Working in Canada as a Result of a Reciprocal Employment Opportunity

Last updated: 16 October 2020

This provision allows for admission of workers in cases where reciprocity is demonstrated by the Canadian employer. Does your company have a global mobility program? If so you may be eligible for a Canadian work permit.

This program allows foreign workers to take up employment in Canada when Canadians have similar reciprocal opportunities abroad. Entry under reciprocal provisions should result in a neutral labour market impact. The employer or the applicant bears the burden of demonstrating the existence of reciprocity.

Demonstrating reciprocity

Reciprocity may be explicitly indicated in the exchange agreement between the Canadian and foreign parties, a letter from the receiving Canadian institution, or an employment contract.

It is generally recommended to look at a company’s HR Plan or its “Global Mobility Policy “, which may provide evidence that an exchange program is in place and, depending on the balance of bilateral flow, may indicate that it is reciprocal in practice.

Although reciprocity does not need to be exact (i.e. one for one exchange), the number of exchanges should be reasonably similar on an annual basis. In assessing reciprocity, one should consider the relative number and percentage.

Officers can also consider not only the number of individuals working in Canada and abroad, but also employment duration and job level, in determining whether there is reciprocity.

Should the reviewing officer not be satisfied with the presented evidence, the work permit may be refused, and the applicant may be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment before a work permit can be issued.