Last Updated on June 11, 2016
The process by which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) assesses temporary foreign worker applications are reviewed in the following steps.
This step involves an assessment of whether or not a foreign national is coming to Canada to work. According to Canadian law, “work” is defined as:
- An activity for which wages are paid or;
- An activity for which commission is earned or;
- An activity that competes directly with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.
If it is determined that the applicant is coming to Canada to work, the assessment will proceed to the next step. If it is determined that that applicant does not intend to work in Canada, he/she will be assessed as an applicant for temporary resident status.
This step involves a determination of whether or not the foreign national is authorized to work in Canada without a work permit. Under Canadian law, a foreign national does not require a work permit to work in certain jobs. For a list of jobs that a foreign national can work in Canada without a work permit, click here. (Jobs That Do Not Require a Work Permit in Canada)
If it is determined that the foreign national is allowed to work in Canada without a work permit, the foreign national’s entry into Canada will be authorized provided he/she qualifies for a temporary resident permit. If it is determined that the foreign national requires a work permit, the assessment will proceed to the next step.
This step involves a comprehensive assessment of whether or not the applicant is eligible to be issued a work permit. Eligibility to be issued a work permit depends on the answers to the following six questions:
- Is the foreign national allowed to apply for a work permit in the location that he/she is applying from? For more information concerning the three major locations from which a foreign national can apply for a temporary work permit, click here. (Where to Apply for a Temporary Work Permit).
- Is there reason to believe that the foreign national will leave Canada after his/her temporary stay?
- Does the foreign national have a positive LMIA, if required? Generally, in order to be deemed eligible to work in Canada, a foreign national must be the subject of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA is a document that an employer in Canada needs to obtain before hiring most types of foreign workers. A positive LMIA will confirm that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill a given job and that no Canadian worker is available to perform the job. For more information about Labour Market Impact Assessments, click here (Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs)). There are also certain circumstances in which a foreign national will be eligible to be issued a work permit without having to obtain a positive LMIA. For more information on the circumstances where an LMIA is not required in order to obtain a work permit, click here. Certain individuals that are eligible to be issued a work permit without having to obtain an LMIA may also be eligible for an open work permit. For more information on open work permits, click here.
- Does the foreign national have a temporary job offer from a qualified employer? For more information on temporary job offers, see Step 5 of the following document: (How to Apply for a Temporary Work Permit).
- Has the foreign national gathered and completed all required forms and documents? For more information on required forms and documents, see Step 6 of the following document: (How to Apply for a Temporary Work Permit).
- If a medical exam is required, has it been completed? For more information on medical exams, click here. (Medical Exams for Temporary Foreign Worker Applicants)
If any of the six questions above are answered in the negative, the foreign national will be refused entry into Canada. If all of the above questions are answered in the positive, the assessment will proceed to the next step.
This step involves determining whether there are any other factors that would legally prohibit the foreign national from obtaining a work permit. In carrying out this step, a CIC officer will ask the following questions:
- Are there reasonable grounds to believe that the foreign national cannot perform the job? This question involves an assessment of whether or not the worker possesses the language skills required to perform his/her job properly. For more information on temporary foreign worker language requirements, click here. (Language Requirements for Temporary Foreign Worker Applicants)
- Does the worker require a Certificat D’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ)? For more information on the process of applying for a permit to work in Quebec, click here. (The Quebec LMIA Application Process and Extensions to Quebec Work Permits)
- Is there a risk that the foreign national will become a strikebreaker if issued a work permit? For more information on foreign workers and strike situations, click here. (Foreign Workers and Strike Situations)
- Does the worker intend to work as a live-in caregiver but not meet the requirements in Rule 112 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations? Rule 112 states that workers who seeks to enter Canada as a live-in caregiver will not be issued a work permit unless they:
- Applied for a work permit as a live-in caregiver before arriving at a Canadian port of entry.
- Has successfully completed an educational program that is equivalent to a secondary school education in Canada.
- Possess work experience or training related to the job for which the work permit is sought. This requirement will be satisfied if the foreign national has either completed six months of relevant training in a classroom setting OR completed one year of full time paid work in a similar job. In the case of work experience, the six months of work must have been continuous and with one employer. Further, the work experience must have been acquired within three years of the date of application.
- Have the ability to speak, read and listen in English or French at a level that allows them to communicate effectively in an unsupervised setting.
- Have an employment contract with their future employer.
- Has the worker previously engaged in unauthorized work or study in Canada?
- For LMIA-exempt work permit applications, does the offer of employment fail to comply with any relevant agreements between the Canadian Federal government and a Provincial government? For more information on this topic, click here.
- If the foreign national is applying for an employer-specific (non-open), LMIA-exempt work permit, has the employer failed to provide the Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment Form and/or failed to pay the employer compliance fee?
- Has the foreign national already worked in Canada for a cumulative period of four years? Generally, if the answer to this question is yes, the foreign national will be refused a work permit. However, foreign nationals who have already worked in Canada for a cumulative period of four years may still be able to obtain a work permit if:
- 48 months have elapsed since they last worked for four years in Canada or;
- They intend to work in a job that would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents or;
- Their job falls under an international agreement between Canada and one or more countries. This includes agreements concerning farm workers.
- Does the foreign national’s employer or potential employer regularly provide strip tease, erotic dance, escort or erotic massage services?
- Is the foreign national’s employer or potential employer on the list of ineligible employers?
- Is the foreign national inadmissible to Canada? For more information on the circumstances under which a foreign national can be deemed inadmissible to Canada, click here.
If any of the questions above are answered “yes”, the applicant will be refused a work permit. If the questions above are all answered in the negative and all prior steps have been successfully completed, the foreign national will be authorized to receive a work permit.
If the foreign national applied for the work permit at a Canadian port of entry or from within Canada, he/she will receive the work permit immediately. If the foreign national applied from overseas, he/she will receive a letter of introduction. When the foreign national arrives in Canada, he/she must show the letter of introduction to Canadian immigration officials at the port of entry in order to receive the work permit.
For more information on the conditions, term and validity of a temporary work permit, click here.
For more information on how to apply for a temporary work permit, click here.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.