You are the Human Resources Director for a Canadian-based
company that has affiliates and subsidiaries in numerous countries.
One of your responsibilities is to manage the logistics of
facilitating the flow of foreign nationals coming to your company
for business-related purposes. All individuals are subject to
Canadian immigration laws that apply to temporary foreign workers,
unless they are either a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent
resident. Undertaking strategic advanced planning for such
business trips is critical to ensuring the seamless entry of your
employees, business partners or service providers into Canada.
Travelling to Canada for Business
If a work permit is necessary for an individual to participate
in business activities in Canada, the next step is to determine
what category he or she may be eligible under, and where the person
is eligible to apply for the permit. If the person is eligible to
apply for a work permit at the border, he or she should travel with
supporting documentation that explicitly states the legal basis for
the issuance of a work permit. This documentation comprises a
positive labour market opinion (LMO) from Service Canada, or, in
the case of a work permit application being made in one of the many
LMO-exempt categories, support letters from the employer that
explain how the person meets all the legal criteria for inclusion
in the particular category.
In some cases, it is important to provide evidence of work
experience and educational achievements. For example, under the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) there is an LMO-exempt
category called NAFTA Professional, which has some 60 different
occupational subcategories ─ each with a different set of
criteria for qualification based on work experience and educational
level. Failure to provide evidence of such achievements may lead to
problems at the port of entry, such as excessive delays —
and, in some cases, denial of entry to the country.
Carrying supporting materials is also very helpful if a person
is trying to gain entry to Canada in a work-permit-exempt
Temporary Resident Visas
If a person is a national of a prescribed country such as South
Africa, that person requires a special entry document called a
temporary resident visa (TRV). This visa must be obtained through a
Canadian Consulate — in advance — and cannot be
applied for at the border. It is required regardless of the purpose
of the trip or the duration of the stay, and without it, the
employee may be refused entry to Canada. If a person requires a
TRV, that person is precluded from applying either for a work
permit or for entry in a work-permit-exempt category at the port of
entry. He or she must do so through a Canadian Consulate.
If the person has a previous criminal record, he or she may be
denied entry to the country. Determining whether the criminality
will result in a person being classified as criminally inadmissible
is critical. In some instances, a special temporary immigration
pardon — called a temporary resident permit —
may be applied for at the port of entry in order to overcome the
inadmissibility, and it should be accompanied by supporting
An individual may be required under certain circumstances to
take an "immigration medical examination" prior to
travelling to Canada. If a medical is necessary, then the person is
prohibited from applying for a work permit at the port of entry,
and he or she must do so through a Canadian Consulate.
Lessons for Employers
What does this mean for you? There are certain things to take
care of ahead of time, for instance:
Check in advance to see if the foreign national can enter
Canada without a temporary resident visa or medical exam.
Do not make the assumption that the person does not require a
work permit without consulting an immigration expert first.
If a work permit is necessary, determine whether one may be
obtained at the port of entry, or must be applied for in advance
through a consulate.
Determine whether a work permit may only be secured after
Service Canada has issued a Positive Labour Market Opinion.
If the person does require a work permit and is eligible to
apply at the port of entry, ensure that he or she is properly
equipped with the correct supporting materials.
Remember that even if the person does not require a work
permit, he or she still may require supporting materials to secure
entry in a specific work-permit-exempt category.
Make the person aware of admissibility issues such as prior
Above all, you need to remember that advanced planning and
analysis are critical!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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