Want to Work, Live or Study in Canada?

Canada is a large and diverse country made up of ten provinces and three territories. Canada has traditionally been divided into five main geographic regions: Atlantic Canada, Central Canada, the Prairie Provinces, the West Coast and the North. Canada's population of approximately 32 million people has historically been concentrated within 250 km of the U.S. border, with the most populous region of the country being Central Canada.

Canada's capital city is located in Ottawa, Ontario with major population centers located in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Canada has a large francophone population. The majority of the Quebec population is composed of francophones.  

There are four basic types of temporary resident visas:

  • Temporary Resident Visa (formerly known as a “Visitor’s Visa”)

Visitors to Canada who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents may require a Temporary Resident Visa (i.e. a Visitor’s Visa) prior to seeking admission to Canada. Citizens of certain countries must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa at a Canadian mission prior to entering Canada. Certain visitors to Canada are exempt from the requirement to apply for a visa.

In most cases, a visitor’s status does not allow an individual to work or attend school in Canada.

A Temporary Resident Visa obtained overseas can either be issued on a single-entry basis or a multiple-entry basis. The validity of a multiple entry visitor can be up to five years.

How to determine your stay in Canada as a Visitor:

The expiry date on the visa is the date prior to which you are required to enter Canada. The expiry date is NOT indicative of the time allowed for your stay in Canada.

The allowed maximum stay in Canada is determined at the port of entry upon arrival to Canada. A foreign national is allowed to stay in Canada for up to six months from the date of arrival as a visitor unless an officer at a port of entry has placed limits on the length of stay.

  • Work Permit

Inhaam Law handles all types of work permit applications in all categories.

Work permits are necessary for engaging in most types of employment in Canada.

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

Most people are required to get job offer validation from the Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) before they are able to receive a work permit. The employer must demonstrate to HRSDC that a foreign national is required to fill the job opportunity. HRSDC takes into consideration the impact of hiring a foreign national on the Canadian labour market.

Depending on the nature of the employment and where the applicant has lived during the past year, one may be required to undergo a medical examination and produce a satisfactory medical assessment before a work permit can be issued.

Work permit holders should ensure that both visitor status as well as the expiry of their work permit does not elapse while in Canada, if they are nationals of a non-visa exempt country.

In certain cases, spouses of work permit holders may qualify to work in Canada without a labor market opinion from HRDC.

Upon arrival in Canada, if the worker changes his/her job description, changes his/her job or if his/her work will take longer than anticipated, he/she is required to amend the conditions of his/her work permit.

  • Student Permit

Most foreign students are required to obtain study permits before they can engage in a course of study in Canada.

In addition to presenting an acceptance letter from the educational institution they wish to attend, foreign students must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to cover tuition and living expenses without the need to seek employment.

A medical examination may be required before a study permit can be issued. The applicant must satisfy a visa officer that they will return home at the end of their studies as well as meet other requirements for visitors, including obtaining a visa, if necessary.

Certain types of study are exempted from the requirement of obtaining a study permit. For example, if the duration of the course or program of studies is six months or less and will be completed within the period for the stay authorized upon entry into Canada, a study permit is not required.

Furthermore, every minor child in Canada who is a dependant of a foreign national authorized to work or study in Canada may attend pre-school, primary or secondary school without the need for a study permit. This is an allowance made by Section 30(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

To apply for a post-graduate work permit (includes part time and self-employment), one must have been engaged in full-time studies at a university, community college, publicly funded trade/technical school or at a private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.

  • Temporary Residence Permit (formerly known as a “Minister’s Permit”)

If an individual is inadmissible to Canada on medical or criminal grounds or does not otherwise comply with the Act or Regulations, they may apply for a Temporary Resident’s Permit (formerly known as a “Minister’s Permit”). The Minister only grants these in deserving cases. Please contact our firm directly for assistance.


Permanent Residence

  • Family Class

Most Canadian citizens and permanent residents are permitted to sponsor relatives to come to Canada in order to be granted permanent residence. There are detailed eligibility requirements for sponsor and we are pleased to assist our clients by assessing the individual circumstances of each potential sponsor.

  • Skilled Workers

Federal skilled worker applications are assessed for eligibility according to a set of instructions issued by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism which took effect on July 1, 2011. As Canada's labour needs change, new instructions will be issued.

If you meet one of the above criteria, your application will then be assessed according to the "points system". 

Points are awarded to the applicants on the basis of the following factors:

    • Education (maximum 25 points)
    • Proficiency in English and/or French (maximum 24 points)
    • Work Experience (maximum 21 points)
    • Age (maximum 10 points)
    • Arranged Employment (maximum 10 points)
    • Adaptability (maximum 10 points)

To be accepted as a Skilled Worker you must also meet the following minimum work experience requirements:

    • have at least one year of full-time paid work experience (within the last 10 years)
    • prove that they have the funds required for settlement Proof of Funds; and
    • earn 67 points in the six selection factors listed above.

Federal skilled worker applicants who meet these criteria and have at least 67 points will be given equal priority in terms of processing along with the Canadian Experience Class. Processing times are being estimated at between 6 to 12 months.

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. If you don't meet the criteria to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you may qualify under another category.


Humanitarian & Compassionate

Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act permits individuals to apply for landing from inside Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Section 25 permits the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, upon request of a foreign national who is inadmissible or who does not meet the requirements of this Act or on the Minister’s own initiative, to examine the circumstances concerning the foreign national. The Minister may grant the foreign national permanent resident status if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected, or by public policy considerations.

  • Humanitarian and compassionate applications are assessed based on the applicant’s establishment in Canada and the degree to which the applicant would experience hardship if forced to apply from outside of Canada.
  • The existence of a pending humanitarian and compassionate application does not prevent the Minister from deporting the applicant from Canada before his/her application has been considered.
  • Success with this type of application is usually limited to individuals who have been in Canada for a lengthy period of time or who are spouses of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are in Canada. Permanent residence may also be granted to other people with specific circumstances that are extremely compelling.
  • Individuals who believe their personal circumstances may warrant humanitarian and compassionate consideration should contact our office immediately for a free consultation. Please note that all consultations are held in strict confidence.


Provincial Nominee Programs

  • Provincial Nominee Programs are designed to actively seek qualified immigrants to fill labour market shortages, or create employment and business opportunities in the province.
  • Most provinces have programs designed to attract entrepreneurs, investors and foreign workers.
  • Greater consideration will be given to those individuals whose employment will fill a skills shortage. For example, Saskatchewan has a Health Professions Category, a Farm Owner/Operator Category and a Long Haul Truck Drivers Project which are all designed to facilitate immigration to their province.
  • Often a close relative residing in the province who is willing and able to provide settlement assistance can be streamlined through a family reunification category.
  • International students who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution within certain provinces may qualify under an international graduate stream.


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