A few notes though, for those of you who might be considering immigrating to Canada on a work permit. Do your research. Working and living in Canada can happen much faster by means of a work permit than by the permanent residence process. There are several professions that do not need a positive Labor Market Opinion beforehand to acquire the work permit. If you are in these fields and meet the requirements and also have U.S. citizenship it is merely a drive across the border with the correct documents and a meeting with a Canadian Immigration officer to be issued one. You won't need to have the FBI check or the medical exam in most cases. In the short term this will save you time and money. Please keep in mind that:
- the principle applicant's work permit must be issued for six (6) months or longer for the spouse and children to also receive one. All can apply on the same application.
- Canada has a much more relaxed definition for spouse than the U.S. Canada recognizes common law and conjugal partnerships for both hetero and homosexual couples as well as same-sex marriage/domestic partnership/civil unions etc. Documentation or other proof is required.
- for the principle applicant to be eligible for provincial health insurance their work permit must be issued for a period of at least six (6) months.
- the Canadian employer must intend to employ the principle applicant for at least three (3) years for the spouse and children to also be eligible for provincial health insurance (OHIP). A written statement by the employer is the easiest way to do this. In Eric's case, the LMO and Work Permit were both issued for two years but the three year intent to be employed is stated in both the signed job offer and contract.
- Employment can be terminated. The principle applicant must remain employed by the specific employer associated with the work permit to remain living in Canada.
- Work Permits are issued for a specific period of time and can be renewed before expiration.