Church Admin & Finance, Ministry in Canada
Immigration Resources: U.S. Clergy to Canada
September 25, 2019
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Synod 2019 instructed the executive director, in consultation with the appropriate CRC agencies, to identify and communicate appropriate legal and financial resources to assist churches and classes with immigration of pastors and their families.
This document provides basic information that the CRCNA’s Human Resources office relies on when it assists Canadian congregations in calling a pastor from the United States. Congregations are encouraged to contact the HR office for additional questions.
U.S. Clergy to Canada (2016)
Paragraph R186(l) applies to persons whose employment will consist mainly of preaching of doctrine, presiding at liturgical functions or providing spiritual counselling, either as an ordained minister, a lay person, or a member of a religious order.
Religious or charitable work requires a work permit, but is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (see Charitable and religious work).
Persons seeking entry under the authority of R186(l) should be able to provide documentation to support their request for entry that addresses:
In exceptional cases, officers may require more information to assess the genuineness of the job offer. Any of the following information may be of assistance:
Most religions will be registered as charities or non-profit organizations under the Income Tax Act and also under provincial or territorial laws.
Processing work permit applications from religious workers (clergy, ministers, priests)
At missions or ports of entry
If a foreign national who is normally authorized to work under R186(l) applies to a mission or a port of entry (POE) for a work permit, the application must be considered under R200(1).
R205(d) also applies to religious workers who are described in R186(l) should they choose to apply for a work permit instead of a temporary resident visa or visitor record. LMIA exemption code C50 applies. See International Mobility Program: Canadian interests – charitable or religious work [R205(d) – C50.
At the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville
Religious workers who are in Canada and who were initially authorized to preach doctrine or minister to a congregation pursuant to R186(l) may apply for work permits to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V) under R199(b) using the LMIA exemption C50. See International Mobility Program: Canadian interests – charitable or religious work [R205(d) – C50.
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