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Canada Work Visas & Work Permits

An important part of expanding any business abroad is bringing along part of your experienced workforce. To do this, you will need a valid Canada work visa for each employee.

Navigating the complex Canadian visa application process can be difficult, so it is crucial that you understand the system before embarking on your expansion. Failing to apply correctly or far enough in advance could result in unexpected delays and spiraling costs.

At Horizons, our global expansion experts offer extensive Canadian visa support, immigration advice, and tailored outsourcing services, giving foreign organizations everything necessary to quickly and efficiently expand their operations into the lucrative Canadian marketplace.

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Standard requirements for the Canada work visa

Generally, anybody wanting to work in Canada will need to first become a temporary worker then apply for a long-term permit after one or two years. For all work visas in Canada, your employees are likely to require a valid travel document, a police check from their home country, biometric details, proof of sufficient funds, proof of health insurance, and various other standard documentation. For the long-term permits, a language test may be required as Canada is a bilingual country (English and French).

Categories of Canadian work visas

There are two main categories of Canada work visa. One is an open permit, which allows an individual to seek employment with any employer, and the other is an employer-specific permit, which is linked to one employer. 

There are also variations in the type of permit depending on how long your employees need to work for, with both temporary and permanent visas available. It is also important to note that rules are significantly more relaxed for US and Mexican citizens, who may not need to secure a permit at all in order to work in Canada.

How to get Canadian work visas for your employees

There are three main steps that need to be followed to attain working visas for Canada.

  • Firstly, employers may need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which determines whether or not a Canadian could fill the role in question. A positive LMIA shows that a foreign worker can be sought.
  • Secondly, employers should send an official job offer/contract to the employee, along with a copy of the LMIA.
  • With the LMIA and job offer, your employees can apply for a Canada work visa. The application will be processed by Canadian immigration officials.

It can potentially take months to complete all of these steps, so always factor the waiting time into your planning.

Further considerations for your Canadian work visas

It’s likely that some of your employees will need to bring family members with them to Canada. In these cases, spouses and children can often be covered by the employee’s work visa. In some cases, the family members may need to have separate visas, although this is usually only necessary for more distant family members such as grandparents.

Horizons’ Canada work visa services

At Horizons, we support organizations looking to expand into Canada, and we’re experts in securing work visas for employees and their families. Our Canada work visa specialists offer bespoke support and outsourcing services to help you through the country’s visa application process to ensure that you and your employees are compliant with Canada’s strict regulations.

Beyond our visa support services, we offer extensive outsourcing services covering recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more to help your company start trading as quickly and effectively as possible, even if you don’t have an official entity in Canada.