Pam Busch, Certified Immigration Consultant Once in Canada, temporary foreign workers have several options to remain in Canada. Initial work permits that were issued for less than 24 months can be extended and some temporary workers can apply for permanent residency status.
Temporary foreign workers that are working in occupations that are classified as ‘skilled’ in the National Occupational Classification listing are able to remain in Canada without returning to their home as long as they maintain a valid work permit at all times.
Temporary foreign workers that are in occupations that are classified as ‘low skilled or semi-skilled’ levels in the National Occupational Classification are only able to work in Canada for a period of 24 months. After 24 months they must return to their country unless they are eligible for the Provincial Nominee or Federal Skilled Worker programs. If not, the temporary worker would have to leave Canada for at least 4 months and could then reapply to come to Canada under a new work permit process.
There are three primary options available to foreign workers to change their status from temporary worker to that of permanent resident.
Provincial Nominee Program – this process involves the temporary workers employers’ participation in changing their temporary work permit to a permanent residency visa. Each province has different requirements for the nomination process as well as a listing of different occupations that meet the nomination criteria. After your application has been approved at the provincial nomination office you would then be required to submit your permanent residency application form, payment for processing fees and supporting documents to the Canadian Embassy/High Commission for processing.
Canadian Experience Class – temporary foreign workers that are working in occupations that are classified as ‘skilled’ in the National Occupations Classification listing can apply if they have worked in Canada for 24 months in the previous 36 months. Temporary foreign workers also must have a valid IELTS score and police clearances (or at the least applied for police clearances) from all countries they have worked in for more than 6 months prior to submitting their Canadian Experience Class application form.
Federal Skilled Worker Program– temporary foreign workers that have at least one year of experience working in any occupation in Canada and who score 67 points as required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada can apply in this class. Temporary foreign workers also must have a valid IELTS score and police clearances (or at the least applied for police clearances) from all countries they have worked in for more than 6 months prior to submitting their permanent residency application form for processing. Once the application form is accepted and the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office has determined that your application qualifies, the temporary foreign worker will have 120 days to submit original permanent residency applications and all supporting documents to the Canadian Embassy/High Commission. There will be no extensions and therefore all documents must be in order prior to applying for permanent residency.