Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under fire of late. Temporary foreign workers sued Denny’s. Latin American tunnel diggers brought a human rights complaint against SELI. A British Columbia union complained that miners from China were taking jobs in northern B.C. And the Royal Bank’s decision to contract out received a lot of media attention. The Canadian government has responded by making seven changes to the TFWP.
Immigration Canada announced a new policy on December 15, 2012, that allows for bridging work permits. Foreign nationals who are currently working in Canada and have applied for permanent residence (under certain programs) can now apply for such a permit. This will allow them to stay and work until their permanent residence application is finalized. read more…
Winds of change keep blowing on Canadian immigration lands. In July 2012, we discussed several steps taken by the federal government relating to the rules and processes applicable to temporary and permanent immigration applications in Canada. More changes have been announced in the recent months. These changes aim to allow more foreigners into Canada to meet growing labor shortages. read more…
By Susan Bradley and Gilda Villaran
In November 2009, we started a discussion on the fundamentals of Canadian work permits. Until now, Canadian employers didn’t have to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Services Canada for certain information technology (IT) professionals. Employers didn’t have to prove that they had advertised the position, that they had conducted reasonable recruitment efforts and that none of the local candidates, if any, were qualified to fill the IT position.
Beginning in 1997, it was assumed that there was a shortage of IT professionals in Canada. This assumption and the exception to the LMO requirement are no longer. Effective September 30, 2010, foreign IT specialists generally require an approved LMO from Services Canada before a work permit will be issued.
In order to work in Canada, the general rule requires a foreign worker to obtain a work permit. There are certain exceptions to this rule. We present below the most common ones. Although some of the activities described below are normally considered “work” for immigration purposes, Canada’s immigration regulations allow foreigners carrying out these activities to enter the country as business visitors.
A U.S. citizen may enter Canada to perform/supervise installation, repair, or servicing of commercial/industrial equipment, machinery, or software. These goods must have been manufactured outside of Canada and sold or leased to a Canadian company by the U.S. citizen’s U.S. employer. This work permit exemption also applies if the employee will provide training to Canadian workers in connection with these services (see below, trainers). “Installation” means only setting up or testing. It doesn’t include hands-on installation such as would be performed by an electrician or pipe-fitter, for example.