Ottawa-Gatineau Immigrating to Canada: Temporary Work Authorizations
Generally, foreign individuals seeking to work temporarily in Canada require Employment Authorizations. An Employment Authorization ("EA") is a document issued by Canadian immigration officials to allow a foreign individual to work in Canada. An EA generally for a specific job and a specific employer, and always for a limited time -- usually one year or less. In some cases, applicants will be required to undergo medical examinations.
For Canadian immigration purposes, work is defined as "any activity for which a person receives or might reasonably be expected to receive valuable consideration." Thus, foreign individuals may require Employment Authorizations even if they intend to work in Canada without compensation.
Employment Authorizations Are Not Required If the proposed activities in Canada are required in or beneficial to Canada - regardless of the labour market conditions or unemployment rates in Canada
JobOffer Validation In most cases, a job offer from a Canadian employer is required to apply for an Employment Authorization. The job offer may have to be approved by a Canadian Human Resources Development Center (known as Job Offer Validation), to facilitate Canadian immigration officials decision to issue an EA. This ensures that EAs are granted only where they will not have a negative impact on the Canadian job market. The Job Offer Validation process the employer showing significant effort has been made to seek and hire a Canadian for that position, making the procedure for obtaining a job validation time-consuming. It is also necessary to establish that the applicant has special abilities or skills which are not easily found within Canada.
Job Offer Validation Exemptions: Fortunately, some exemptions from the Job Offer Validation requirement are available:
Port of Entry Requirement
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement
- General Agreement On Trade In Services (GATS) For individuals whose activities will provide significant benefit to Canada Under the Pilot Project for Software Professionals and the Pilot Project for Spouses of Highly-Skilled Temporary Workers
: Foreign workers are considered to be Visitors in Canada. They must satisfy an immigration official at the port of entry that the purpose of their entry into Canada is of a temporary nature (ie have a return plane ticket, etc.).Changing Your Employment Authorization
If you change employers (or need to), and your EA was for a specific job or employer, you will need to apply for a change in your Employment Authorization. The suitability rules are the same as with a band-new applicaiton, but MUST be filed from inside Canada to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta. It also must be filed before the expiry of your current Employment Authorization. If you were fired/terminated from your job, you need to apply for another EA before starting a new job, but you may remain in Canada for the duration of your original EA to allow enough time to seek another position.Bringing Relatives & Dependants while working in Canada
Relatives and dependants may accompany you in Canad, provided they qualify as visitors. They will need their own EA if they intend to work, or a Student Authorization if they intend to study here.Health Care in Canada
With a valid Employment Authorization, you and your family may apply for universal health care coverage in the province where you live. Some provinces have a three-month waiting period for coverage eligibility, so you may need private health insurance (like Blue Cross) to cover the gap.