Terms and definitions related to temporary residents

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

academic program

A post-secondary program that awards academic credentials. The normal entrance requirement is high school completion or higher. This program is often delivered at institutions that award an academic degree, diploma or certificate, including any of the following:

  • universities
  • colleges
  • CEGEPs
  • seminaries
  • institutes of technology
administrative monetary penalty (AMP) [R209.98]

A financial sanction imposed on an employer as a result of an officer’s final determination that the employer has failed to comply with one ofU.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are seeking to the conditions set out in the provisions listed in column 1 of Table 1 of Schedule 2, and that the failure is not justified under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). AMPs range from $500 to $100,000 per incident, with a total that cannot exceed $1 million in a single notice of preliminary finding or notice of final determination, or over the 1-year period preceding the date on which a notice of final determination was made.

admissibility determination

The process carried out by a delegated officer to determine whether a foreign national is admissible to enter Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

adverse information

Sometimes referred to as “derogatory information.” Information related to a previous negative determination made pursuant to immigration laws, or other information that may be relevant to an inadmissibility or ineligibility.


Affiliate, such as within the context of intra-company transferees, means:

  • one of two subsidiaries, both of which are owned and controlled by the same parent or individual; or
  • one of two legal entities, owned and controlled by the same group of individuals, each individual owning and controlling approximately the same share or proportion of each company.
approved in principle / approval in principle

Your application is approved in principle if

  • you have received a letter from IRCC stating that you meet the permanent residence eligibility requirements, but
  • you still have to pass the medical, security and background checks for you and, if needed, your family members
asylum seeker / refugee claimant

Foreign national seeking protection at an inland office or at a port of entry.

automated decision-making

When there is no adverse information on the client, the Global Case Management System (GCMS) is able to approve the electronic travel authorization (eTA) application with no manual/human intervention.

eTA applications not automatically approved by the system are manually processed by the Operations Support Centre (OSC).

ban [R209.99]

A period of ineligibility to employ a foreign national for whom a work permit is required as a result of an officer’s final determination that the employer has failed to comply with one of the conditions set out in the provisions listed in column 1 of Table 1 of Schedule 2, and that the failure is not justified under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Ineligibility periods can be for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years or, in serious cases, there can be a permanent ban from the International Mobility Program(IMP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program(TFWP).

biographic data / passport data
Personal identifying information (for example, name, date of birth), excluding biometric data, found inside a passport
biometric information
Biometric information consists of certain physical characteristics that uniquely distinguish one person from another and that can be used to establish a record of and confirm an individual’s identity with a high level of certainty. Examples are fingerprints and facial features. Accurately establishing identity is an important part of immigration decisions and helps keep Canadians safe. Biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) have played an important role in supporting immigration screening and decision-making in Canada.
A branch is an operating division or office of the same organization housed in a different location.
See enterprise.
business candidate

A business candidate is a foreign national who has been accepted by a province or territory into a business or entrepreneur program for immigration. They are seeking entry to start or run their business to meet the requirements for the provincial business immigration program as an entrepreneur prior to receiving a formal provincial nomination.

business people

Business people come to do business under a free trade agreement.

They are a citizen of the country in the free trade agreement who is engaged in trade in goods, the provision of services or the conduct of investment activities.

business visitor

A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada to take part in international business activities without being part of the Canadian labour market. Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks but are able to stay for up to 6 months.

Business visitors do not need a work permit if they can prove that their main source of income and their main place of business remain outside Canada.

Under specific free trade agreements, business visitors engage in international business activities related to research and design; growth, manufacturing and production; marketing; sales; distribution; after-sales service; and general service. These activities reflect the components of a business cycle.

calculation of points [R209.991]

The activity of using assessment criteria provided in Tables 4 and 5 of Schedule 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to determine points for a violation. Once the total points are determined for a violation, the sanction is set out in Tables 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 of the IRPR.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

On July 1, 2020, the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) entered into force, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Under CUSMA, citizens of each country can enter the other more easily for business.

CUSMA applies to 4 types of business people:

  • business visitors
  • professionals
  • intra-company transferees
  • traders and investors

Caregivers are foreign nationals who are completing duties listed under National Occupational Classification (NOC) 4411 (home child care provider) or 4412 (home support worker).

