Working in Canada. What is work?
Work is an activity for which wages or commission is earned, or that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian Labour Market.
What is a work permit?
It is a written authorization to work in Canada issued by an officer to a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. It is required whether or not the employer is in Canada. Usually, it is valid only for a specified job and length of time. A work permit may be issued based on labour market opinion (HRSDC confirmation) or may be issued on the basis of other requirements.
What is a Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) confirmation?
An HRSDC confirmation is the opinion provided by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) to the officer which enables them to determine whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to have a positive or negative impact on the labour market in Canada. An HRSDC confirmation may be required in order for a work permit to be issued.
The HRSDC confirmation process is started by the prospective employer who contacts HRSDC to get a job offer form. When the form is completed and submitted, HRSDC considers several factors, including the availability of Canadians and the offered wages as well as the economic benefit the foreign worker would bring. HRSDC then provides advice to the officer.
The HRSDC confirmation is typically given for a specific period of time, and the work permit will be issued to coincide with this period. Renewal of a work permit beyond the specified period will therefore likely require a new opinion from HRSDC.
Who requires a work permit?
Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who wishes to work in Canada needs to be authorized to do so. Depending on the nature of the activity, in some cases the person is authorized to work by virtue of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations themselves. But in most cases, he or she will need to obtain a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to work legally in Canada.