Do I qualify for a visa?

If you want to work in Canada, you will almost surely require a visa of some sort. There are several different avenues for entry to Canada for migrants looking to work in the country. One of the easiest ways to determine your eligibility to work in Canada is to complete an online questionnaire offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The online assessment will provide you with a list of visa options available to you and will inform you of the steps needed to apply.

For migrants who are likely to qualify as skilled workers, there is a further online evaluation, called the self-assessment test that will help to determine if applicants meet the requirements of a skilled worker immigrant to Canada.

Skilled worker

This category requires admission to be judged on education and work experience in a given skill area. Applicants are assessed on a points system, of which the minimum passing mark is 67. It is advantageous to be able to claim extensive studies in the skill area as well as steady employment in that field. Extensive knowledge of English and/or French rates one higher, as does age and other criteria.

Family class

Reuniting families is a priority for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Those family members who already live in Canada as a citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a relative for immigration. The sponsoring family member takes on the financial responsibility of the relative and enters into a legal agreement regarding this. The sponsored family member must be approved, and should expect medical criteria to be met. They should be able to supply an official certificate indicating there is no criminal background in their country of origin. Family members who qualify under this category will be spouses, common-law and conjugal partners, dependent children, parents, grandparents, dependent children, adopted children, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, orphaned grandchildren, or if none of the above is available, any other relative.

Business visa

This type of visa is issued to applicants who want to invest in or start a business in Canada. Investors must show that they have an acceptable net worth and sufficient business experience. Entrepreneurs are those applicants who will own and run their Canadian business. Again, net worth and experience are closely examined.

Self-employed persons must intend to generate their own employment. This can include anything from the arts to purchasing and running a farm.

Working temporarily

Young people often visit Canada and work in temporary jobs to help defray costs of their visit. Positions in this category are limited by a quota system. Most approved applicants work through a recognised agency, but it's possible to be sponsored by an employer who has already offered a job. Many applicants come to work the ski resorts or find work with temp agencies in the larger cities.

Working temporarily in Canada generally requires a work permit. A work permit is not an immigration document and does not give the holder permanent status in Canada. You will need a job offer from a Canadian employer to apply for a work permit.

Certain job categories are not likely to require work permits, including business visitors, foreign representatives, family members of foreign representatives, military personnel, foreign government officers, students working in campus, performing artists, athletes and coaches, news reporters, public speakers, convention organisers, clergy, judges and referees, examiners and evaluators, expert witnesses or investigators, health-care students, civil aviation inspectors, accident or incident investigators, crew members, and emergency service providers.


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