Note: Caregivers with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for in-home caregiving occupations (live-in and live-out) are not part of the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). A live-in caregiver under the LCP is a person who resides and provides child care, senior home support care or care of the disabled without supervision in the private household in Canada where the person being cared for resides. This program has been closed to new applicants since November 30, 2014.

For information on the different caregiver programs, see Overview of changes for work permits issued to caregivers.

case processing agent
In the context of the electronic travel authorization (eTA), level 1 decision maker for non-complex decision-making and information gathering.
case processing officer
In the context of the electronic travel authorization (eTA), level 2 decision maker responsible for complex decision-making and information gathering.
Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (Attestation of issuance of a CAQ)

A document issued by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) to foreign nationals who are destined to Quebec for a temporary purpose.

A temporary worker must apply for a CAQ with MIFI before coming to Quebec to work if their employer needs to obtain a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). A CAQ is not required for workers who are LMIA exempt under the International Mobility Program (IMP).

A foreign student must obtain a CAQ before studying in Quebec. With few exemptions, applicants for study permits destined to a Quebec educational institution must submit a CAQ when applying for a study permit. This includes part-time courses or courses delivered by private institutions.

Related definitions: letter of acceptance

Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)

A document issued by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) to foreign nationals who are destined to Quebec for a permanent purpose.

To apply as a permanent skilled worker in Quebec, foreign nationals must apply to the Quebec government for a CSQ, then apply to IRCC to become a permanent resident of Canada.

charitable organization
A charitable organization has a mandate to relieve poverty, or benefit the community or educational or religious institutions. It may be a registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency.
charitable worker

A charitable worker usually takes a position involving an activity that meets the definition of work and requires a work permit because they are a participant in a competitive activity or are being paid wages (for example, group home worker, carpenter for Habitat for Humanity).

There is a difference between a charitable worker, who needs a work permit, and a volunteer worker, who is work permit exempt. The difference is based on the definition of “work” and entry into the labour market.

See also volunteer worker.

Please see child.
client self-service Online Portal (also known as MyIRCC account)

The client self-service Online Portal, also known as MyIRCC account, allows clients to submit e-applications and obtain certain services electronically from IRCC.

For more information, see IRCC Portals.

Come to Canada Wizard

The Come to Canada Wizard is an interactive online tool available on the IRCC external public website. It’s designed to help foreign national clients interested in coming to Canada determine what options are available to them for coming to Canada temporarily or moving here permanently and choose the right type of application to submit to IRCC.

The client answers a series of questions to tell them what programs they may be eligible for. If eligible, the client is provided with a detailed list of instructions on what to do next.

All information is provided in a non-secure environment. Personal information, such as the candidate’s name, is not collected.

consular officer (foreign government)
Refers to a person accredited with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as a member of a consular post within Canada. Consular posts are foreign government offices established outside of the National Capital Region to provide service to nationals of their community and liaise with Canadian officials on common points of interest (for example, education, tourism, trade). Persons holding the rank of Consul General, Deputy Consul General or Vice Consul General, Consul, Vice-Consul or Deputy Consul, or Consular Agent are consular officers.
co-op work permit

An open work permit issued to study permit holders to perform co-op work under subparagraph 205(c)(i.1) or (i.2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Related definitions: co-op work, post-secondary, and co-op work, secondary

co-op work, post-secondary

Work that is an essential part of a program offered by a designated learning institution (DLI), as established in the letter of acceptance provided by the institution. This type of work cannot form more than 50% of the total program of study.

