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Wanting to work in Vancouver? Preparation is key

Receiving a job offer in Vancouver can be an exciting prospect. But if you currently live in the U.S., you could be hesitant to accept because of the immigration issues you might face. With proper preparation and guidance, however, you can feel confident in accepting the offer and focusing on your new job.

Getting the right permissions

As a U.S. resident, the type of permission you may need to work legally in Canada depends on a few factors. You should be able to answer questions like:

  • What kind of work are you doing?
  • Do you plan to relocate permanently?
  • Is the job (or the requirement to be in Canada) temporary?
  • Do you have a job offer?
  • Is the job a transfer within a U.S.-based company?

Depending on your answers to these and other questions, you should be able to determine the type of work permit you need.

Your employer will need to take steps to help you secure your permit, as well. Their duties can include applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and extending the temporary job offer.

Gathering your documentation

When you travel between the U.S. and Canada for work, you will need supporting documentation. These include:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Educational documents, like diplomas, transcripts and degrees
  • Bank statements 
  • Pay slips
  • Contact information for previous employers
  • Valid job offer
  • An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if you will be travelling by air

In some cases, you may also need a work visa, which allows you to enter or re-enter the country. However, U.S. residents generally do not need to secure a work visa. You can present a passport, passport card or NEXUS card to enter the country. 

Ensuring you have all the necessary paperwork can make securing a work permit much easier. 

Anticipating possible setbacks

Hiccups or delays in the process of securing permission to work in British Columbia as a U.S. resident can cost you time, money and possibly a job. Preparation is key in this area, as well.

Issues like not having a job offer, travelling with a spouse or family member or not having a passport can be problematic. 

However, you can work with an attorney familiar with cross-border employment matters to anticipate and overcome these obstacles. With these areas handled, you can focus on your new job and future.