How to explain work permit process to potential employer


nickshippers
nickshippers
Hello,

Firstly, this forum has been very helpful as I start my preparation for obtaining work in Canada. I am an American looking for work in Toronto. I recently had an interested employeer in Vancouver, but their response was that I must move first before they would consider an interview. I know that this slight difference is actually huge in terms of how you apply to live in Canada. I think most people on this forum would know that having a job offer makes the process to move to Canada easier than without one.

Through feedback, it appears many employers do not understand the work permit process for non-Canadians. Therefore, potential employers quickly will not consider my application. Putting aside that you often advocate for a proper Canadian CV/Resume format, I am looking for advice on how to explain, in a cover letter, the work permit process to a potential employer. Would it be ideal to include links to resources (such as: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/foreign_workers/index.shtml) or is there a simple phrase that you have found helpful to address this concern in a cover letter?
David
David
You are correct. Having a job offer, for most, is critical to the ability to immigrate on a temporary or permanent basis. Also, many Canadian employers are not familiar with the process required to hire a foreign worker. An ability to describe the process to an employer is potentially very valuable. However, this means that you should first start by understanding the process as it applies to your situation.

There are two avenues that may apply. The first, and more common, is the route of a [url=http://www.canadaworkpermit.com/hrsd.html]Labour Market Opinion Confirmation application[/url] followed by the issuance of a work permit. In this approach, as a general rule, the Canadian employer must demonstrate that they could not locate a Canadian to fill the position through evidence of a satisfactory recruiting effort. If such an application is approved, then it paves the way for the issuance of a work permit with proper presentation of a case.

In some less common cases, which is the second route, exemptions to the [url=http://www.canadaworkpermit.com/hrsd.html]LMO[/url] process exist. For example, as a US citizen, you may determine if you are eligible for such under NAFTA through the combination of your qualifications and the position that you are pursuing. When such exemption is possible, the process is considerably quicker and simpler, especially from the perspective of the employer.
nickshippers
nickshippers
Thanks David!

You are right that there are two paths. I reviewed those exceptions (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who-permit.asp) and then read about NAFTA here (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/special-business.asp). I found that I dont meet the requirements under any of the occupations. As a freelance web designer, I only match close to 2 occupations, but fall short of the requirements. For the consulting occupation I only have 3-4 years of experience. For the computer systems analyst occupation, the NAFTA handbook specifies that programmers are not applicable. However, I did read that they do realize many analysts now need to do some programming, but a web designer wouldn't apply.

Therefore, I think my best route (I could be wrong?) is to apply for a job that would pass a labour market opinion. I have the following in my cover letter:

"As an American applicant, I understand many potential employers have questions about the steps to hire a non-Canadian. It is rather quite simple. Once a job offer is approved by Human Resources Department, through this short application (I inserted a hyperlink to: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eforms/forms/hrsdc-emp5517(2011-09-003)e.pdf), a work permit is issued at a port-of-entry. The steps are detailed here (I inserted a hyperlink link to: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/foreign_workers/temp_workers.shtml)."

In your opinion, would this turn off potential employers to insert this into a cover letter or help open the door to an employer willing to go through the process?

Thanks again for your help and response.
David
David
You have made a good effort to understand the implications for your case. For the most part, your assumptions are correct, although I think you are assuming there is more fluidity between the various occupations than there really is. For the purpose of your self-assessment, that has no impact, as your end conclusion of the need for a [url=http://www.canadaworkpermit.com/hrsd.html]Labour Market Opinion[/url] appears correct.

It's not really possible to say if your statements will necessarily turn off an employer. It boils down to the employer's need for your skills. If an employer has enough need for a skill-set and is unable to locate this within the Canadian labour market, they will undertake any reasonable effort to recruit from abroad. As your field is fundamentally artistic, it may be advantageous to focus on a prospective employer that is an artistic match to your own aesthetic.
nickshippers
Alaska Dave
Alaska Dave
This is great! Exactly what I have been looking for. I believe that I do qualify for the NAFTA exception, being a civil engineer. I'm a little confused, however, in terms of what order I need to follow the steps on one of the liks provided by nickshippers:
To qualify on the basis of being a NAFTA Professional, a person must: (1) be qualified to work in one of the more than 60 professions listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of Chapter 16 of NAFTA (for example, accountant, computer systems analyst, engineer, management consultant and technical publications writer); (2) have pre-arranged employment with a Canadian enterprise in an occupation that matches the qualification; and (3) have a work permit.
Should I explain to the prospective employer that if he were to offer me a job (No. 2), that all I'd have to do is acquire a work permit (No. 3) because on the basis of my status as an engineer, I qualify for the NAFTA exception (No. 1)? Thank you.
David
David
[quote="Alaska Dave"] To qualify on the basis of being a NAFTA Professional, a person must: (1) be qualified to work in one of the more than 60 professions listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of Chapter 16 of NAFTA (for example, accountant, computer systems analyst, engineer, management consultant and technical publications writer); (2) have pre-arranged employment with a Canadian enterprise in an occupation that matches the qualification; and (3) have a work permit. [/quote] Item 3 is not a requirement of eligibility. i.e., you do not need to have a work permit to be eligible for a work permit under NAFTA.
[quote="Alaska Dave"] Should I explain to the prospective employer that if he were to offer me a job (No. 2), that all I'd have to do is acquire a work permit (No. 3) because on the basis of my status as an engineer, I qualify for the NAFTA exception (No. 1)?[/quote] Essentially, yes. For a candidate eligible under NAFTA, the employer does not have any obligation other than the offer of work. The remaining obligations are solely those of the candidate.

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