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Understanding Canadian Work Permits

Canada is a popular destination for skilled workers from around the world, thanks to its welcoming environment and diverse culture. However, navigating the different types of work permits can be challenging but we at Lazar law are skilled at understanding your specific goals and navigating the right path for moving them forward. This article aims to demystify the process and provide a clear understanding of how work permits affect individuals.

A work permit is an official document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows a foreign national to work in Canada legally. There are different types of work permits, each designed for specific situations and needs. Broadly Canada offers two types of work permits for foreign workers: job-specific work permits and open work permits, both of which are intended to be temporary.

1.Employer-Specific Work Permit

The Employer-Specific Work Permit is tied to a specific job, employer, and location. The foreign worker can only work for the employer named on the permit. Usually, the employer must obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which proves that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively affect the Canadian jobs. Though LMIA is required in most cases but there are certain LMIA exempt Employer-Specific work permits in certain areas of employment.

2.Open Work Permit

The Open Work Permits allows the permit holder to work for any employer in Canada, with some exceptions. These permits are often issued to spouses or common-law partners of certain work permit holders or international students, and participants in specific programs like the working holiday Visa.

3.Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) are open work permits given to international students who graduate from a recognized Canadian program/institution of study. PGWP are available to international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The PGWP allow permit holder to work for any employer, for as many hours they wish, anywhere in Canada, with some exceptions. This permit encourages international students to stay and contribute to the Canadian economy.

4.Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) allows individuals who have applied for permanent residency to continue working while their application is being processed. The individuals who are in Canada and have applied for a permanent residency under one of the eligible economic immigration programs may be considered for a BOWP if they hold a valid work permit, have maintained status, and authorization to work, or are eligible to restore their temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit. This permit provides continuity and reduces stress for those transitioning to permanent residency.

Securing a work permit in Canada involves navigating a complex legal framework designed to balance the interests of foreign workers, employers, and the Canadian labor market. Understanding the different types of work permits, the application process, and the responsibilities of both employers and employees is crucial for compliance and success. As lawyers, we at Lazar Law are here to assist you in navigating these challenges. Please do not hesitate to contact us for expert guidance and support.

*Please note: none of this constitutes legal advice; we encourage to contact the author of this Article, Jay Khese.