Immigration now much easier with arranged job, says immigration lawyer

as published in in January, 2015

As of Jan. 1, the conditions for potential entry into Canada and permanent residency for skilled workers have significantly changed.  On one hand, the application processing time may be significantly reduced.  On the other hand, new requirements have been added to the process and emphasis is placed on those who have already secured work for themselves. Previously, skilled workers could simply submit an application for permanent residency whether or not they had arranged employment so long as they had a least one year of work experience in an eligible occupation that was in management, a profession or a trade.  The usual wait time could be two years or more.  The new process could take as little as six months.

Express entry profile

Under the new “express entry” program, entry into the three main skilled worker streams (the skilled worker category, the Canada experience class or under the skilled trade category) will require the prospective candidate to place their profile with Canada’s Immigration department and register with the ministry’s job bank.  Potential employers will use the site to recruit skilled workers as needed.  Those foreign workers who have arranged employment through a positive labour market impact assessment through Service Canada or through the provincial nominee program will not have to register with the job bank and stand a good chance of being asked to apply for permanent residence to Canada.  Those skilled workers or trades who are selected through the job bank or who have arranged employment through the labour market impact assessment process or the provincial nominee program will also have a greater chance at being invited to file an application for permanent residence to Canada.  The federal government has also encouraged the provinces to set up their own express entry process to work in conjunction with the federal express entry program. Those candidates who are in the job bank but do not have arranged employment are far less likely to be invited to apply for immigration to Canada.  Similarly, those foreign workers who are in Canada on work permits based on exemptions (such as from the normal requirement that their employer obtain a positive labour market impact assessment) will need to secure a positive labour market impact assessment to support their application for permanent residence or provincial nomination in order to maximize their chances of selection as a prospective immigrant.  In this way, Canada hopes to select prospective immigrants that have the greatest chance of success in Canada due to their language, education and arranged employment.

More success for young and visa-exempt countries

Success will also be easier for young people, and for those coming from visa-exempt countries.  Employers are more likely to consider employment of foreign workers with fewer approval challenges, such as those from countries whose citizens do not require a visa for entry into Canada.  Further, Canada has different reciprocal agreements with many different countries that allow young people from those countries to travel and work in Canada or for Canadians to work abroad. These young people can use the working holiday program as a means to obtain the necessary work experience that will hold them in good stead when they seek to obtain permanent residence status in Canada.  Finally, those young people who come to Canada to study will have a stronger application for permanent residence through the post grad work permit program. There is no cost to submission of a profile with the Immigration department and each profile will remain active for one year, after which time, the skilled worker may wish to renew their profile. What does this mean for potential skilled worker immigrants?  For those who can line up arranged employment supported by a LMIA or provincial nomination, they will have a great advantage over those who do not have arranged employment.

Andrew Wlodyka is an immigration lawyer with Direction Legal LLP.  He can be reached at