Canada: Immigration Through Employment

Canada: Immigration Through Employment


An immigrant is a foreign national who has been authorized to live and work permanently in Canada. If you want to become an immigrant based on the fact that you have a permanent employment opportunity in Canada, or if you are an employer that wants to sponsor someone for lawful permanent residency based on permanent employment in Canada, you must go through a multi-step process.
•First, foreign nationals and employers must determine if the foreign national is eligible for lawful permanent residency under one of CIC’  ‘s paths to lawful Canadian permanent residency.
•Second, most employment categories require that a Canadian employer Submit an application (PDF 285 KB) – HTML Version for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) to the Service Canada Centre responsible for processing applications for the applicant, and submit it to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada. HRSDC must either grant or deny the certification request.  Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), there are special cases when you do not need an HRSDC/Service Canada Labour Market Opinion to hire a foreign worker, and/or the foreign worker may not need a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) work permit.
 •Third, CIC Canada must approve an immigrant visa petition, ( Employment authorization; (Work permit) or Permanent Immigration to Canada),  for the person wishing to immigrate to Canada. The employer wishing to bring the applicant to Canada to work permanently files this petition. However, if aproved HRSDC LMO  is needed the application can only be filed after being LMO is granted. The employer acts as the sponsor (or petitioner) for the applicant (or beneficiary) who wants to live and work on a permanent basis in Canada.
•Fourth, CIC Canada must give the applicant an immigrant visa number, even if the applicant is already in Canada. When the applicant receives an immigrant visa number, it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to the applicant. You can check the status of a visa number at
•Fifth, if the applicant is already in Canada, he or she must apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available. You may wish to read about application procedures on becoming a permanent resident while in Canada. If the applicant is outside Canada when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he or she will be notified and must complete the process at his or her local Canadian consulate office.
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