Work Permit / LMIA

A temporary foreign worker is a temporary resident who is authorized to work in Canada by a work permit (WP) or authorized to work without a permit. It is considered “work” even if no wages are paid or commission is earned as long as the temporary resident is in direct competition with Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.

A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada, though for some positions and business people it is not necessary. You almost always have to apply for a work permit from outside Canada. Sometimes, you can apply from inside or as you enter Canada.

In most instances work permits will only be issued after the employer gets the Positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

To apply for a work permit, you must have:

– a job offer from a Canadian employer
– written confirmation from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) that the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This confirmation is called a positive labour market opinion.

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