Every year, more than 180,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages. A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada.
If you want to work in Canada, you must understand the following important information:
- Your employer may need to get a labour market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). An LMIA confirms that there is no Canadian or permanent resident available, and the employer can fill the job with a foreign worker.
- Some jobs do not require an LMIA. Find out if you need one.
- You must meet the general requirements for entering the country, for studying in Canada and for getting a work permit. This means you may also need to temporary resident visa. Learn more about temporary resident visas.
- A work permit is not an immigration document. It does not allow you to live in Canada permanently. To live in Canada permanently, you must qualify under a immigration category, such as a skilled worker. Learn more about Immigrating to Canada.
- Live-in caregiver who meet certain requirements can apply to stay in Canada permanently.
- Your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children may apply to come to Canada with you.
NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA)
Under Chapter 16 of NAFTA, citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico can gain quicker, easier temporary entry into the three countries to conduct business or investment activities.
Business people covered by NAFTA do not need to labour market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). This means that Canadian employers do not need to have a job offer approved by HRSDC to hire an American or a Mexican business person, as set out in NAFTA.
Business people covered by NAFTA must, however, comply with the general provisions on temporary entry to Canada.
NAFTA applies to four specific categories of business people:
- business visitors
- intra-company transferees
- traders and investors
An intra-company transferee must:
- have worked continuously for at least one year in the preceding three years for the same or affiliated employer in the United States or Mexico;
- be transferred to Canada to work temporarily for the same or an afflicted employer;
- work in a capacity that is managerial, executive or that involves specialized knowledge.
- have a work permit.
LABOUR MARKET IMPACT ASSESSMENT (LMIA)
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) confirms that there is no Canadian or permanent resident available, and the employer can fill the job with a foreign worker.