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Last Updated: January 11, 2024

Canadian Work Permit

Canada is a very popular country regarding opportunities, making it a most sought-after destination for immigrants. The application process for the work permit is relatively stress-free if one has all of the necessary documents and is prepared. The country offers a high quality of living with people being able to afford what they need regardless of the amount they earn. It is also considered to be a safe place for immigrants with people that are friendly and welcoming even to immigrants. The permit procedures for the country are easy to follow when compared to those of other countries since they are also encouraging people to apply for permits.

Candidates will be able to apply for work permits through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website or a Canadian visa office. The processing time for most work permits ranges between 4 to 5 months depending on the country the candidate has applied from. They must have adequate funds to support themselves during their stay and also not have any criminal records that can be a threat to the country. The details for the kinds of permits candidates can get have been provided below.

Types of Work Permit and Eligibility

Under the IEC (International Experience Canada) scheme (Citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, S. Korea are eligible) professionals can get permits (without sponsorship from eligible employers). Before starting to work in Canada, a temporary work permit is mandatory. This allows the individual to work for a specific employer or any employer as per the type of permit.

There are two types of work permits that individuals can apply for based on the profession they plan to do in the country. These are the Open Work permits and the Employer-Specific Work permits. The details regarding the permit and its eligibility criteria have been mentioned below.

Type 1- Open Work Permit

The Open Work permit lets individuals work for any employer in the country. It isn't job-specific and during the application process, individuals will not require a Labor Market Impact Assessment/LMIA. They will also not need proof showing that their employer has submitted an employment offer in the Employer Portal nor if they have paid the compliance fee.

Though they are allowed to work for any employer, they will not be allowed to work for ineligible employers to be on the list of eligible employers because they have not complied with the conditions provided by the government. They won’t be able to work for people who offer striptease, erotic dance, and the like regularly. This permit can be applied for only if there is a temporary job offer. After the initial step, the employer must be willing to extend the job offer and sponsor the employee.

Eligibility for Open Work Permit

The people who are eligible for an open work permit are-

Work Permits/Visa Programs Considered as Open Work Permits

A few of the work permits that are considered to be Open Work Permits are-

Regular Open Work Permit

Individuals who are not eligible to take any of the different kinds of work permits for Canada will be able to take a Regular Open Work permit. They will be able to do so from outside the country.

Temporary Resident Permit

This permit allows people who are considered inadmissible to visit the country for a purpose that will be beneficial for the country or its citizens. It covers both medical and criminal inadmissibility. Individuals who have this visa will be able to do specific work they have been assigned, visit family, and be in the country for other emergency reasons.

Temporary Work Permits for Spouses or Partners

This permit will allow spouses/common-law partners of individuals who have applied for permanent residence to seek employment.

Post Graduation Work Permit

This permit will allow students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution to work within the country for experience.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Spousal Permit

This allows the spouses or common-law partners of Atlantic Immigration Pilot program applicants to apply for a work permit.

Working Holiday Permit

Candidates between the ages of 18 and 30 who are part of the International Experience Canada/IEC pool will be able to holiday and work in the country simultaneously if eligible for this visa.

Bridging Open Work Permit

The candidate can remain and work in Canada with this special work permit while they wait for the outcome of their application for permanent residence. The applicant must have a valid work permit and be in Canada at the time of application.

Type 2- Employer-Specific Work Permit

This permit allows candidates to work in Canada for a specific period under a specific employer in the country. This work permit will have conditions and limitations that are exclusive to the profession the candidate has chosen. It requires them to have a Labor Market Impact Assessment/LMIA.

Temporary Foreigner Worker Program/TFWP

This program allows employers in Canada to hire temporary foreign workers when there is a labor shortage in the country for certain posts. The job positions that can be provided under this program have been specified and employers will have to clear the LMIA/Labor Market Impact Assessment before hiring candidates.

The hiring process will be handled through the International Mobility Program/IMP and candidates will be provided with Employer-Specific Work Permits. The streams that come under this visa are job-specific and can be listed as follows-

International Mobility Program

This program allows employers from Canada to hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Employers will have to submit the offer for employment through an Employer Portal after which eligible candidates will be able to apply for the work permit. The work permits issued under this program can either be open or employer-specific. The different forms of this program are-

Who Needs to Apply for the Work Permit?

Any individual without a criminal record will be able to apply for a work permit to enter Canada. The requirements that the candidate will have to meet will vary from the country or territory they are applying from. The people who do not require or are exempt from requiring work permits are-

Cost of a Canadian Work Permit

The cost for the work permit and for restoring one’s status as a worker is as follows-
Type of PermitFee
Work Permit including extensions (per person) $CAN155
Work permit including extensions (per group of 3) $CAN465
Open Work Permit Holder$CAN100
Restore Worker Status$CAN384
  • per person- $CAN85
  • per family- $CAN170
  • per group of 3- $CAN255

Steps to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit

Employer Must Apply for Labor Market Impact Assessment (for OWP)

The first step in obtaining this permit involves the employer applying to the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for an LMIA/Labor Market Impact Assessment. HRSDC's job is to analyze whether the prospective employee has a positive or a negative impact on Canada's labor market. This application takes anywhere around 3-11 weeks to be processed. An LMIA is not required only in special cases such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, beneficial output to the Canadian government, reciprocal agreements with other countries, open work permits, and charitable work.

Employer Must Send a Temporary Job Offer

After the employer has cleared the LMIA, they will be able to offer jobs to foreign applicants who wish to work in Canada. The job offer must be sent in the form of a letter that contains the

Individual Must Apply for Work Permit

Once they have received a copy of the LMIA from their employer, they will be able to gather all the documents required for the particular visa they need. The application will demand specific answers from the applicant which will have to be carefully prepared by them. Once this step has been completed, they can create an online account on the immigration website where they will be able to see a personalized checklist for the visa they seek. After submitting the documents, candidates will have to pay the respective amount and submit the application.

Wait for Work Permit to be Issued

The Canadian Temporary Work Permit will be provided to the candidate at their point of entry into the country. Some candidates will be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa before entering the country depending on their citizenship. For individuals who have received the offer letter for a managerial or executive position and an NOC A professional level worker, two weeks will be provided for application processing.

Documents Required While Applying for Work Permit

The basic documents required while applying for a work permit are- The additional documents required if the permit requires an LMIA are-

Work Permit Processing Time

Candidates applying for a Canada Work Permit will have to apply for the same 6 months before the date of their intended visit. The processing time for a Canada permit can range anywhere between 1 to 9 months depending on the country the candidate is applying from. For instance, when applying from outside Canada, the permit processing time for candidates from-

Renewing the Canadian Work Permit

Individuals who wish to renew their work permits will be able to do so if they apply within 30 days before the expiry of their current work permits. Once the candidate has applied for an extension, they will be able to stay in Canada even if their current permit has expired while the application is being processed. If the candidate wishes to stay in the country permanently, they will have to check whether they qualify for permanent residence. If not, they will be able to get another temporary permit.

Procedure for Renewal

The process involved in applying for a renewal of a work permit is as follows-

Some Things to Remember

Work Visa