Canada understands the importance of the immigrant workforce and has systems in place to expedite visas and work permits. Still, navigating the bureaucracy involved in moving abroad is never simple. Don’t worry, we are here to help you understand the basics of getting a Canadian Work Visa.

Immigration consultants Aasia Rahguzar, Melissa Arrambide, and Shervani Pinto and our Global Mobility Specialist Tatiane Cortez come together during VanHackCON 2021, to explain some of the most important aspects of getting a work visa in Canada. So let’s dive in and discuss costs, documents, timelines, and more.

What is the Global Talent Stream visa? 

The main topic of the conversation was the Global Talent Stream, a fast-track immigration program created to streamline the work visa process for foreign tech specialists interested in moving to Canada. It was Canada’s answer to an economy facing a shortage of highly skilled workers and allows Canadian employers to expedite the hiring of international workers to fill specialized occupations in engineering and tech-related fields.

What is the Labor Market Impact Assessment? 

The first part of the Global Stream process is the Labor Market Impact Assessment, LMIA. This assessment determines if a Canadian employer can hire a foreign worker. It also evaluates whether or not there’s a position that a Canadian worker can fill. If not, the employer will require a temporary foreign worker. LMIA applications used to take months to prepare, submit, and process; however, with the Global Talent Stream, many steps have been removed, and the LMIA moves much faster. 

The second part of the process is applying for the work permit, and VanHack’s team guides candidates, prepare the documentation and keep track of what is needed every step of the way.

Labor Market Impact Assessment 🇨🇦

How long does it take to get a Canadian work visa? "The first step is for us, immigration consultants, to help companies prepare the LMIA; this takes approximately two to three weeks," Assia Rahguzar explains. "We also work with candidates to prepare the documentation for the work permit. And then, after the LMIA is approved, we help them apply." There is no official timeline for the work permit processing, but the consultant said, in her experience, a general time frame would be three weeks to 3 to 4 months.  Once the work permit is approved, candidates from countries that require visas (Brazil and India, for example) will be requested to submit their passports. Candidates will receive their passports with the visas in around seven business days. Candidates from countries that do not require visas will receive travel authorization.  Once in Canada, immigrants will receive a physical copy of their work permit at the airport and begin their two-year status as temporary foreign workers. In addition, VanHack's immigration team connects candidates with relocation support which helps them understand arrival to Canada better. 

Conor Samuel via Unsplash

How long does it take to get a Canadian work visa?

“The first step is for us, immigration consultants, to help companies prepare the LMIA; this takes approximately two to three weeks,” Assia Rahguzar explains. “We also work with candidates to prepare the documentation for the work permit. And then, after the LMIA is approved, we help them apply.” There is no official timeline for the work permit processing, but the consultant said, in her experience, a general time frame would be three weeks to 3 to 4 months. 

Once the work permit is approved, candidates from countries that require visas (Brazil and India, for example) will be requested to submit their passports. Candidates will receive their passports with the visas in around seven business days. Candidates from countries that do not require visas will receive travel authorization. 

Once in Canada, immigrants will receive a physical copy of their work permit at the airport and begin their two-year status as temporary foreign workers. In addition, VanHack’s immigration team connects candidates with relocation support which helps them understand arrival to Canada better. 

Timeline:

LMIA – approximately 2 weeks
Work permit – no official timeline
Request for passport – around 7 business days
Receive work permit at the airport 

What is the average salary for tech jobs in Canada?

Here’s what the salaries for a 40h week work for the three standard codes VanHacks deals with for the most popular three cities in Canada:

2173 – Software engineer and designer
Toronto – $91,998 CAD, Vancouver – $98,134 CAD, Montreal – $79,997 CAD

2174 – Computer programmer and interactive media developer
Toronto – $79,997 CAD, Vancouver – $87,360 CAD, Montreal – $69,992 CAD

2175 – web designer and developer
Toronto – $72,800 CAD, Vancouver – $60,008 CAD, Montreal – $64,002 CAD

What documents do I need to apply for a Canadian Work Visa

Your passport is the most important document you need to apply for a work visa. It needs to be valid for at least two years for you and all your family members because that is how long the work permit is valid for. 

Candidates must undergo a medical exam by a doctor endorsed by the Canadian Government in their country of residence. You will also be required to undertake biometrics, which means registering your fingerprints and your digital photo. In addition, professionals immigrating with their families will need to present marriage certificates and birth certificates if they have children.

Shervani Pinto reminds candidates of additional documents required in the process. “Get your educational qualification documents ready, your employment reference letters, your transcripts of your educational qualification, and an updated resume. If your documents are in a language other than English or French, they must be translated by a certified translator. And one more thing, if you’re applying for a job in Quebec, you will need to get a Certificate of Acceptance. Our consultants will help you to do that.”

Documents:

  • Valid passport – valid for at least 2 years
  • Biometrics – after submitting the application
  • Medical exam – depending on nationality
  • Marriage and birth certificates – for families
  • Proof of qualification – employment reference letters and diplomas/transcripts
  • Resume – up to date
  • Certified translations – for all your documents in other languages
  • Certificate of Acceptance – for applicants in the province of Quebec

How do family applications work?

Family applications are processed together, so there is no time lag between applications for family members. For example, if a candidate qualifies for a work visa, their spouse will get an open work permit. If they have children under the age of 6, they will be eligible to obtain a visitor permit, and children over 6 will qualify for a study permit. 

How much does it cost to get a Canadian Work Visa?

Melissa Arrambide gave an overview of all the government fees that individuals and or families are required to pay to apply for a work visa:

Costs:

  • Work permit – $155 CAD
  • Spouse permit – $255 CAD
  • Study permit – $150 CAD
  • Child visitor permit – $100 CAD
  • Biometrics fee – Singles $85 CAD / Families $170 CAD

Additional costs:

  • Translations
  • Medical exams
  • Relocation 
  • Pets

Arrambide also talked about some of the additional costs candidates should be aware of. “You will need to translate your documents with a certified translator and for the medical exams, which cost around CAD 200, depending on where you are located. Then we have the relocation expenses. If you are planning to hire an international moving company, keep in mind that this will cost you a little money. And if you are considering taking your pet with you, you will need to pay the airline transportation fee and also a tax fee when you will arrive in Canada.”

How will VanHack help me relocate? 

Tatiane Cortez starts by saying, “I would like to reinforce that it’s free. You are not going to pay for the immigration consultancy if you receive a job offer, only the government fees”.

Cortez and her colleagues help immigrants with important information about how to settle, get health insurance, open a bank account, use the public transportation system, enroll their children in school, and so on. “We also have special offers from some providers. For example, online pharmacy, realtors, and banks, if you need them”.

VanHack will help you with:

  • Guidance with paperwork
  • City Guide
  • Advice with rules related to Covid-19
  • Special offers from providers

Watch the entire talk about getting Canadian Work Visa:

For success stories and tips about working in Canada, check out the VanHack Podcast – https://anchor.fm/vanhack

Learn more about Premium Academy at www.vanhack.com/premium

Check the following events in VanHack at https://vanhack.com/platform/#/events

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