Visitor Visas :
In order to visit Canada temporarily for a short period of time, you require a visitor visa. Although the application for a visitor visa is the same no matter which country you apply from, the documentary requirements from each country may be different. Foreign Nationals from certain countries do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada Many different kinds of forms / documents may be required for an applicant to successfully obtain a visa. It is very crucial to submit a complete application as the application may be rejected because of incompleteness. A legal professional help is usually extremely helpful.
A Temporary Resident Visa allows a foreign national to visit and stay in Canada for the specified period of time but a visitor cannot work or carry out long term courses of study in Canada. Work permit or study permits are needed for such activities.
Types of Temporary Resident Visas
There are three types of Temporary Resident Visas, they are:
Single Entry Visa this allows the Foreign National only one entry into Canada ;
Multiple Entry Visa this allows the Foreign National unlimited entry into Canada pending the validity of the Visa;
Transit Visa this allows Foreign Nationals who are traveling and who's flight or bus stops in Canada for less that forty-eight (48) hours, but who's country of origin is one that requires a visa.
Foreign Nationals Exempt from Obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa
Citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western Samoa;
Individuals lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence;
British citizens, and citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
Individuals holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China; and
Persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.
Foreign Nationals who plan to visit Canada for more than six (6) months, and who have resided in certain countries within a year prior to their arrival in Canada will be required to undergo a medical examination prior to being granted a Temporary Resident Visa.
Foreign nationals, who are not permanent residents or Canadian citizens, who wish to work in Canada must have a work permit. A Work Permit is not issued for persons wanting to come to Canada to look for work. It is only issued once an offer of employment has been made.
It should be noted that a Work Permit is not an employment contract. It is strictly for the purposes of allowing a foreign national to work in Canada to fill a labour shortage, and to support economic growth in Canada .
A Work Permit contains specific terms and conditions, including the start and end dates of the employment, name of employer, location of employment, and job title. If the Foreign National does not abide by the terms and conditions set out in the Work Permit, the Foreign National may be prosecuted and/or asked to leave Canada . The employer may also receive disciplinary action or face charges.
Most Work Permits are employer-specific and cannot be used to work in another company. Should the employment be terminated, the Foreign National must apply for a new Work Permit in order to work in a new position. In some cases, a Foreign National will receive an open Work Permit, which will allow them to work in any position, and for any employer in Canada .
HRSDC Confirmed Employment vs. HRSDC Confirmation-Exempt Employment
Generally, there are two types of Work Permits: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Confirmed Employment (HRDSC Confirmed Employment); and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Confirmation-Exempt Employment (HRDSC Exempt Employment).
HRDSC Confirmed Employment requires an approval from HRDSC. This approval signifies that there are no other Canadians qualified to fill the position. In order to apply for this approval, the employer must provide details of the position being offered, proof of their recruitment efforts in Canada , and evidence of their inability to find a suitable Canadian to fill the position.
The HRSDC Exempt Employment is one that benefits from certain exemptions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This type of Work Permit has expedited processing and involves less paperwork. The categories of work that fall under the HRSDC Exempt Employment are:
North American Free Trade Agreement professionals, traders and investors. A regulation also allows the issuance of Work Permits to people who enter Canada under other types of international agreements such as General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
Some types of entrepreneurs, intra-company transferees and other types of workers, who will provide significant benefit to Canadians or permanent residents by working in Canada .
Persons whose employment in Canada provides similar employment to Canadians abroad, such as participants in youth exchange programs, exchange teachers and other reciprocal programs.
Foreign students studying in Canada who need to work in order to fulfill co-op placements.
Foreign students in Canada applying under the Off-Campus Work Permit program.
Foreign students in Canada seeking to purse post-graduate employment.
Spouses and common -law partners of skilled Foreign Nationals, spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign students, spouses and common-law partners of a person doing post-graduation employment for certain foreign students and post-doctoral fellows.
Persons undertaking charitable or religious work.
Applying for a Work Permit
In many cases, Foreign Nationals must apply for a Work Permit at a Canadian Consulate, Embassy or High Commission abroad. However, certain applicants from visa-exempt countries may now apply at the Port of Entry.
Some Foreign Nationals may be required to undergo a medical examination prior to being granted a Work Permit, these individuals are:
Foreign Nationals who had resided in certain countries for more than six (6) months within a five year prior to their arrival in Canada ; and
Foreign Nationals in occupations where the protection of public health is a concern (such as working with children and/or the elderly, working in the food and/or agriculture industry, and working in the healthcare industry).
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Foreign Nationals must apply for a Social Insurance Number, which is required upon the commencement of employment. The Social Insurance Number is used by the employer for tax purposes. A SIN card is issued that ahs a limited validity , usually till the end of the person's authorized stay in Canada , to a maximum of five years.
Provincial Health Coverage
Foreign Nationals may apply for health coverage in the province in which they work. In Ontario , the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) becomes effective ninety (90) days after the Foreign National commences his employment. The Foreign National's family member may also be eligible, depending on the Foreign National's employment terms
In order to study in Canada , you need a study permit.
