The ability to apply for a Canadian work permit at a port of entry is a huge time-saver. Port of entry applications can be approved same-day, whereas applications submitted to a consulate can take weeks or even months for approval. For current application processing times, see here.
This begs the question:
Can I apply for a Canadian work permit at a port of entry?
Some individuals are eligible to apply for a work permit at a port entry. Eligibility depends on whether the following applies to you:
- Your country of citizenship makes you exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa and your job falls within the International Mobility Program
- You are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa and your job falls within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (i.e., you are required to obtain an LMIA) and a positive or neutral LMIA has been issued by the time you arrive
- You are a national or permanent resident of the U.S., Greenland or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon regardless of whether your job falls with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program, AND
- You will not be working as a live-in caregiver or as a seasonal agricultural worker
Let’s break that down a bit further. In all cases, people holding citizenship from a country requiring a temporary resident visa are not eligible to apply for a work permit at a port of entry. On the other hand, all citizens and permanent residents of the U.S., Greenland or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are eligible to apply for their work permit at the port of entry - provided they aren’t going to be working as a live-in caregiver or as a seasonal agricultural worker.
It’s important to note that applying at a port of entry does not negate the need for the employer to use the Employer Portal to first secure an offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers). It also does not negate the need to first secure a positive or neutral LMIA if the job falls within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The International Mobility Program includes CUSMA (TN) professionals, Intra-company transfer work permits, International Experience Canada (a reciprocal youth exchange agreement program), and those entering Canada through other trade treaties - such as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Employers who hire through the International Mobility Program do not require a positive or neutral LMIA in order to hire the temporary worker, making the program an extremely cost- (and time-) effective option.
To learn more about the International Mobility Program, and how it can help your company meet its goals, schedule a Strategy Session with our lawyers!