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Easiest way to legally work in Canada?
October 19, 2006 5:38 AM   Subscribe

How hard would it be for a US Citizen to immigrate to Canada? There is, of course

A friend of mine inquired last night, what it might take. He works at a retail store that has outlets in both Canada and the United States. Is it common for a large chain to allow cross-border transfers? I believe he would be considered a skilled worker, and the work he does for the retail store in question is considered a trade skill.

Beyond that, short of the company being willing to transfer him to a Canadian location, what other options would he have to work in Canada? Is there any way for him to work while on visitor status?

I have poked around on the CIC and CBSA websites, but I'm also looking for peoples' experiences in similar situations. Thanks in advance, MeFites!
posted by irishkitten to Law & Government (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
In addition, can he look for work while IN Canada? I vaguely recall it being illegal to do so if the situation was reversed(ie: A Canadian Citizen visiting the United States could not legally look for employment from within the United States), and wondered if Canada has the same law in this regard.
posted by irishkitten at 5:47 AM on October 19, 2006


I was trying to get a job with a friend in Halifax while I was waiting for my resident papers to be processed, and had too look this up.

It's not that easy.

The employer had to jump through a lot of hoops to get someone from out of the country, and that's not something a large retail chain is going to want to do, unless he's an executive, which it sounds like he's not.

The skilled worker program is probably the way to go - your friend can find out if they would qualify by going to this site and reading everything they can, and then taking the free quiz to determine eligability.
posted by plaidrabbit at 6:13 AM on October 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


About 10 years ago, I had a firm offer of employment with a company in Vancouver. I met all the basic qualifications (education, language, skills, and years in the field) for a skilled migrant visa.

After 6 months of the runaround from the Canadian immigration bureaucracy, the company that had offered me a job rescinded the offer, saying that it simply wasn't worth the hassle to sponsor me. I doubt if anything has changed in the last 10 years to make the process any easier.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:49 AM on October 19, 2006


There have been quite a few canadian immigration questions posted.

You can apply as a skilled worker. If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you get extra points on your application. He could also just apply, not involve the employer at all. The process takes around a year. It involves quite a lot of paperwork and around $1500 in fees if I remember correctly.

Visitors to Canada should not work without a work permit. I do not know of any law prohibiting visitors from *looking* for work.

The "temporary worker" status referenced above does NOT itself allow the worker to immigrate. You can pursue the two things in parallel: temporary worker status for a year, during which time your permanent resident application is processed. By the time the temporary worker permit expires, you're a legal permanent resident and can work normally.
posted by jellicle at 8:22 AM on October 19, 2006


There's nothing wrong with looking for work in Canada; I'd say it's even fairly necessary to do so if you want to go the temporary worker visa route, as you need the job offer first.
posted by transient at 8:28 AM on October 19, 2006


It involves quite a lot of paperwork and around $1500 in fees if I remember correctly.

Immigration Canada also requires non-family immigrants to have fairly substantial savings to live on for a while.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:11 AM on October 19, 2006


Thank you for the answers so far, it's appreciated. I've heard several things from colleagues, where friends of theirs were able to transfer from one country to another with the company they work for... so thought it might be a more simple option, and wondered if any MeFites were in a similar position, or knew anyone in said position.

And yes, the savings for one person to have should they choose to immigrate here, is a little over $10k, on top of the approximately $1500 in fees as jellicle mentioned. I have done a fair bit of research, myself - just am looking to fill a couple holes in the research. :)

Visitors to Canada should not work without a work permit. I do not know of any law prohibiting visitors from *looking* for work.

Good to know. I know when I tried to immigrate to the U.S. a good 10 years back, it was illegal(from what I understood then) for me to do so from within the country, on visitor status.
posted by irishkitten at 9:58 AM on October 19, 2006


Good to know. I know when I tried to immigrate to the U.S. a good 10 years back, it was illegal(from what I understood then) for me to do so from within the country, on visitor status.

The key words there are visitor status.

When I was bringing my wife into the country to stay, we hit a bit of a sticky wicket when it came to that - a the border, they asked if she was here to visit, she responded she was there to immigrate but would leave if she had to. They waived us through, and it turns out they were very wrong and should have denied her entry into the country. That screw up worked in our favor (she didnt' lie, they broke the rules), but I wouldnt' advise it for anyone else.

I can only imagine it's the same for people looking to work, even only temporarily.
posted by plaidrabbit at 11:22 AM on October 19, 2006


Son of a... I had a big long answer written out and accidentally closed the firefox tab. Oh well, here we go again, the basic gist:

If your friend wants to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, he should look at this page. There's also a simplified application process now, likely because the processing times are so damn long at the moment (see Buffalo for US applications). The right of permanent residence fee was recently cut in half.

Unless his trade is highly in demand with little supply, it isn't really worth the hassle for an employer to try to sponsor him. However, there's a bit of a loophole for skilled workers applying for permanent residence when it comes to arranged employment in Canada - if he can find an employer to *say* that they are going to hire him when he gets into Canada, and get HRDC to approve the position, it will fast track his application for permanent residence. They don't have to actually even hire him when he's got his permanent residence, because HRDC doesn't check after the fact. So it's a sort of non-sponsoring sponsorship. Odd, but it works, and cuts down that processing time from the 20+ month timeframe to like 6.
posted by antifuse at 3:39 AM on October 20, 2006


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