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Temporary Entry

Temporary Residence- Work Permit

Work Permit or employment authorization is a document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that permits a foreigner to legally work in Canada for a stated period.

However, there are certain categories of persons who are EXEMPT from the requirement of employment authorization before they can work in Canada:

  1. Foreign diplomats
  1. Military Personnel
  1. Clergy
  1. Performing Artist (in certain circumstances)
  1. Athletes
  1. Artists
  1. Ship or Truck Personnel
  1. Designated Foreign Buyer and Sellers

In addition to the above, there are other exemptions provided under the Immigration Act.

How do I obtain a work Permit?

There are two step procedure in obtaining employment authorization:

Step 1: Job Validation

Before submitting an application for employment authorization, applicants are in large number of cases required to obtain a job validation letter. A job validation is an approval given and issued by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). It involves the process of obtaining an employment validation from HRDC; indicating or affirming the prospective Canadian employer applied for approval of the job offer to the foreign worker. For HRDC to issue a validation letter, it must be satisfied that there are no Canadian Citizens or permanent residents who are qualified for and willing to fill the position offered to a foreign worker. Typically, the prospective employer must demonstrate to HRDC that it has made efforts to recruit a Canadian citizen or permanent resident but had not been successful in finding a suitable Canadian Citizen or permanent resident. Usually, the prospective employer will be required to advertise for the position offered to the foreign worker. If HRDC is of the view that the prospective employer has made its best effort to hire Canadian Citizens or permanent resident, the office will validate the offer of employment to the foreign worker.

Step 2: Application for work Permit

Upon the approval of the validation by HRDC office, the foreign worker will be invited to apply for a work permit at a Canadian Consulate or High Commission outside Canada, usually in the applicant’s country or country of resident. Sometimes, the applicant will be required to attend an interview at the visa office or Consulate. If the visa officer is satisfied that the foreign worker’s employment will not adversely affect employment in Canada for Citizens or Permanent residents and that the foreign worker qualifies for the position, a work permit will be issued to the applicant.

In certain circumstances, applicant from certain countries will be required to undergo medical examinations.

Validation Exempt Jobs:

There a number of occupations for   which the foreign worker or the prospective Canadian employers do not need to obtain validation from HRDC.

Some are:

Certain computer professionals who qualify under the Software Development Workers Pilot Project (SDWPP)

Foreign Students holding a Canadian Study Permit

Citizens of the United States whose occupation fall under the North American free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Spouses of highly skilled workers who qualify under the Spousal Pilot Project


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DISCLAIMER: The following has been prepared by Roy C.Amadi, Barrister and Solicitor for the sole purpose and intended reference by interested individuals and is not intended to create an attorney-client communication. This write-up maybe reproduced for the personal non-commercial use of interested individuals on the express or implied condition that the contents herein are neither edited, modified nor altered in whole or in part, directly or indirectly without the express written consent of the author herein.

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