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Each year Canada admits millions and millions of visitors, students, and foreign workers under temporary immigration status. Canadians and our government are very supportive of the influx of foreign residents who travel to Canada as visitors, students, or workers. Canada views immigration as a benefit to our society, not a burden. Canadians believe that diversity is our strengthened that our communities grow stronger with the contributions of Immigrants. After all, Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world and Canadians are quite proud of that fact.
The number of international travellers visiting Canada continues to grow year after year. In fact, 2017 was a record setting year as the number of U.S. tourists rose 3.1 per cent to reach 14.3 million. There were also a record 6.5 million visitors from overseas countries, up 7.2 per cent from 2016.
Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. At the port of entry, the Border Services Officer determines how long you can stay in Canada and may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they’ll put the date you need to leave Canada in your passport. They might also give you a document.
If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Some visitors may need to stay in Canada longer than their authorized stay and if such is the case, you will need to apply for an extension in a timely manner. We recommend applying at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay.
Most travellers need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport. What you need depends on the type of travel document you will travel with, the country that issued your travel document, your nationality, and how you will travel to Canada. Citizens of
Countries that are Visa Exempt by the Canadian government will only need an eTA (eTA) to board their flight to Canada. However, these travellers do not need an eTA if entering Canada by land or sea – for instance driving from the U.S. or coming by bus, train, or boat, including cruise ship. Citizens of other countries who are not Visa Exempt will need a visa to come to Canada by any method of travel – plane, car, bus, train, or cruise ship.
Foreign Nationals With Official Canadian Documents
Foreign Nationals In The Following Situations
Travel and official representatives
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the number of international students holding valid Canadian study permits this past year reached upwards of 600,000. For the past 2 decades Canada has continued to increase the number of foreign students studying in Canada. Going forward, Canada plans to attract even more international students in an effort to advance classroom diversity and Canadian interests.
Canada allows international students with unique opportunities to work in Canada while they are enrolled and pursuing full-time studies. Students may work on-campus without a work permit. If you have a study permit and are enrolled full-time in an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution, students may also work off-campus without a work permit.
If your study permit indicates you are able to work off campus, students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week while their program is in session, and full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar. International students may work for any employer in Canada who is not on the ineligible employer list maintained by the Government of Canada.
International students may also pursue COOP and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities as part of their academic studies. However, students must have the appropriate work permit in order to take part in any WIL opportunity such as co-op or internship program.
Working in Canada after Graduation
After graduation, many students choose to stay in Canada to live and work as they hope to transition to Canadian Permanent Residence. This is one of the great benefits of studying and working in Canada as a temporary resident.
Study permits expire 90 days after graduation, regardless of the date printed on the study permit itself. It is extremely important that international graduates update their status with IRCC within 90 days of graduation, or they risk losing status in Canada.
Many of Canada’s international students that graduate are eligible to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP permits the holder to work for any employer anywhere in Canada for up to three years after graduation. The length of time a PGWP can be issues depends on the students program of study.
Work experience gained on a PGWP may, in turn, be utilized in a transition process by facilitating an application for Canadian Permanent Residency, especially through programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and certain Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
If an international graduate does not apply for a PGWP, it is important to ensure that he or she maintains legal status in Canada or leaves Canada in a timely manner before their period of authorized stay expires.
At Kadri Law, we are proud to represent many of the world’s leading multinational companies that do business in Canada. We help these companies access the skills and talents of professionals that go beyond borders. This includes facilitating the entry of skilled professionals and foreign personnel when deployment in Canada is required. We also recognize the urgency of certain situations, especially in the manufacturing sectors of our economy. When your Company needs to bring foreign workers to Canada on an urgent basis, Kadri Law is an industry leader in the devise and execution of foreign worker strategies that address exigent situations.
Canada has an active foreign worker program that grants entry to foreign nationals and authorizes them for employment purposes. In fact, Canadian Immigration legislation was intended to facilitate the entry of business people and foreign workers who will strengthen the country’s economy.
As a general rule, foreign nationals seeking to perform work in Canada typically require a work permit to facilitate entry. There are notable exceptions to this general rule, as not all businesspeople and foreign workers seeking entry into Canada require an employment authorization.
Where work permits are required, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been re-organized into two distinct programs with major differences between the various streams. The first stream allows foreign workers to enter Canada at the request of Canadian Employers but must follow the approval of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The second stream does not require labour certification and includes the newly branded International Mobility Program (IMP). This includes all those streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to an LMIA requirement.
Canada’s overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has resulted in new regulatory changes that can be highly problematic for both businesses and foreign workers alike. If you are a Company seeking to bring a foreign worker into Canada, it is important to ensure the strategy you utilize is sound and properly vetted, as legislative exemptions to the LMIA requirement still exist and should be used whenever possible. You need to engage an experienced and capable immigration lawyer who can devise and execute comprehensive legal strategies that address both short term and long-term objectives.
As a general rule, most Companies must successfully undergo the LMIA labour certification process before a foreign national can apply to obtain a Canadian work authorization. However, at Kadri Law our expertise in this area of law has been cultivated over the past 2 decades as we serve the interests of Companies around the globe and with great success. We are widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading Business Immigration law firms.
Our firm works with certain legislatives exemptions to the LMIA requirements and your Company’s ability to qualify for the same is critical. At Kadri Law, we can effectively bypass the LMIA process using these legislative exemptions authorized under IRPA and where circumstances warrant consideration of the same. Many of these exemptions are determined heavily on the circumstances involved with the Canadian work assignment, and also having regard for the individual credentials held by each foreign worker. Therefore, this assessment should be done on a case-by-case basis. However, in general terms, International Agreements are the most popular vehicle used by Kadri Law in certain industries to avoid the necessity of having to go through the LMIA process.
Certain business professionals covered by International Agreements such as NAFTA, CETA, WTO/GATS, etc. are exempt from the labour certification process that mandates an approved LMIA before a work permit may be authorized. International Agreements have their own specific categories of businesspeople who are covered by them. Generally, those relevant to your facts and circumstances could be Certain Professionals, Intra Company Transferees, and Business Visitors. Businesspeople covered by these International Agreements must still comply with the general provisions on temporary entry to Canada.
Absent any LMIA exemption that authorizes the entry of a foreign worker under Canada’s International Mobility Program, the LMIA process is the only other option to pursue your Company’s objectives. The LMIA process is inherently more onerous having regard for such factors as processing time, expense, and government regulation, but understandably so. While Canada understands the value of foreign workers to our economy, the LMIA process is designed to ensure that Canadian Companies are actively recruiting and attempting to hire qualified Canadians. If an LMIA is approved, it is evidence that a foreign worker is in fact needed to fill the position based upon a recognizable domestic labour shortage and upon a variety of assessment factors considered prior to the approval.
The following are examples of the many legal services we offer for Work Permit applications authorized under Canadian and International Law: