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Everyone who wants to work in Canada must have a work permit or be a Canadian Landed Immigrant. There are many different types of work permits.


If you are a skilled worker after you have a job offer from a Canadian employer the standard method of obtaining a work permit is a two step process. Step one is to obtain the job validation of Service Canada that there is no qualified Canadian available to do the job. The employer must advertise the position in a newspaper. The advertisement must meet strict requirements. If any qualified Canadians reply to the ad they along with the non-Canadian must be interviewed. The interview results and the job validation application must be submitted to Service Canada. Service Canada provides its job validation for the job. Step Two consists of the non-Canadian applicant submitting a work permit application and the Service Canada job validation to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) for a work permit.

There are a number of work permits options available that allow you to miss the first step of obtaining Service Canada approval. These work permit options allow you to go straight to step two and applying to CIC for a work permit. All of these options require a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Intra-Corporate Work permit is a good option for a businessman. If a non-Canadian company has a successful business it can set up a Canadian subsidiary company. It can transfer a senior manager from the parent company to the Canadian company and apply directly to CIC for a work permit.

If an American or Mexican national is a skilled worker or is a manager being transferred from a parent company to a Canadian related company a NAFTA work permit allows the person to apply directly to CIC for a work permit. If a non-Canadian is a skilled worker and is a citizen of a GATTS signatory country the GATTS work permit option is available.

If you are a graduate from a Canadian university or college and you have a job offer within 60 days of graduation you can apply directly to CIC to obtain a work permit. If you are a non-Canadian in a low skill category you can apply for a Low Skill Work permit. This work permit option requires the job to be advertised, the employer to meet certain requirements of Service Canada and CIC approval.

Under the BC Provincial (Immigration) Nominee Program if you receive preliminary approval BC PNP can recommend you receive a Federal work permit.