Related definitions: training, academic, and co-op work permit

co-op work, secondary

Work that is an essential part of a Canadian program at the secondary school level. This includes vocational training programs offered by a designated learning institution (DLI) in Quebec and programs that require students to work in order to obtain their secondary or high school diploma or certificate of graduation.

day camp
A day camp is one where the campers return home every day or only stay a weekend. Counsellors at day camps generally require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a work permit, because the same element of international reciprocity demonstrated by residential camp counsellors has not been shown to exist with day camps. All applicable fees must be paid.
deemed rehabilitated [A36(3)(c) and R18]
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations provide for a person convicted of relatively minor crimes to be considered rehabilitated without having to apply for rehabilitation after a certain period of time (5 or 10 years, depending on the level of the offence) has elapsed with no further offences. A person who is rehabilitated or deemed rehabilitated is no longer inadmissible.
dependent child
Please see dependent child.
derogatory information
See adverse information.
designated learning institution (DLI)

An educational institution that has been designated by the government of the province or territory in which it is located to host international students, or any primary- or secondary-level learning institution. The issuance of study permits is limited to applicants who have been accepted to undertake a program of study at a DLI.

See the DLIs list

diplomatic agent

In Canada, this refers to a person who is accredited with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as a member of a diplomatic mission. Diplomatic missions are the foreign government offices established in the National Capital Region and accredited with the Government of Canada to conduct diplomatic relations.

The designations that the Canadian Government accepts are Ambassador, High Commissioner, Nuncio, Chargé d’affaires en pied, Chargé d’affaires ad interim, Acting High Commissioner (in the absence of the Head of Mission), Minister Plenipotentiary, Minister, Minister-Counsellor, Counsellor, First Secretary, Second Secretary, Third Secretary, Attaché, Deputy High Commissioner (for High Commissions), Deputy Head of Mission (for Embassies), First Counsellor, Second Counsellor, Third Counsellor, and Assistant Attaché.

doing business

Doing business means regularly, systematically, and continuously providing goods and/or services by a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada and the foreign country, as the case may be.

For more information, see intra-company transferees.

dual intent
A foreign national is considered to have dual intent when they have applied for permanent residence in Canada but also apply to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, worker or student. Dual intent on the part of the applicant is therefore not prima facie grounds for refusal of temporary resident status. [A22(2)]
electronic facilitation counterfoil (eFoil)
Please see electronic facilitation counterfoil (eFoil).
electronic travel authorization (eTA)

A paperless authorization that is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. An eTA is required of all visa-exempt foreign nationals, except U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are seeking to travel to or transit through Canada by air. Certain low-risk foreign nationals from select visa-required countries may also be eligible to obtain an eTA to travel to Canada by air via the eTA expansion program.


An employer can be defined as a person, firm, corporation, contractor, or other association or organization in Canada that

  • is provided with an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or
  • submits an offer of employment to IRCC, as required under the International Mobility Program (IMP)

The Canadian company that hires a temporary worker directly or accepts a transfer from a foreign company is the only employer. This company must complete and submit an offer of employment.

The Canadian company that contracts the services of a foreign company must complete and submit the offer of employment,not the foreign company. This is because it is the Canadian company that is creating the need for the temporary worker to enter Canada. The Canadian company must submit the offer even if

  • the temporary worker is, and will stay, an employee of the foreign company
  • the foreign company is paying the temporary worker’s wages
Employer Portal

The online system provided by the Minister to be used by employers to submit offers of employment for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt foreign nationals as required by section 209.11 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

For more information. refer to the

Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), any entity constituted or organized under applicable law, whether or not for profit, and whether privately owned or owned by government, including any corporation, trust, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture or other association.
Enterprise of a Party
means an enterprise constituted or organized under the law of a Party.

A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks to do so. They would be hiring others outside of their family members to carry out the activities of the business. While they may manage a business, they should not also be carrying out the duties of an employee.

executive capacity

Executive capacity refers to a position in which the employee primarily

  • directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization
  • establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component or function
  • exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making and
  • receives only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors or stockholders of the organization
family member
Please see family member.
farm, commercial
A commercial venture undertaken with an expectation of profit. Thus, if the farm owner realistically expects to make a profit from the farming activities, this is considered a commercial farm. Commercial farms generally hire outside (steady) employees.
farm, non-commercial
A non-commercial farm generally means a farm where the farm family provides much of the capital and labour for the farm and where the production of agricultural products is to provide for the basic needs of the family, with little extra to sell for the profit of the family. This form of farming is commonly known as “subsistence,” “hobby” or “family” farming (this is not to be confused with a commercial farm that is owned and/or operated by a family).
foreign crew member

A foreign national who is a member of a crew and

  • who is employed on a means of transportation (vessel, plane, train or vehicle) that is foreign owned
  • whose duties are performed during an international voyage or trip (travelling into Canada and out again) or while in port (at dock or standby) and
  • whose duties are related to the operation of the means of transportation or the provision of services to passengers or other members of the crew
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

An international agreement that provides the basis for giving some foreign business people easier access to Canada. Many countries that are members of the World Trade Organization have signed the agreement.

