Work Permits and Economic Immigration

The professionals at Castlewell Immigration have over a decade of experience servicing many of the largest companies in the world. We possess extensive experience with intra-company transfers, CUSMA/NAFTA Professional work permits, and business visitors. If you are an employer who needs to bring an employee to Canada, or if you are an employee in need of a work permit, contact us!

Applying for a work permit in Canada can be a complex and confusing process. If you are not familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding Canadian work permit categories, eligibility requirements and processes, it can be a significant challenge to understand the immigration process. This is where Castlewell Canadian Immigration Services (CCIS) can help! At CCIS, we specialize in helping businesses and their employees navigate the bewildering work permit application process. We possess the knowledge and expertise required to guide you through Canada’s work permit and economic immigration system. Over many years, we have developed a keen understanding of the categories, eligibility requirements and application processes that will fit your needs and achieve your goals in Canada. We are experts who provide support and guidance throughout the entire process!

When you hire CCIS, you are hiring an immigration consultant who has in-depth knowledge of the immigration process and who stays up-to-date on the latest immigration policies and regulations. We help you understand the steps required to submit a successful work permit application. If your employees plan to stay in Canada permanently, we also assist with economic streams of Permanent Residence such as those under the Express Entry program.

CCIS will always provide an honest and straightforward assessment of the strength of your application. In fact, it is our policy to recommend against undertaking applications that we do not believe have a high chance of success.

Applying for a Canadian work permit can be a complex and time-consuming process. For employers and employees who are unfamiliar with the work permit application process, it can take a huge amount of time to research, understand and prepare an application, and even with the best of efforts and intentions, it is easy to miss an obscure requirement or form, leading to an unforeseen refusal. Hiring CCIS will save you a lot of time and effort because we understand the process and requirements and can see the potential pitfalls that someone who is trying to navigate the process themselves cannot anticipate. We prepare all of the paperwork and documentation on your behalf and once everything is perfect and ready to submit, we submit it to the government on your behalf. From there we can follow up on the status of the application and help you navigate any obstacles that may arise. By using CCIS, you no longer have to worry about making mistakes that can lead to significant delays and application refusals. Hiring CCIS helps reduce your stress and anxiety by providing you with peace of mind.

Throughout our tenure in the immigration industry, we have been involved in thousands of applications. This experience has armed us with a wealth of knowledge that will help improve your chances of success. We know what immigration officers want to see and how to best present your situation to achieve the results you want. Our clear and concise guidance will help you to get the employees you need to further your critical business objectives in Canada.

If you are an employer seeking to hire a foreign worker in Canada, in most cases you need that employee to apply for a work permit. While there are always exceptions, in most circumstances, work permit applications in Canada are employer-driven, meaning that they must be initiated by the employer who has offered a foreign national an employment position in Canada. If you are an individual seeking a work permit in Canada, in most cases you will need to be offered a job in Canada first.

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Canada has over 100 different work permit categories that are designed to give Canadian employers the flexibility and options they need to hire global talent and bring them to Canada. In general, Canada has two broad categories of work permits: work permits that require a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and work permits that are exempt from requiring an LMIA. It is a simple shorthand to think of an LMIA as the rule, and all other categories as exceptions to that rule. In other words, if you do not qualify under one of Canada’s LMIA-exempt work permit categories, then you usually need an LMIA to obtain a work permit in Canada.

A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a labour market test in which the Canadian government assesses the company, position, job offer and the employee being offered the position to determine if the government is satisfied that there are no qualified Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents available to fulfill the position, and that the hiring of the foreign worker will not negatively impact the employment opportunities and wages of workers in Canada. In short, it is a mechanism through which the Canadian government aims to protect the privileged access that Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents expect to have to the Canadian labour market. The LMIA process can be a long and difficult process, so the goal of immigration professionals like CCIS is to identify an applicable LMIA-exemption category whenever possible.

There are hundreds of LMIA-exempt categories that do not require employers to subject their hiring decisions to a labour market test. These can include application categories under the International Mobility Program (IMP). The purpose of the IMP is to promote Canada’s economic, social, and cultural interests. Since the IMP’s policy goals are broader, the Canadian government does not use the LMIA process on foreign nationals who fall under any of the IMP’s streams.

Examples of popular categories under the IMP include Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permits that allow multi-national companies to transfer employees who have been working for a related company (parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate) for over one year in the past three years and who work in a senior management position, or who possess specialized knowledge of the company’s proprietary products, services, and methodologies. This can include a broad range of employees who possess specialized knowledge, as well as senior executives, senior managers who supervise the work of other managers or professionals, as well as functional managers, who oversee an essential function of the company, but do not necessarily manage employees. The Intra-company transfer category can also be used by companies seeking to establish a new subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that company in Canada.

Another example of work permit categories that do not require a LMIA include work permit categories under international agreements such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), formerly known as the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. The CUSMA work permit categories allow citizens of the United States and Mexico to obtain work permits in Canada as Intra-Company Transferees, CUSMA Professionals, Traders, or Investors. Intra-company transfer work permits under CUSMA function essentially in the same way as Intra-company transfers under the IMP, but are exclusively for U.S. and Mexican Citizens. If an employee is a U.S. or Mexican Citizen who is being transferred by a multi-national company to a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that company in Canada, and they have been working for the company outside of Canada for more than one year in the past three years, and are employed in a senior manager, functional manager, or specialized knowledge role, then they may qualify for a CUSMA ICT work permit.

Another set of subcategories under CUSMA includes CUSMA Professionals. The CUSMA Professionals category allows qualified U.S. or Mexican Citizens who have a pre-arranged job offer in Canada in one of over 60 designated professions to obtain an LMIA-exempt work permit. Note that the CUSMA Professionals category does not require any previous tenure with the company outside of Canada. While applicants under the CUSMA Professionals category often have worked for the same company outside of Canada, and that experience can be relevant for demonstrating the applicant’s experience in their profession, it is not an eligibility requirement of the category. Therefore, the CUSMA Professionals category can be used to hire new employees. Instead, the applicants must be qualified to work in one of 60 designated professions. Examples of qualifying professions under the CUSMA category include: Medical Professionals (such as physicians, dentists, pharmacists, registered nurses, psychologists, and therapists), Scientists (such as biologists, chemists, astronomers, geneticists, geologists, and pharmacologists), Teachers (such as seminary, college and university professors and instructors) and other professionals such as accountants, architects, computer systems analysts, software engineers, economists, engineers, lawyers, management consultants, mathematicians, urban planners, and many more! Note that in almost all situations, relevant education in the form of a bachelor’s degree or professional licensing and relevant experience are required.

It is also worth noting that since U.S. and Mexican citizens do not require an entry visa to enter Canada, these applications can often be made in-person upon arrival in Canada for immediate adjudication at the port-of-entry, making the CUSMA Professionals category one of the fastest ways to obtain a work permit in Canada.

The CUSMA also offers categories for Traders and Investors. The CUSMA Traders category is for U.S. or Mexican citizens who are senior managers or high-level supervisors of a U.S. or Mexican company that intends to engage in substantial trade of goods and services between Canada and their country of citizenship. Meanwhile, the CUSMA Investors category is for U.S. or Mexican citizens who have made a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business and are seeking to enter Canada to develop and direct the Canadian business.

The Intra-company Transferee and CUSMA Professionals are just a couple of examples of work permit categories in Canada that can make it quick and easy to apply for a work permit in Canada. If you are seeking to transfer employees to Canada, or bring a new hire to Canada, contact us for an assessment of your situation.

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