There are numerous options for individuals to enter Canada on a temporary basis including:
A. Visit Canada
Temporary Resident Visas - Citizens of certain countries require a Temporary Resident Visa to visit or transit through Canada. If you are a citizen of a country that requires a visa to enter Canada, your application must be submitted to a Canadian Consulate prior to travelling to Canada.
Business Visitors - Foreign nationals may enter Canada for international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market. Examples include: business meetings, observing site visits, pre-sales visits and more. These individuals are exempt from work permits and may enter as Business Visitors.
B. Study in Canada
If you are looking to study in Canada as a Foreign National, you will require a Study Permit.The study permit application is a 2-step process: first you must secure admission to a Designated Learning Institute in Canada; Once secure, you can apply for a study permit. As a holder of a study permit, you may be eligible to work part time (20 hours a week) while in school and full time during the holidays. When you have completed your program, you may be eligible for a Post Graduate Work permit.
C. Work in Canada
Work permits are generally required for all foreign nationals who enter Canada to work on a temporary basis. There are 2 main Programs that control the basis on which work permits may be issued:
1. Temporary Foreign Worker Program - The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals to fill temporary labour and skill shortages when qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available. This is done through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This program allows employers that are unable to recruit Canadians/Permanent Residents of Canada for job openings fill their labour needs by hiring temporary workers to fill a vacancy and even transition to Permanent residents should they meet the requirements. The LMIA process is quite detailed and generally requires an advertising and recruitment period of 4 weeks, with exceptions for certain occupations.
a. Global Talent Stream LMIA - This program is a key part of the Innovation and Skills Plan which has as a primary objective of making Canada a world-leading centre for innovation. This program under the TFWP, allows companies to bring in skilled talent through an expedited process. The process can be completed in 2 weeks. Under the GTS, there are 2 categories to apply under:
Category A: The company must be referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of the stream’s designated partners and show that they are hiring unique and specialized talent. The referring partner would need to validate that the company meets the eligibility criteria. Mostly this refers to companies filling positions that are limited due to their uniqueness and specialization.
Category B: There is a Global Talent Occupations List published and updated periodically. If the occupation that you are looking for is on the list, you qualify for the Global Talent Stream process through Category B.
Both categories require the employer to submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan that demonstrates the employer’s commitment activities will have lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian labour market.
2. International Mobility Program – The International Mobility Program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers on a Canadian work permit without the need of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This program includes popular exemption categories including the Intra-company transfer and various Free Trade Agreements.
a. Intra-company Transfers - Businesses with a multi-national presence are permitted to temporarily transfer qualified employees (Executive, Senior Managerial or Specialized Knowledge employees) to their Canada affiliate/entity for the purpose of management effectiveness, expanding Canadian exports, and enhancing competitiveness in overseas markets. The entry of these workers is guided by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and is supplemented by provisions contained in international trade agreements for citizens of signatory countries. In order to qualify for this category:
Employee must be currently employed and seeking entry to work at a parent/subsidiary/affiliate;
The Companies have a qualifying relationship and employee will be undertaking employment at a legitimate and continuing establishment of that company;
Employee will be transferred in a position of managerial or specialized knowledge capacity; and
The employee must have been employed continuously for 1 year in the last 3 years by an affiliated company outside of Canada.
3. Free Trade Agreements - Canada holds Free Trade agreements with various countries that may authorize temporary work authorization for their citizens. These countries include: USA (NAFTA), Mexico, South Korea, Columbia, Peru, Chile, and Panama. In 2007, CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) came into effect and facilitates entry for certain business visitors and workers.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral reciprocal agreement between Canada, USA and Mexico. The agreement allows business visitors, certain professionals, intra-company transferees, traders and investors to be eligible to enter Canada and potentially obtain a Canadian work permit under the NAFTA Provisions.
A. Economic Streams – Majority of the Canadian economic streams are processed under Canada’s Express Entry system. This is a primarily point based system that allocates points based on various factors including education, work experience, English levels and more. The system works off a 2-step process and if successful, permanent residence can be obtained within 6 months.
There are 3 categories under the Express Entry System that an individual may be eligible for:
1. Canadian Experience Class - This program caters to individuals who have at least 1 year of full time, skilled work experience in Canada in the last 3 years before you apply. You must meet the required language level and intend to reside outside the Province of Quebec.
2. Federal Skilled Worker Program - Under this program, you must meet the minimum requirements for skilled work experience, language and education in order to be eligible to apply. If you meet all 3, the application is assessed based on 6 factors including: age, education, work experience, a valid job offer, English/French language skills and adaptability.
3. Federal Skilled Trades Program - If you are employed in a skilled trade, and meet the required language level, have the equivalent of at least 2 years of full time work experience in a skilled trade in the last 5 years, meet the requirements for the job as set out in the National Occupational Classification and have valid job offer of 1 year/Certificate of Qualification, you may qualify under this federal program.
B. Family Sponsorship - You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you’re at least 18 years old and are Canadian citizen, a Permanent Resident of Canada or a Registered Indian under the Indian Act.
Canadian citizenship can be acquired in a number of ways, including:
1. By birth in Canada.
2. By a grant of Citizenship by Canada.
3. By Parental Canadian Citizenship.