Three kinds of business people are covered:

  • business visitors
  • professionals
  • employees transferred within a company to work in Canada
head company
The headquarters of an organization or main office.
If there is more than one unique client identifier (UCI) for the same client, this is a data integrity issue. As there is no way to delete a record from the Global Case Management System (GCMS) once it is promoted, the UCIs must be linked by performing a household. When a household is done, the multiple IDs will still exist but they will be linked together.
identity reconciliation

In the context of the electronic travel authorization (eTA), applications can drop out of the automated process flow if the system cannot automatically confirm an applicant’s identity. In these instances, applications are referred for manual review and an officer is responsible for determining with which unique client identifier (UCI) the application should be associated.

Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)

The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) hears and decides appeals on immigration matters such as appeals from refused sponsorship applications and from removal orders.

Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) System

This system, owned by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), assists airlines in verifying that all travellers have the appropriate documents to travel to or transit through Canada by air. The IAPI system provides a unique “board” or “no-board” message to air carriers at the time of check-in.

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an association of over 220 of the world’s airlines, with headquarters in Montreal. IATA’s mission is to represent and serve the airline industry. Its goals include the promotion of safe, reliable and secure services, the provision of industry-required products and services and the development of cost-effective and environmentally friendly standards and procedures to facilitate the operation of international air transport.

International Experience Canada (IEC)

A youth exchange program allowing Canadians 18 to 35 to live and work in other countries, generally for up to 1 year at a time. The reciprocity of the program allows for youth from these same countries to live and work in Canada for up to 2 years depending on the agreement under which the application is made.

intra-company transferee

A qualified employee who is transferred within a multi-national company to work in Canada on a temporary basis for a parent, a subsidiary, a branch, or an affiliate of that enterprise.

labour certification test

In Canada, under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), this means the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) of a job offer for a temporary foreign worker. [R203]

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMIA, issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or Service Canada, will show that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill a job and that there is no Canadian or permanent resident worker available to do the job.

large business [R209.93]

Any business that has more than 100 employees or more than $5 million in annual gross revenues.

See also small business.

letter of acceptance

A document issued by a designated learning institution (DLI) that establishes a study permit applicant’s acceptance into a program of study at that institution.

letter of acceptance, conditional

A document issued by a designated learning institution (DLI) that establishes a study permit applicant’s acceptance into a program of study contingent on successful completion of a pre-requisite program.

See also pre-requisite program.

licenced occupation

See regulated occupation/profession

list of employers who did not comply with the conditions [R209.997]

If an officer makes a final determination that the employer has committed a violation by failing to comply with one of the conditions set out in the provisions listed in column 1 of Table 1 of Schedule 2 resulting in two points or more, the following information must be added to the list posted on the IRCC website, as set out in subsection 209.997(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR): the employer’s name; the employer’s address; the criteria set out in subclause 200(1)(c)(ii.1)(B)(I) or subparagraph 203(1)(e)(i) that were not satisfied or the conditions set out in the provisions listed in column 1 of Table 1 of Schedule 2 with which the employer failed to comply; the day on which the determination was made; the eligibility status of the employer; and, if applicable, the administrative monetary penalty (AMP) amount and the ineligibility period.

maintained status

If a temporary resident, who may also have authorization to study or work, applies to extend their status prior to the expiry of that status, they may legally remain in Canada until a decision is made on the application. In this situation, the person has maintained status.

managerial capacity

A position in which the employee primarily manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization.

manual review

In the context of an electronic travel authorization (eTA), when eTA applications cannot be automatically approved, they are referred by the system for manual review at the Operations Support Centre (OSC). Applications will require a manual review at different stages for either or both of the following reasons:

  • identity reconciliation
  • derogatory information
minor child

In Canada, each province or territory defines the age of majority. Anyone under the age of majority at the time of their arrival in Canada is considered to be a minor child.

