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Canadian Laws Governing Immigration and Employment

11th February 2011
By Jonanthan R Bailey in Immigration Law
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Canada attracts thousands of immigrants from all over the world annually. As a peaceful and safe country with a lot of diversity with regard to its citizens, Canada is one of the preferred destinations of immigrants. As with all nations, Canada also has its own set of immigration laws governing residence and employment. Here is some information on employment law and immigration rules that anyone desirous of working, studying or permanently residing in Canada should be aware of.

Canadian immigration programs

There are over 60 immigration programs offered by Canada. Those that are closely connected to employment can be broadly divided into two groups – the general immigration categories and the temporary immigration categories. General immigration categories include:

• Business Class Immigration category.
• Independent/Skilled Worker category.
• Family Class Immigration category.

Temporary immigration categories include:

• Employment Authorization category.
• Student Visa category.

• Live-in Caregiver category.

General immigration categories

The Business Class Immigration category – This aims to encourage economic development and boost employment by drawing investors and entrepreneurs to invest in Canada. The individual will have to launch a stipulated Canadian business in the country and must present a regular progress card to officials for three years. Another precondition is that a minimum of one Canadian permanent resident or citizen besides the applicant and his or her dependents must be provided employment by the venture.

Independent/Skilled Worker category – This is based on a points system, granted for adaptability, occupation, work experience, education, age, family in Canada, and languages known. The applicant should obtain at least 67 points to be eligible for permanent residence. The applicant will be asked to clear security and background checks, a medical examination, and conform to financial criteria. To apply under the skilled or independent worker category, your occupation should feature on a list of admissible jobs published by the Canadian Government.

The Family Class Immigration category – A permanent immigrant or Canadian citizen is allowed to sponsor grandparents, parents, spouse, as well as dependent children. The sponsor must demonstrate financial ability to meet the “essential needs” of the applicant over a period of three years for the spouse and ten years for others. While awaiting their immigration visas, the applicants are not permitted to study or work in the country until the sponsorship application is approved, after which they will be granted study permits or open work permits under the employment law.

Temporary immigration categories

Employment Authorization category – Foreigners desiring to work temporarily in the country must possess an employment authorization under the employment law and a job offer approved by Human Resource Center (HRC) before arrival in Canada. Once again a slew of criteria will be assessed, including qualifications, character and health. Certain jobs listed in the special Canadian Government programs may not need an employment authorization or require approval.

Student Visa category - An international student intending to study in Canada must produce the educational institution’s letter accepting him or her into their program. Students have to prove that they have enough finance to meet living expenses and tuition costs. They may have to pass a medical test and must convince the interviewing Visa Officer that they intend to return home after their studies. Students are permitted to work in the country only if it is an indispensable part of their study program.

Live-in Caregiver category- If Canadian employers can prove the need for live-in caregivers and show that they could not obtain the services of Canadians for the positions, they can apply to hire staff under this category. The foreign applicant should have 10 + 2 years of education at least, should speak reasonably good English and be able to work in an unsupervised position. The relevant experience and training criteria under immigration and employment law should be fulfilled as well. After working in Canada in this position for two years, the applicant can apply for permanent residence with family.

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