I am going to explain the general process to get a job and a work permit in Canada. This is the general process. Most exceptions involve international agreements between Canada and other countries, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS).
Also note that you are able to work in Canada if you have permanent residence. So you do not require a work permit to work in Canada if you have permanent residence. Many people WRONGLY think that they should get a job and a work permit first. Often people will be better if they apply for permanent residence first. But that is another topic.
After you get a work permit, then there are many possibilities to get permanent residence depending on the job and the province where you work. So if you are interested in permanent residence, you should plan it before you start working.
Let’s go through the steps on how to get a job and a work permit:
Step 1 – Find an employer who wants to hire you because they cannot find a Canadian to fill their job and who is willing to pay $1000 for the government fees and to go through the government approval process.
Step 2 – The employer will then either hire a lawyer or do the Labour Market Impact Assessment Application (LMIA previously known as an “LMO”) themselves to apply for government approval. They must pay the $1000 government application fee.
Step 3 – The government will either approve or reject the application within 2 weeks. The government’s main concern is that the employer advertised the job and tried to find a Canadian for the position.
Step. 4 – If the application is approved, then the worker must apply to get a work permit. If the worker does not require a visa to visit Canada (these are generally developed countries), then they can apply and get the work permit at the airport. If the worker requires a visa to visit Canada, then they must apply online or at a Canadian visa office. The processing time for that process depends on the visa office and could take a few weeks to many months.
As you can see, finding the right employer is the most difficult part of the process. How do you “Find an employer who wants to hire you because they cannot find a Canadian to fill their job and who is willing to pay $1000 for the government fees and to go through the government approval process.”?
The truth is it is very difficult to do it on your own. Most Canadian jobs are not advertised unless they don’t have connections to find workers. If the employer advertises, most applicants are not qualified and they spend time needlessly screening people who applied without good reason.
Most Canadian employers do not know the process or the requirements. They do not want to go through an approval process that is not known to them. Even if they would qualify and could pay the fee, most Canadian employers will not go through the process.
So then the question becomes how do you find an educated and willing employer? You have to focus on employers who cannot find Canadians. This usually requires a very thorough knowledge of the job market on the ground and being in constant contact with Canadian employers. You need to know various things:
- Which employer plans to hire in your industry?
- Which employer expects to have new contracts in the near future?
- What are the general statistics about the locations in Canada where jobs are expected to be created?
- How many graduates are expected to be coming out of the training programs to fill the demand for workers in your industry?