The age of majority is 18 in

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

The age of majority is 19 in

  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

Note: A dependent child has a different definition. See dependent child.

National Occupational Classification (NOC)

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the official governmental classification and description of occupations in the Canadian economy. The NOC identifies and groups occupations in the Canadian economy by skill type and level based on the tasks, duties and responsibilities of the occupation.

notice of final determination [R209.996]

The final determination sent to an employer that they have committed a violation because they failed to comply with one or more of the conditions set out in the provisions listed in column 1 of Table 1 of Schedule 2 and because the failure to do so was not justified under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). The notice of final determination must include the information outlined in subsection R209.996(4). This determination is final and binding except for judicial review.

notice of preliminary finding [R209.993]

The initial notice sent to an employer to inform them that a violation was assessed to have been committed and state the potential sanction that may apply. The notice of preliminary finding must include the information outlined in subsection 209.993(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

off-campus work

Work undertaken by a study permit holder that takes place outside the boundaries of the campus of the educational institution at which the student is registered. Certain students can perform this type of work for up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full time during regularly scheduled breaks between academic sessions without a work permit, under paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Related definitions: on-campus work, study permit, work

on-campus work

Work undertaken at facilities within the boundaries of the campus of the educational institution at which the student is registered. Post-secondary study permit holders may work on the campus of the university or college at which they are a full-time student as per paragraph 186(f) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Related definitions: off-campus work, study permit, work

open work permit

An open work permit enables the holder to seek and accept employment, and to work for any employer for a specified period of time. An open permit may, however, restrict the occupation or location.

opportunity to respond [R209.994]

After a notice of preliminary finding is issued, employers will be given the opportunity to make written submissions regarding the information in the notice within 30 days after it is deemed received. A notice of preliminary finding is deemed to have been received 10 days after the day on which it was sent. An employer may be granted an extension to this opportunity to respond if the IRCC officer is satisfied that there is a reasonable explanation (for example, force majeure) justifying its extension.

overseas refugee applicant

Foreign national seeking protection from outside Canada.

parent company

A firm, corporation or other legal entity that has subsidiaries.

permanent resident

A foreign national who has acquired permanent resident status and has not subsequently lost it.

permit holder

A person who is in Canada on a valid temporary resident permit.

persons with disabilities

A person who is physically or mentally impaired, or is lacking one or more physical or mental capacities, as per the attestation of a medical doctor.

port of entry (POE) information report

A reporting system that gives visa offices abroad feedback on their decisions for issuing temporary resident visas and helps to monitor the effectiveness of the program by providing full details on refusals to the issuing visa office abroad in anticipation of future representations being made. Reports are added by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers to the original file and cross-indexed to the files of family members. For further details, refer to ENF 4, section 13.11 (PDF, 1.6 MB).

post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

An open work permit, valid for up to 3 years, available to foreign nationals who have graduated from certain programs offered by eligible designated learning institutions.

Related definitions: designated learning institution (DLI), open work permit

pre-requisite program

A program that an international student must successfully complete before they may register in a subsequent program at a designated learning institution (DLI), as described in a conditional letter of acceptance. Common examples are English as a second language (ESL) or French as a second language (FSL) programs.

principal foreign national

The first foreign national in a couple who applied for a study permit or a work permit. In the eligibility assessment, the principal foreign national remains the principal applicant in the couple.

procedural fairness

Requires that applicants receive a fair and unbiased assessment of their application and that they be given a fair opportunity to address eligibility or admissibility concerns in the decision-making process. The requirement for procedural fairness applies to all types of immigration applications and all aspects of decision-making.

promotion agent

In the context of temporary residence applications, promotion agents are employees of the Operations Support Centre (OSC) and are responsible for the promotion of all temporary residence applications that drop out to the OSC.


