Last updated on June 22nd, 2021

Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

Regulation 200(3)(a) provides that an officer shall not issue a work permit to a foreign national if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the foreign national is unable to perform the work sought.

Procedural Fairness

In jurisprudence on applications for skilled worker class permits it has also been held that if the officer has concerns about the veracity of documents, procedural fairness demands that the officer make further inquires.  However, an officer is generally not under a duty to inform a skilled worker class permit applicant about his concerns when they arise directly from the requirements of the legislation or regulations.  As the Federal Court of Canada noted in Li v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 484, the same applies in work permit applications.

As the court held in Kumar v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 935, because of the legislative requirement that officers not issue work permits to foreign nationals if they believe that the foreign national is unable to perform the work sought, then even if Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s online checklist does not specifically require documents such as diplomas, academic transcripts, or certificates of English proficiency, an officer can refuse an application if they are not provided when requested by an officer.

On the specific issue of language proficiency, officers can expect more than an English language application and cover letter to verify an applicant’s ability to speak and write in English, where there are reasonable grounds to believe that such language skills are necessary to perform the work sought.

Truck Drivers

Since 2018 the Federal Court of Canada has adopted an increasingly strict approach in assessing whether prospective truck drivers can perform the work sought.

In Sangha v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 95 Justice Russel stated that “safety must surely be a pramount requirement for competence” in the case of long-haul truck drivers, and that applicants must accordingly provide evidence of compliance.

In Patel v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2021 FC 573 Justice Brown further determined that it is reasonable for an officer to consider the issue of an applicant’s ability to drive safely on Canadian roads when assessing the overall suitability of an applicant to become a Canadian long-haul truck driver, even if visa office checklists do not require this. There, the applicant had provided an Extract of Driving License which only listed driving licenses and did not list whether an individual had a history of any infractions or safety violations.