American seeks an open Canadian work permit
December 21, 2006 3:11 PM   Subscribe

How to get an open work permit for Canada (working in Quebec)?

I am a US citizen who recently moved to Canada. I am currently here on visitor status and therefore unable to legally work.

A Montreal employer wants to hire me for an Internet marketing position and has agreed to sponsor me for a closed Canadian work permit (visa). This entails a process of the company proving to the government that they were unable to find a Canadian citizen to fill the position.

The problem is that the permit approval process is generally a long one -- perhaps even longer for Quebec -- and the company wants me to start working right away.

So I can work in the interim the company has asked me to obtain an temporary open work permit. With this I would be able to continue working even if the permit expires before the case is resolved.

One of the only open work permit options I found is through BUNAC USA's Work Canada program, sponsored by SWAP; unfortunately, I don't meet all the eligibility requirements (I'm not a student).

Hiring me under a NAFTA 'management consultant' exemption was another option my employer investigated, however, the interpretive notes were too specific and not applicable to the work that I'd be doing.

So, what (if any) other possibilities exist for obtaining an open Canadian work permit?
posted by concourse to Work & Money (4 answers total)
You have to do this coming across the border, don't you?

Does this apply to you?

It mentions that your employer will need to talk to HRDC - maybe you could call them for info as well.
posted by loiseau at 4:50 PM on December 21, 2006

If you still have a place to stay in the USA, and can do a lot of back and fourth, you can set yourself up as self-employed in the USA, contracting to the company in Canada (typiclly working via telecommute), with frequent loooong business trips to have meetings etc. It's not unheard of for a businessman to do some work on his laptop while on holiday too - it's just got to be work for his business back home.

Pain in the ass, but might scrape you by until the visa comes through. I know someone who did something similar.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:02 PM on December 21, 2006

The *fastest* way is to be sponsored by the company. Anything else (ie permanent residency, really your only other option) is even more of a pain in the ass. Especially for Quebec, as they are particularly guarded about letting people into their province who don't speak french. Harlequin's contractor option is probably your best option while you wait for the sponsorship to come through.
posted by antifuse at 1:38 AM on December 22, 2006

As you've probably worked out, Quebec gets to decide for itself on people who want to come to the province to work, and if you don't speak french, they're far from pleased with the idea.
posted by theducks at 2:59 PM on December 24, 2006

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