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After a while after not having a formal Employer in Canada, I must say I am lucky. I found one! So, as this new employer is in Québec, and Québec has its own laws, I have decided to use services from a Certified Immigration Consultant. You should know that Québec is half-nation; when you enter from Ontario and get to the closest city (Montreal), there is a big difference.

Changing Employer with a close work permit within the Canada is not an easy thing. I will start telling what I did in case you are in the same situation.

DISCLAIMER: I am just showing my specific case. This is not intended to be used as an official guide. You should read on official government websites or consult a certified immigration consultant. This is what I did on November 2015, the process may change.

After some interviews with the Immigration Consultant and Employer, Consultant decided the best way to get a work permit for me was using the NAFTA. You must know I am Mexican, and there is a free trade agreement with the United States and Canada; one of the things that are agreed is to allow professionals to work in those nations more easily than if you were from another country. In the very specific case with Canada, Mexican professionals are excepted of LMIA (former LMO), a study that allows employers to hire foreign workers. This is a very tricky part, you should (well your consultant) choose a Profession included in the NAFTA that fits the best your intended job. For me, it was NOC 2171.

The whole process has two paths: the employer's which gets permission from the Government of Canada to hire a foreign worker, and the employees where I got my work permit to work with that specific employer. I'm going to talk first on the employee point of view (as it is the one I did), and later I will talk about what I know my employer did.

Employee

The very first thing you need to start doing is to get your documentation ready. I say the first thing because it is not very easy to get it, especially because it must be translated into the English or French by a certified translator. You can save some money if you get original papers in one of those languages, but you must know all must be in official languages (headers and footers too). So, I did prepare the following documentation:

  • UCI number
  • Valid passport
  • Original diplomas
  • Translated diplomas
  • Original transcripts
  • Translated transcripts
  • Original birth certificate
  • Translated birth certificate
  • Original marriage certificate
  • Translated marriage certificate
  • Two photographs (2.5 x 3.5 cm, color, no glasses, white background)
  • Resume in English

The University papers must have the logo, phone, and address; be 100% positive the address and the phone number is the actual one. Your resume will need to match with all given data. If you were freelancing take that out, as it is supposed to be "illegal" to make money in Canada, it does not matter your incomes come from abroad.  You must specify at least 10 years of career.

The consultant will need to fill some forms, and of course, he will need information from you. One of the things you will need to give him is the exact information about when and where you entered into Canada (all entries, in case you did more than once)

Employer

I don't know every aspect here, but this will help your employer to have an idea of what to do. 

Your employer must be registered with his TPS/TVH number. In the Canada Revenue Agency website, you will be able to search for your employer. He/She must be listed there.

There is another point, your employer must show that he look for a resident worked before choosing you. There are some specific ways to do that, as far as I remember some of them are these:

  • Newspaper
  • Canada Job Bank

Not all ways are valid for all kind of employment, so the consultant should advise your employer the path to follow. At the end of the day, you should have an online offer of employment. Attached with the form IMM 5802 (LMIA exemption).

Document Package

Before heading to the border, you will need to have a document package. In mine, I presented the following documents:

  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker - IMM 5710
  • Addendum IMM 5710
  • Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt From a Labour Market Impact Assesment (LMIA) - IMM 5802 with proof of payment by the employer (receipt number). Your employer should provide it to you.
  • Print of your Online Offer of Employment
  • Document Checklist - IMM 5556
  • Use of a Representative - IMM 5476
  • Photocopy of your Marriage Certificate
  • Photocopies of passport pages clearly showing the passport number, dates of  issue and expiry, name and date of birth, the stamp mad by Canadian authorities on your must recent entry into Canada and any other marked pages
  • Photocopy of your current immigration document, if you have one

All photocopies must be in English or French. If your original documents are not, you should get a certified translator. The translator will give you among many things a letter claiming his/her status.

It is a good idea to carry other complementary documents, just in case the agent asks for them. Some of them may interview you. I will talk about that in another post.

Good luck!

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