Study Permits are for Foreign Nationals who wish to study at an educational institution in Canada . Dependents (either a spouse or children), of those who are temporarily residing in Canada on a Work Permit or Temporary Resident Permit are required to obtain a Study Permit in order to Study in Canada. Minor children who are planning on attending pre-school, primary school, or secondary school are not required to obtain a Study Permit, (except for children who are accompanying their parents who hold Temporary Resident Visas).
All Foreign Nationals who have attained the age of majority at the time of application must obtain a Study Permit to attend any educational institution.
The following requirements must be met:
the Foreign National must provide proof of acceptance into an approved institution
evidence of sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living costs,
Demonstrate the intention to return home upon the completion of studies.
Typically, the Foreign National will receive a Study Permit which is valid for one year. The Foreign National will have to apply for a renewal of the Study Permit at the end of each school year. Foreign Nationals who obtain a Study Permit are prohibited from engaging in employment in Canada , unless they apply for and obtain a Work Permit in addition to their Study Permit. There are certain exceptions to this rule, please contact me for further information regarding Study Permits and employment.
Off-Campus Work Permit Program
On April 27, 2006, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that foreign students in Canada can work off campus if they meet certain eligibility requirements. If you are a foreign student studying in Canada , you must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for a work permit under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program:
you must have a valid study permit;
you must have studied full time at an eligible institution for at least six months out of the 12 months before you apply;
you must maintain satisfactory academic standing (as defined by your academic institution);
you must be enrolled in an academic program of study; and
You must comply with the conditions of your study permit and your work permit, if applicable. If you fail to do so, you will be found to be in non-compliance and will not be able to re-apply for the program.
The following classes of foreign students in Canada are NOT ELIGIBLE for a work permit under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program:
Foreign students who are not studying at publicly funded post-secondary educational institutions;
Students who are not enrolled at a participating institution, and
All exchange students, guest students, students enrolled in English or French second language programs, and students who have received awards from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, the Government of Canada Awards Program or the Canadian International Development Agency, or students who in the past did not comply with the conditions of their study or work permit.
Foreign students under this program are able to work anywhere in Canada as long as they remain a full-time student in satisfactory academic standing while classes are in session and comply with the conditions of their work permit.
In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of job a foreign student can hold. For example, the student may be required to undergo a medical examination for some occupations. Once the work permit is issued, the student can work up to 20 hours per week off campus while classes are in session. Student can also work full time during scheduled breaks, including summer or winter holidays and reading weeks. While classes are in session, student must be studying full time and retain satisfactory academic standing in order to keep the work permit.
Foreign Nationals who plan to visit Canada for more than six (6) months, and who have resided in certain countries within a year prior to their arrival in Canada will be required to undergo a medical examination prior to being granted a Study Permit.
Provincial Health Coverage
A Foreign National, who holds a Study Permit, is not covered under the Provincial Health Coverage plans. We strongly suggest that you obtain private insurance to cover you during your stay in Canada .
Canadian government and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act recognize that the refugee program is, first and foremost, about saving lives and offering protection to the displaced and persecuted.
To fulfill its international legal obligations with respect to refugees, Canada offers safe heaven to persons with a well founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group (e.g. homosexuals in some countries) as well as those at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Persons who fear persecution in their home country (or country of their habitual residence), in order to seek refugee protection, must first be outside of that country and must be unable or, due to a well founded fear, unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country (or return there). A claim for refugee protection may be made in Canada at ports of entry or at inland offices at any time throughout the administrative or admissibility hearing process until a removal order is made.
A claim for protection may also be made outside of Canada , at a Canadian Embassy or High Commission, under the Convention refugee abroad class and members of the Humanitarian-protected persons abroad class (Country of asylum and Source country classes).
Should a Panel Member (for those seeking refugee protection inside Canada) or an Immigration Officer (for those applying for protection outside Canada under the Convention refugee abroad and/or members of the Humanitarian-protected persons abroad classes) refuse an application for protection, the Claimant will be advised in writing of the reasons for the refusal. The Claimant may file an Application for Leave and Judicial Review within fifteen (15) days of receiving the negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), Refugee Protection Division (RPD), or sixty (60) days of receiving the refusal letter from a Canadian visa post abroad.
If you have any questions or concerns associated with claiming refugee status in Canada , or appealing a negative decision in that regard, please contact me.
The Live-in Caregiver Program allows professional caregivers to work in Canada . Caregivers are individuals who are qualified to work without supervision in a private household providing care for children, elderly persons or people who have disabilities. The live-in caregiver must live in the employer's home. One must meet the following requirements to qualify under this program:
successful completion of equivalent of a Canadian high school education
Six months of full-time training in a classroom setting or twelve months of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer in a field or occupation related to the job you are seeking as a live-in caregiver. You may have gained your training or experience in areas such as early childhood education, geriatric care, pediatric nursing or first aid. You may also have completed your training as part of your formal education. This experience must have been obtained within the three years immediately prior to the day on which you submit an application for a work permit.
You must be able to speak, read and understand either English or French at a level that allows you to function independently in a home setting.
You must have a written employment contract between you and your future employer. The contract defines your job duties, hours of work, salary and benefits.