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Temporary residence visa

To obtain this status foreigners from certain countries are exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary residence visa from a Canadian embassy before coming to the Canadian border while other foreigners are required to obtain such a visa before going to the Canadian border.


Foreign nationals must apply to the Canadian Embassy for a study permit or a work permit before coming to Canada, with some exceptions. As a result, individuals who are not exempted from the temporary residence visa must first apply for a temporary resident visa to visit, study or work in Canada.


Persons exempted from this obligation must obtain an electronic travel authorization (ETA) to board an airplane bound for Canada.

Visit Canada

For persons exempted from the temporary residence visa, visitor status is granted at the border. For others, the temporary visitor visa to visit Canada is obtained through a request made at the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate. Unless otherwise specified, the temporary resident visa is for multiple entries into Canada. At each entry on Canadian soil, the right of stay granted for a visitor is for a period of six (6) months, the entry stamp showing entry unless the issuance of a visitor visa is extended or shortened by the border officer.


Visitor status is renewable in Canada, subject to the terms and conditions in effect. Supervisas may also be considered for stays up to ten (10) years, but for a period of two (2) years at a time.

Work in Canada

To work in Canada, you must have a valid work permit. However, certain duties may be exercised without a work permit. Other duties are exercised with a work permit only and others require a Labor Market Impact Assessment, a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec if the job is in Quebec, and a permit to work.


Obligations of the employer

An employer who hires a foreign national who does not have the required authorizations is guilty of an offense under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. To exculpate the charge, the employer must establish that he or she has taken all the necessary measures to know the foreigner’s situation under the law.

The employer is liable to a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to two (2) years, or both.


Labour market impact assessment (LMIA)

An employer may use temporary foreign labor if it does not find candidates to fill a particular position. Unless exempted from the requirements of the law, foreigners must obtain a work permit before taking a job and employers must validate the job offered.


Conditions of the validation of employment

Thus, the hiring of the foreign worker must not interfere with a labor dispute in the workplace or allow the maintenance or creation of jobs. The chosen candidate must meet the conditions of employment set out in the National Occupational Classification.


For semi-skilled workers, the foreign worker must have completed eleven (11) years of education, have minimum experience or special professional training of at least six (6) months, credentials recognized by the province or the territory, as the case may be, know English or French, have an employment contract with the employer establishing the minimum working and residence conditions, the conditions of access to language courses, as the case may be, and transportation costs between the workplace and the residence abroad.


Evaluation process

The offer of employment must be confirmed by the provincial and federal authorities, which will result in joint correspondence for the work permit application.


The job evaluation process assumes that the employer has made reasonable efforts to train or hire residents of Quebec for the offered position, including by posting notices on websites, specialized journals or publications related to the position offered, the improvement of working conditions in order to attract Quebec residents, including recruitment efforts among new graduates or ethnic or non-traditional clienteles.


Certificate of acceptance of Quebec

Once Quebec has finalized the assessment of the position, it will issue a Certificate of acceptance Quebec (CAQ) necessary for who wants to work in Quebec. Once issued, this document may be valid for a period of not more than thirty-six (36) months. Outside Quebec, a work permit will be issued after the job assessment. The duration of the permit varies and is renewable.


Occupations in demand

For now, there is a strong demand for temporary workers in different fields. These jobs benefit from simplified processing and are exempted from mandatory publication rules that increase processing time. The list of jobs identified as in demand and benefiting from this process provides a good indication of the areas of employment in short supply.


Validation of a temporary job may, under certain conditions, allow permanent residence in Canada, according to Quebec criteria.

Similarly, in the case of an application elsewhere in Canada as a skilled worker, a validated job, a job that is being validated or a job that has been exempted from validation may allow points to be scored on the federal selection grid.




The North American Free Trade Agreement provides numerous job evaluation exemptions to allow the citizens of the three signatory countries (Canada, Mexico and the United States) to facilitate temporary admission to each other’s territory on a reciprocal basis to business people, subject to obtaining a work permit.


Each country, under this agreement, authorizes the temporary entry of four categories of business people in one of the following categories: visiting business people, traders, intracompany transferees and certain categories of professionals identified in the Agreement.




Exemptions almost identical to those contained in NAFTA are provided for in other agreements signed by Canada. Thus, similar exemptions are possible under the reciprocity rules of the signatory countries of the agreements as well as for the member countries of the World Trade Organization. In addition, there are exemptions for the validation of employment for spouses of highly skilled foreign workers.


Should you require further information on the above issue or to obtain an in-depth analysis of your case, please contact us.

Study in Canada

A foreign national wishing to study full-time in Canada must first apply to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate and provide proof of admission to a designated Canadian educational institution. When the foreigner intends to study in Quebec, he must also obtain a Certificate of Acceptance from Quebec (CAQ) -studies.


Quebec issues Certificates of Acceptance – studies to students wishing to study in a school at the elementary, high school, college or university levels. Except during the period of temporary stay of work or studies of parents, the law requires the registration of the minor child to a French school. In Quebec, it is mandatory to attend school until the age of sixteen (16) years old.


To qualify, a foreign national must be admitted to a program of study at a designated school. He must also have sufficient financial means to pay for travel expenses between Quebec and the residence abroad, the tuition fees of the program, which vary according to the study level and he must be able to provide for his needs and of those accompanying him/her. The foreigner and accompanying family members must have health and hospitalization insurance for the entire period of stay.


The Quebec Certificate of Acceptance -studies are not required for persons participating in the Canadian Assistance Program for Developing Countries, dependent staff, consular or diplomatic personnel residing in Canada. In addition, student visas are not required for those enrolled in language courses of less than six (6) months.


Subject to the prescribed conditions, during a study program, the student is allowed to work up to a maximum of twenty (20) hours per week. Upon graduation from a recognized program, the foreign student may apply for a post-graduation work permit of duration equivalent to the duration of the study program. During this period, an application for permanent residence may also be submitted as part of the permanent residence programs of the Canadian federal government, the various provinces, and territories, Quebec included.

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