lawfully in Canada, or seeks to come into Canada for a temporary purpose (such as work, study or visit) and who is not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or the holder of a minister’s permit. An individual allowed into Canada pending further examination because a Port of Entry officer cannot immediately conclude an examination, is not a visitor.
Canada has traditionally applied a “Canadians’ First” policy when dealing with foreign workers and employment authorizations were issued only where an employer could prove that such employment would not adversely affect the employment opportunities for Canadians. A number of mechanisms currently provide for the admission of foreign workers without a requirement to obtain a labor market opinion. In some cases special programs have been implemented which provide blanket labor market opinions confirming the existence of labor market shortages, thereby facilitating the entry into Canada of such qualified individuals. Increasingly, policies are being formulated to recognize the trend towards globalization and to facilitate the cross border movement of personnel resources.