Getting a Job and a Work Permit in Canada
August 13, 2007 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Can you provide me advice on getting a work permit in Canada. Also does anyone know about a good agent that will find me a job in and process a work permit for me.

Hi All,
I'm an Asian, currently in USA as a computer science Masters student (Under F1 visa). I don't feel like I would want to complete my Masters (I'm still in early stages anyway). I would like to find a Job in Canada by the end of this Fall semester ( or even sooner).

- I have two college degrees (not double major, two degrees from two separate universities) in IT (from my country).
- I have 2 years of working experience in my country (working for USA clients)
- I have worked for nearly 1 year as a Research assistant at the University, developing web based systems for the USA university
- My experiences are mainly focused on 03/05 (vb, c#), SQL server, Oracle
- Age 27
- married and my wife is doing her PhD in USA
- No kids

My Questions are as follows.
1) Can you recommend me a good agent who will find me a job and process my work permit?
2) Does Canada have a work permit quota (similar to H1 quota in USA) ?
3) Any info or advice about the process of finding the job and getting the work permit.
4) how long does it take to process the work permit?
5) Any other advice that you can think of?

- I'm currently having 67 points (So I'm qualified) in their system to apply for PR. If anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it.
- If you have any other questions for me I can e-mail the answers to administrators or another user ( that is if someone volunteers to post it here :-) )
- If anyone needs u can contact me through

Thanks everyone for reading my long post.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (3 answers total)
I'll start off by answering a couple of the questions:

2) No. However, an employer must prove to HRDC (Human Resources Development Canada) that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident who can do the job. I believe there are some occupations where this requirement is not in force, including live-in caregivers and some IT professionals. See

4) According to, it looks like it usually doesn't take much longer than a month.

You mentioned you have 67 points to apply for permanent residence. I'm not sure if you're aware, but that is totally different than a work permit. For permanent residence, you do not need to have a job offer, nor does there need to be any proof that your job cannot be done by a Canadian. It does take much longer to process (over a year, I think), and you need to have $10,000 in funds available to settle in Canada. As a permanent resident, you have just about all the same rights as a Canadian, except for the right to vote. A work permit, by contrast, is tied to a job and can expire.

You can find a lot of information about the requirements and process for a work permit here:

For information about permanent residence, see here:
posted by Emanuel at 9:04 PM on August 13, 2007

Since you are under 30 you might be able to apply for a work and travel visa. It gets you into the country and can look for work. It may not apply to all nationalities. If you decide you want to stay after it runs out (12 months) you can start the permanent residence process. (it's about $1000 plus a lot of forms to fill out, info to cgather, doctors visits, etc.) so make sure you *really* want it!
posted by kamelhoecker at 2:27 AM on August 14, 2007

Seconding Emanuel's advice to familiarize yourself with all of the information on the CIC website. Generally, though, here is some information that might help you:

There are two ways to get into Canada, temporarily (with a visa, "to visit") and permanently (with permanent residence, "to immigrate"). It is my understanding that work visas are somewhat hard to come by unless you're in a niche market; Emanuel is correct when he points out that in general visas are only issued when the employer can demonstrate that no Canadians can do the job. Therefore, I'm not sure if you'd find an "agent" to find you a job and process your papers for you - there doesn't seem to be much of a market for that kind of thing as it happens so infrequently. The good news is that as an IT worker you might just be able to fill one of those elusive niches (listed here), so read up on those and see what kind of jobs are out there for you - I'd concentrate on the bigger cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

If you decide to immigrate as a skilled worker (in other words, if you'd like to live in Canada permanently), your chances are probably better overall, but it will not happen by this fall. You are looking at a wait of at least a year, and I have heard stories of the process taking multiple years to complete. If you take this route, I would highly recommend finding a good immigration lawyer who is familiar with the process - it is confusing, with different requirements for each immigration category and for each country of origin, and there is a large amount of paperwork to keep track of.

One final thing that you should keep in mind in either case is that Canada does not have the best track record when it comes to recognizing foreign credentials -- even from well-respected institutions in English-speaking countries. It can be very hard for immigrants to find work once they're in Canada, even if they've been admitted as skilled workers, because employers and/or professional regulatory organizations are frequently unwilling to recognize degrees or certifications from foreign institutions. This varies greatly by field, however, and I'm not sure if it applies to IT as much as it does to, say, medicine. Nonetheless, you should thoroughly investigate your real job prospects before you undertake the process. If there is any sort of IT professional organization in the city or province you're planning on living in, they might be able to give you an idea of what to expect.

No matter what, talking to a good, experienced immigration lawyer would be a good idea. (I am not one.)
posted by AV at 7:59 AM on August 14, 2007

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