Each year over 90,000 foreign workers enter Canada employed temporarily to help Canadian employers. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) ensure that these workers will support economic growth in Canada and create more opportunities for all Canadian job seekers.
An employer must first offer you a job. The offer of employment needs to be validated or approved by the HRDC. (This approval process is known as HRDC Confirmation). In general, Immigration Canada will not issue an Employment Authorization without prior HRDC Confirmation of a Job Offer.
Immigration Canada normally requires that the applicant has a firm job offer from a Canadian employer prior to the application for an Employment Authorization. Such a job offer may require the approval of the Canadian Human Resources Development Center.
The rationale behind prior HRDC Confirmation of job offers is to ensure that Employment Authorizations are granted only in circumstances where there will not be a negative impact on the Canadian job market. The HRDC Confirmation process thus ensures that the Canadian employer demonstrates that a "significant" effort has been made to seek and hire a Canadian for the position in which there is a request for validation. It is also generally necessary to establish that the temporary worker has special abilities or skills, which are not easily found in Canada. The procedure for obtaining HRDC Confirmation of job offers can be demanding and time-consuming.
After HRDC confirms that a foreign national may fill the job, the applicant can apply to CIC for a work permit.
With effect from December 15, 2012, CIC has introduced a Bridging Open Work Permit that enables certain economic class applicants to maintain their status and continue working in Canada while they wait for a final decision on their permanent residence application.
Valid for a year after issuance, this category has been introduced for qualifying foreign nationals who have submitted an application for permanent residence under the FSWP, Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) if their current work permit is about to expire.
Currently be in Canada;
Have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within 4 months;
Have received confirmation from CIC that their permanent resident application is eligible under one of the four Economic Classes (FSWP, CEC, PNP and FSTP), and;
Have made an application for an open work permit.
The new open work permit will provide qualifying permanent resident applicants, whose permits are due to expire, with a means to keep working and more flexibility to better integrate into the Canadian labor market.