A step taken to make an application “real” or “live” in the Global Case Management System (GCMS). Prospective applications are found in the system and need to be promoted in order to begin processing.

prospective application

Before the application is “real” or “live” in the Global Case Management System (GCMS), it is called a prospective application (or a “draft” application). Once the application is promoted, it is no longer prospective.

protected temporary residents class

Please see protected temporary residents class.

reciprocal employment

Work that would create or maintain reciprocal employment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada in other countries. [R205(b)]

refusal code

Code corresponding to a statutory ground of inadmissibility or ineligibility.

regulated profession/occupation

A regulated occupation (profession) is an occupation that is controlled by provincial or territorial, and sometimes federal, law. The provinces or territories may designate a professional or regulatory body to govern the occupation. These occupations require the worker to be licensed to be employed in them.

regulatory body

The entity designated by the provinces or territories to govern an occupation. The professional or regulatory body has the authority to set entry requirements and standards of practice that lead to a certification or licensure. An example of a regulated profession is nursing, and one of a skilled trade is plumbing.

removal order enforced

A removal order is enforced when a foreign national confirms their departure from Canada, physically departs Canada, and is authorized to enter the country of destination.

residential camp

A residential camp is one where the campers and the camp counsellors stay overnight at the camp for more than a weekend.


In the context of the electronic travel authorization (eTA), revalidation is a process where a valid eTA is reassessed by an officer at either IRCC or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) based on new adverse information received. The process of revalidation may lead to the cancellation of an active document and the refusal of the associated application.


A consequence to a violation, set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and determined based on the points tables in Schedule 2. The sanctions set out in the IRPR are

  1. administrative monetary penalty (AMP)
  2. ban

Some secondary consequences may occur as a result of a violation, such as the publication of the employer’s name on the list of employers who did not comply with the conditions on the IRCC website and the revocation of any work permits or Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) linked to an employer who is ineligible to employ a foreign national for whom a work permit is required.


A person who works for themselves as the owner of a business and rarely hire people outside of their family members. While many individuals are the “owners” of the business, they typically carry out all the responsibilities of an employee.

small business [209.93]

A small business is any business, including its affiliates, that has fewer than 100 employees or less than $5 million in annual gross revenues at the time a request for an assessment under subsection 203(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) is received, or if no such request is made, at the time a copy of an offer of employment for a work permit application is provided to the Minister under paragraph R209.11(1)(d).

specialized knowledge

Special knowledge an individual has of a company’s product or service and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures (the product, process and service can include research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests).

stakes race

A horse race in which part of the prize money comes from the owners of the horses through nomination and entry fees, hence owners having a stake in the race.


Any academic, professional, vocational or other education or training, except for the following:

  • pre-school (pre-kindergarten)
  • courses of general interest or self-improvement
  • distance learning
  • audited courses (typically characterized by sitting in on an academic course without obtaining credit for it or having the ability to obtain credit for it retroactively)

Related definitions: training, study permit

study permit

A document issued by IRCC that authorizes a foreign national to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada for the duration of the program of study. While anyone studying in Canada may apply for a study permit, it is only required for programs 6 months or more in duration. Study permits authorize certain students to work without a work permit.

Related definitions: studies, off-campus work, on-campus work


A firm, corporation, or other legal entity of which a parent company

  • owns, directly or indirectly, half or more than half of the entity and controls the entity;
  • owns, directly or indirectly, 50% of a 50-50 joint venture and has equal control and veto power over the entity; or
  • owns, directly or indirectly, less than half of the entity, but, in fact, controls the entity.

The charts used to apply assessment criteria to a given violation and to calculate the total points for a violation and its associated sanction. The 5 tables are located in Schedule 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

temporary resident permit (TRP) [A24(1)]

A temporary resident permit (TRP) is a discretionary document that may be issued to a client to overcome an inadmissibility or non-compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), allowing them to enter or remain in Canada as a temporary resident, where justified by exceptional circumstances.

temporary resident status

A foreign national has temporary resident status when they have been found to meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations to enter or remain in Canada. Visitors, students, workers and temporary resident permit holders may also have temporary resident status. Only foreign nationals physically in Canada hold temporary resident status.

temporary resident visa (TRV)

