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Most situations require a work permit to work in Canada. Work permits are issued under various programs, each requiring unique applications to IRCC. If done right, working as a temporary resident can be a pathway to PR. With Phoenix Canada completing the application which best presents your individual case and liaising with IRCC, you can take the weight of this process off your shoulders.

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Open Work Permits

An open work permit (OWP) means you are not bound to work for a specific employer and can seek work with any legal employment in Canada. There are a few ways to obtain an open work permit in Canada, however the programs are very restrictive to their specific situations. Some examples of OWPs are;

Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP)

If you are the partner of an international student, worker, or awaiting your response on your spousal sponsorship application, you may be eligible for a SOWP.

Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

If you studied in Canada you may be eligible for an open work permit after graduating. This program is crucial to consider when picking your program of study in Canada, as it can provide Canadian work experience and networking benefits.

International Experience Canada (IEC)

Through three different experiences (Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op), young  adults can work in Canada for up to two years. Find out if you are eligible to apply for IEC here.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

If you have submitted an application for PR and your current work permit is about to expire, you can apply for a bridging open work permit. This will allow you to continue working until a decision is made on your PR application.

International Free Trade Agreements

Canada has different international agreements that function on a reciprocal basis and target the business needs for that particular relationship. Nationals of participating countries can benefit from the agreements if they qualify, typically under one of the following categories;

- business visitors

- professionals

- intra-company transferees

- traders and investors

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), Other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), General Agreement on Trade in Service (GATS) and Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CUKTCA) are just some of the uniquely crafted programs that are available to assist Canadian and global businesses. 

Vulnerable Workers

Workers who are currently on an employer-specific work permit and are at risk of abuse from their employers are able to apply for an LMIA exempt open work permit, allowing them to exit the abusive situation. Canadian laws protect every worker in Canada, and that includes foreign workers. Read more about your rights as an employee here.

Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA)

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that shows you are required by your employer to fill the job vacancy - a positive one will prove that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident was available to hire for the role. LMIA's are managed and paid for by the employer, not the temporary foreign worker, and they are approved by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The requirements for an LMIA are broken down by low-wage and high-wage streams. Typically a hiring company can expect to provide the following for an LMIA application:

  • a processing fee, paid for by the hiring company

  • documented recruitment efforts

  • proof of business legitimacy

  • prevailing wages

Additional requirements can include a transition plan, paid transportation into and out of Canada, and business

inspections. Once an LMIA has been approved, a foreign worker can apply for a work permit.

Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilot

These two pilot projects cover the "caregiver" role for temporary workers, and provide a clear pathway to permanent residency. Your PR application will be submitted at the same time as your work permit application. Once you have achieved the required 24 months work in Canada you submit the proof and IRCC will make a final decision on your PR application. Family members are eligible to join you in Canada while you work.  

These work permits are:

  1. occupation-restricted (you will have to work in that specific occupation)

  2. LMIA exempt (you will not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment)

  3. lets you gain the work experience you need to be eligible for permanent residence

In order to apply to these programs you will need a job offer in one of these occupations:

Home childcare provider - NOC 4411

Home support worker - NOC 4412

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