Establishing eligibility as an immigrant, temporary worker or student worker is the non-resident's first step toward employment in Canada. Canada's express entry immigration program is an option for non-residents who meet the program's skilled worker criteria and, for those who rank highly against the criteria, includes an invitation for permanent residency. Anyone can apply for a temporary work permit before entering Canada, but qualifying factors include proof of adequate income, no criminal record, type of work, employer and health status.
Non-residents with prior employment in Canada for one or more periods totaling four or more years may be ineligible for a work permit. Canada also sometimes requires completion of a Labour Market Impact Assessment by potential employers in order for the employer to hire a non-resident under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This program allows employers to hire non-residents under certain conditions, such as a short-term need for certain skills or a labor shortage. The labor market assessment is not necessary when filling a position with a non-resident who has broad economic, cultural or competitive advantages for Canada or if Canadian nationals and permanent residents have access to the same benefits as the incoming worker.
Non-residents attending school in Canada who also want to work must secure a student work permit specific to employment on campus, off campus or as an intern as part of an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated institution. Another option for those graduating from certain Canadian post-secondary schools is a post-graduation work permit, which helps students qualify for permanent residency.