A temporary resident visa (TRV) (IMM 1346) is a counterfoil issued in a passport or travel document by an IRCC officer to allow for travel to Canada. The holder of a TRV is a person who, in an officer’s opinion, meets the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations [R179] and may become a temporary resident upon admission to Canada. However, a TRV does not guarantee entry to Canada, nor does it give a foreign national temporary status.

training, academic

Temporary professional employment related to an academic program. It is a direct application of course work or research to a professional position in the field of study of a student. Academic training is generally completed in conjunction with post-secondary studies granting a certificate, diploma or degree. Examples include articling for law students, cooperative education placements and medical internships.

training, professional

A type of training usually offered to a person who is already a professional in a given field. Professional development is generally accredited; that is, it is recognized by an industry, association or profession. Professional training can be offered by learning institutions, professional associations, regulatory bodies or unions.

Examples include real estate appraisal, production and inventory control, food services management, and specialty courses for lawyers, doctors, business administrators, engineers, dentists, teachers and counsellors.

training, vocational

Preparation for a specific occupation in an industry or a trade that is generally accredited. It may be offered through on-the-job programs, by unions in conjunction with businesses or employers or by learning institutions in conjunction with a specific industry or employer. This training may include any of the following:

  • technical training
  • organizational training
  • basic skills training
Transit Without Visa (TWOV) Program and China Transit Program (CTP)

The TWOV Program and CTP are programs that IRCC offers for individuals who have already obtained a visa from the United States who are transiting through Canada to get to their American destination. TWOV and CTP participants are exempt from the electronic travel authorization (eTA) requirement.

transportation operator

In the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), a transportation operator means a natural person (human being as opposed to a corporate “person” [company]), other than a tour bus operator, including relief personnel accompanying or following to join, necessary for the operation of a vehicle for the duration of a trip.

unique client identifier (UCI)
The UCI is a number associated with a client in the Global Case Management System (GCMS). This identifier is assigned to the client and will follow them throughout their entire immigration history, as all applications will be stored under the UCI. Each IRCC client should only have one UCI.
violation [R209.95(1)]

An employer who fails to comply with one of the program conditions set out in the provisions listed in column 1 of Table 1 of Schedule 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), if the failure to do so is not justified under subsection R209.2(3) or (4) or 209.4(2), commits a violation.

visa application centre (VAC)

VACs are managed by private companies and are authorized to provide specific administrative services to visa applicants under the terms of a formal contract with the Government of Canada. Paper applications are electronically uploaded by VACs. VACs help clients by answering questions in local languages, ensuring that applications are complete, securely transmitting application documents and passports to the visa office, securely returning passport and decision documents to the applicant, offering a tracking service for applications and scheduling interviews. They are equipped to collect biometric information and may also provide services such as application photographs and photocopies for additional fees. They do not play a role in the decision-making process and may not provide any visa-related advice to applicants. All decisions on applications are made by migration officers. VACs do not represent the Government of Canada.

visa-exempt foreign national

An individual who is not a citizen of Canada and who is not required to obtain a visa for the purpose of travel based on their country of nationality or specific circumstances as provided in section 190 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

voluntary disclosure

An unsolicited submission of information by an employer linked to that employer’s potential non-compliance with the conditions listed in section 209.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Voluntary disclosure provides employers with the opportunity to disclose potential non-compliance with program conditions and promotes compliance in line with the principle of proportionality. Voluntary disclosure only applies to potential non-compliance that occurs on or after December 2, 2015.

volunteer worker

A volunteer worker whose activity is incidental to their main purpose for entering Canada and does not meet the definition of work does not require a work permit (for example, being a Big Brother or Big Sister to a child, being on the telephone line at a rape crisis centre, canvassing for donations).

There is a difference between a charitable worker, who needs a work permit, and a volunteer worker, who is work permit exempt. The difference is based on the definition of “work” and entry into the labour market.

See also charitable worker.

wages or commission

This includes salary or wages paid by an employer to an employee, remuneration or commission received for fulfilling a service contract and any other situation where a foreign national receives payment for performing a service.


A letter informing the employer that there is no administrative monetary penalty for the violation but the violation will be considered in the calculation of the total points for any subsequent violation.


Work is defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) as an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or an activity that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.

For guidance about applying this definition, visit What is work?

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