Temporary Residence

A temporary resident is someone who is in Canada for a temporary purpose. Temporary residents include temporary foreign workers, business visitors, refugee claimants, international students and tourists.

Our Halifax, Nova Scotia-based immigration lawyers are here to help you with your application for temporary residence status in Canada. Below are examples of typical temporary residence categories for immigrating to Canada on a temporary basis.

Temporary foreign workers

Canadian immigration rules have made temporary work in Canada more complex than ever. The process of obtaining a work permit varies depending on the type of job and whether a visa is required. Sometimes it is as simple as showing up at the border or airport with the proper paperwork. In other cases it is a complex, lengthy matter. You may need to: prove there are no Canadians available to fill the position, apply for an entry visa and attend an interview at a Canadian embassy abroad. We handle all aspects of bringing foreign workers (and their families) to Canada.

Corporate and Institutional Immigration Law

We assist in-house legal counsel and human resources departments with corporate immigration matters such as business visitors, intra-company transferees and other statutory or treaty-based work permits. We understand the time constraints human resources departments are under to fill a position so we give this type of immigration work priority and can generally turn the paperwork around within 48 hours.

Students and Visitors

Whether you want your parents to visit you in Canada or to send your son or daughter here for university, we are happy to assist with the immigration process.  Generally, these types of applications are straightforward and do not need a lawyer. However, there are many different categories of temporary residence and each Canadian embassy has slightly different application requirements. If there are any special circumstances (such as previous refusals by the Canadian embassy, or any previous criminal charges or convictions, etc) or should you simply wish to use a lawyer, we are happy to provide our representation on any temporary resident application.


The Government of Canada demands very specific requirements from the employee and employer for this type of work permit. A Caregiver is a unique category of temporary foreign worker. The initial work permit application is more comprehensive than a regular work permit application. Criminal, medical and security clearances are completed at the time of the application in the Canadian visa office in the applicant’s home. These clearances pave the way to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident.

Business Owners/Operators

There are a number of provincial immigration streams for business owners and operators. Nova Scotia has two entrepreneur programs in place, one of which is based on a temporary-to-permanent residence model and the second is for international graduates who have stayed and started a business after completing their studies here.  Other Atlantic provinces have entrepreneur programs as well, which follow a similar model to Nova Scotia’s. Generally speaking, if approved you first come on a work permit and then after a certain period of time of operating the business, can apply for nomination and permanent residence. You must apply to the entrepreneur program first so should not start or purchase a business preemptively, as it may not qualify.

In addition, we have some ideas for business owners who have senior roles to obtain a work permit as an entrepreneur which then enables them to work in Canada. This is a great option for someone who wants a faster and more flexible process than what the provincial programs offer, but it only provides temporary status. As well, Canada has made its Start Up Visa a permanent immigration program. More information on that option can be found here.