Canadian immigration law and policies

There are restrictions on the ability of individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents to work in Canada. Subject to very limited exceptions, individuals must first apply for and receive a work permit to work in Canada, or apply for and become a permanent resident of Canada.

Work is defined as any activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that is in direct competition with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market. An individual need not be paid in Canada (e.g. if remuneration is paid by a foreign entity) for the activity to be considered work. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and its corresponding Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Regulations) form the general framework for Canadian immigration policy, while operational manuals and bulletins form the specific features of the same policy. It is worthwhile to note that Canada’s immigration policies are ever-evolving.

More in this section:

  • Temporary Foreign Workers
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program
  • The International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • Permanent Residence
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