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Each year over 90,000 foreign workers enter Canada employed temporarily to help Canadian employers. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) ensure that these workers will support economic growth in Canada and create more opportunities for all Canadian job seekers.

Steps to follow before applying for a work permit:


An employer must first offer you a job. The offer of employment needs to be validated or approved by the HRDC. (This approval process is known as HRDC Confirmation). In general, Immigration Canada will not issue an Employment Authorization without prior HRDC Confirmation of a Job Offer.

Job Offer Validation:

Immigration Canada normally requires that the applicant has a firm job offer from a Canadian employer prior to the application for an Employment Authorization. Such a job offer may require the approval of the Canadian Human Resources Development Center.

The rationale behind prior HRDC Confirmation of job offers is to ensure that Employment Authorizations are granted only in circumstances where there will not be a negative impact on the Canadian job market. The HRDC Confirmation process thus ensures that the Canadian employer demonstrates that a "significant" effort has been made to seek and hire a Canadian for the position in which there is a request for validation. It is also generally necessary to establish that the temporary worker has special abilities or skills, which are not easily found in Canada. The procedure for obtaining HRDC Confirmation of job offers can be demanding and time-consuming.

After HRDC confirms that a foreign national may fill the job, the applicant can apply to CIC for a work permit.

In most instances, once HRDC approves a job offer, the foreign national will be contacted by the Canadian visa post (High Commission/Embassy/Consulate) to which the approval is sent. He/she may be asked to go to an interview or to send additional information by mail. He/she may also be asked to undergo a medical examination at his/her own expense. If the foreign national meets all requirements and has all the necessary documents, he/she will receive a work permit.

The applicant cannot immigrate with a work permit. If he wants to come and live in Canada as a permanent resident based on work skills or experience, he will have to check and qualify for the Skilled Worker Program.

Temporary workers must also meet the requirements that apply to all temporary residents in order to come to Canada.

The work permit will state that the foreign national can work at a specific job for a specific period of time for a specific employer. A work permit will not be issued to a foreign national to come to Canada to look for work. It is valid only for a specific job, a specific amount of time and the employer stated on the form.

Also check out Live-in Caregiver Program.

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