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Work Permit

For many foreign nationals who are seeking job opportunities, Canada is a prime destination. With a high level of workplace safety, fair salaries, and many opportunities for professional growth and development, the nation boasts a strong and diverse economy. In addition, working in Canada is an excellent first step for those who wish to permanently immigrate to the country.

Benefits of working in Canada

There are many advantages of working in Canada. In order to ensure the well-being of their workers, Canadian labour laws ensure that workplaces have a high degree of protection and that all employers obey those laws and regulations. Canadian salaries are also competitive and, by statute, foreign nationals are expected to be paid salaries equal to their Canadian counterparts...

Finally, some Canadian work permits allow workers' spouses and children to accompany them to Canada. Another important advantage for those interested in immigrating permanently to Canada is that a foreign national can increase their eligibility for a number of Canadian permanent residency programs by gaining Canadian work experience. The following programs award value, in varying degrees, for Canadian work experience:

  • Express Entry
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Do you need a work permit to work in Canada?

In order to work in Canada on a temporary basis, foreign skilled workers must have a temporary offer of employment from a Canadian employer and be granted a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by Employment and Social Development Canada.

What are the general eligibility requirements for work permit?

No matter where you apply, you must:

  • Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires,
  • Show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home,
  • Obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate),
  • Not be a danger to Canada’s security,
  • Be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed,
  • Not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions,
  • Not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, and
  • Give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

How are the stages to get a work permit?

There are four basic steps to getting a temporary Canadian Work Visa:

  • Employer applies for labour market impact assessment also known as LMIA (if necessary)
  • Employer extends temporary job offer to foreign workers
  • Foreign skilled worker applies for work permit
  • Work permit is issued

Step 1: Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA):

Before applying for a temporary Canadian Work Visa, in most cases, you need to qualify for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIAs). A temporary tourist visa will not provide eligibility to work within Canada

Any employer wishing to hire a foreign national through TFWP must first obtain an LMIA demonstrating that they were unable to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position. Only after obtaining an LMIA will an employer be able to officially hire a foreign national, enabling the foreign national, in turn, to apply for a Canadian work permit or Canadian permanent residence

Step 2: Employer Extends Temporary Job Offer:

The employer must send a copy of the positive LMIA along with a detailed ‘job offer letter’ to the foreign skilled worker.

Canadian companies are required by IRCC to prepare a formal employment contract or what our industry refers to as the ‘Job Offer Letter,’ which must include:

  • Job title for the position
  • Job description
  • Requirements for the temporary position
  • Details about start and end dates
  • Specifics about the salary
  • The name and address of the employer

Step 3: Foreign Skilled Worker Applies For a Work Permit

You can then apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit once you have your LMIA and 'Job Offer Letter' squared away. If the employer is in the province of Quebec, then in order to work temporarily in Quebec, you will also need to receive a Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ).

In certain situations, you would be expected to attend an interview with a visa officer while applying for a temporary foreign worker's permit. A Canada Work Permit will be granted if the visa officer is satisfied that the employment of a foreign worker will not adversely affect employment in Canada for Canadians and that the foreign worker qualifies for the job.

Step 4. Get Issued a Canadian Temporary Work Permit

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will issue the Canadian Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry when the skilled foreign worker arrives in Canada. Depending on the foreign worker’s country of citizenship, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also need to be obtained in order to enter Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

An open work permit refers to a work permit which is not tied to a single employer or location. This means that a foreign national with a valid open work permit may work for multiple employers in multiple locations throughout Canada. Certain open work permits may have additional requirements or restrictions which must be respected by foreign nationals.

Open work permits are most commonly issued through the following immigration programs:

  • Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)
  • International Experience Canada (IEC)
  • Inland Spousal or Common-Law Sponsorship
  • Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP)

Open work permits do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Benefits of an Open Work Permit

Open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any employer in Canada and the freedom to move from location to location at their own discretion. Many foreign nationals can boost their eligibility for Canadian permanent residency by acquiring Canadian work experience. Foreign nationals may track their eligibility for the following paths to permanent residence as Canadian work experience is accrued:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Even with an open work permit, foreign nationals are not eligible to accept employment from the following categories of employers:

  • Employers listed as ineligible for having been non-compliant with IRCC regulations
  • Employers regularly offering striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.

Foreign nationals in the following situations may be eligible to apply for an open work permit:

  • Spouses or common-law partners of some temporary foreign workers
  • Spouses or common-law partners of some international students
  • Some international students who have graduated from a designated program of study in Canada
  • Permanent residency applicants who have applied through the inland spousal sponsorship process
  • Some young workers participating in programs offered through International Experience Canada (IEC)
  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members

The exact eligibility requirements and application procedure varies depending on which of the above-mentioned situations a foreign national meet.

Employment and business opportunities are time sensitive and, for this reason, having a professional representative in Canada with expertise in the field of work permits is the most efficient way to proceed. In the case of work permits, the probability of rejection in situations where the application is not adequately prepared is higher. The expectations of visa officers are extremely high. The documentation and processes involved in successfully obtaining a work permit are complex and usually require professional expertise It is recommended that you seek professional immigration help to consult with your particular case.

The first step towards a successful Canadian working visa application is getting an evaluation of your case. Fill out our online immigration evaluation, and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and visa options. Call us today for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.