How to Get a Permit to Work in Canada

A lot of people from other countries move to Canada to look for work. Working in Canada is a great first step for people who want to live there permanently.

Since there are so many job opportunities in Canada, many people might think about getting a work permit.

We’ll talk about what you need to do to get a work permit in Canada.

To begin, we’d define a work permit.


What is a Work Permit

A work permit is a legal document authorizing a foreign national to engage in employment within Canada.

Each year, Canada gives about half a million work permits to momentary foreign workers around the world.


Eligibility to Apply for a Work Permit


Most foreigners who want to work in Canada need a work permit, but there are a few exceptions.

To apply for a work permit, most people will need a job offer in Canada and a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

In some cases, a foreign worker can apply for a work permit even if they don’t have an LMIA or a job offer.

This could be a recent graduate of a Canadian Designated Learning Institute (DLI) or the spouse of someone who already has a work or study permit in Canada.

To be eligible for a work permit, candidates must also meet the following requirements:

Show that they plan to leave when their permission to work runs out.
Show that they have enough money to live in Canada with their families and get back home.
Are not criminals or sick people who can’t go to Canada.
Make plans to work for a company with a good name.
Can show whatever documents are needed to make sure they are allowed to enter Canada.


Types of work permits in Canada


In Canada, there are different kinds of work permits, which will be talked about below.

Some work permits need an offer of work from a Canadian employer, others need the employer to show a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and still others need a connection to Canada (previous education, spousal sponsorship, etc.).

Now, we’ll talk about the different types of work permits, so look through the list to find the one that fits you best:

Getting a report on how it will affect the job market (LMIA)
Exempt from LMIA, but must have a job offer or employment contract.
Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA required)


1. Demanding a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

  • Temporary Foreign Worker

Program (TFWP)

  • Facilitated LMIA (Quebec)
  • Global Talent Stream

2. LMIA-Exempt, however a work offer or employment contract is required

  • CETA Work Permits
  • Intra-Company Transfers
  • International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • NAFTA Work Permits

3. Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA required)

  • International Experience Canada (IEC) (working holiday visa)
  • Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
  • Spouse Accompanying International Student or Worker
  • Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)
  • Spousal Sponsorship from Inside of Canada

Note: Permanent residents of Canada do not require a work permit to work in the country.

A person with permanent resident status has the legal right to live and work anywhere in the country.

You can discover more on your own about professional and skilled worker permanent immigration alternatives.


How to Obtain a Work Permit in Canada


How to get a work permit to work in Canada depends a lot on what kind of work permit is being sought.

For example, a foreign student studying in Canada can sometimes get permission to work part-time as part of his or her study visa.

Most closed work permit applications require a foreigner to have a formal job offer from a Canadian company and a Labor Market Impact Assessment to back it up (LMIA).

Even people who don’t need a work visa or are exempt from the LMIA should know what special papers they need to bring with them to Canada.

In Canada, there are two types of work permits: one that is closed (limited) and one that is open.

Closed work permits are tied to certain employers. This means that foreign nationals must continue to work for the same employer at the same location until their work permit is changed.


The cost of a Canadian work permit

A closed work permit costs $155 per person, while an open work permit costs $255  per person. Extra fees will apply if you are reinstating a work permit or applying as a group of performing artists.


How to apply for a Canadian work permit

Depending on what kind of work permit you need, there are different ways to apply. The first thing you need to do is decide which work permit is best for you.

Check out the Canadian Immigration website if you need help with the application.


Required Document


Depending on what kind of work permit you want to get in Canada, you may need different kinds of paperwork.

As part of their application for a work visa, applicants may have to send in one or more of the following documents:

Forms of application that have been filled out in full.
Proof that you live in Canada
Getting to know someone in the family
An Analysis of the Job Market
An offer of work in writing
CV/ résumé.
Proof that a couple is married
The Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) is a piece of paper that says a person has met all of the province’s requirements.
Show that you are the right person for the job.
A copy of a valid passport.
A copy of the diploma of a student.
What the doctor found during the exam
Proof that you have enough money to stay in Canada and go home.
Proof of paying a government fee.
Recently, photos for passports have been taken.


Other requirements include


  • Photo requirements
  • Medical exam
  • Police clearances
  • Biometrics

Photo requirements

A passport-sized portrait is required for foreign nationals seeking a work permit in Canada. The image must follow the IRCC’s rules.


Medical exam

Foreigners who want to work in Canada may have to take a medical exam, depending on how long they plan to stay, where they have lived, and what kind of job they want.

If you want to work in Canada for less than 6 months, you will probably not need a medical check, with a few exceptions.

You must get a medical exam if you want to work in a job that requires direct contact with people or if you are an agricultural worker who has been to certain countries.

If you want to work in Canada for more than 6 months and meet one of the following conditions, you will have to take a medical exam:

You spent at least six months in one of the countries on Canada’s “Find out if you need a medical checkup” page or have been there.
You want to work in a field that puts you in touch with people all the time.


Police clearances

The visa officer who is looking over your application may ask you to show police clearance certificates.

Depending on where you are applying from, this document may be part of your application checklist and must be sent with your first application.

Work permit applicants may have to show a police clearance certificate from any country where they have lived for at least 6 months since they turned 18.


IRCC’s temporary measure no longer applies to people who apply for a work permit from inside Canada.

Biometrics are still needed from candidates outside of Canada, even after they get a letter with instructions.

Follow the instructions on the page set up by the Canadian government for giving your biometrics.

Time frame to process work permit

The type of work permit requested and the applicant’s present country of residence determines how long it takes to process a work permit application. The time it takes to process a document ranges from a few weeks to many months.

How to activate the work permit

How you activate your work permit is determined by where you apply and how you apply.

A. You must turn on your work permit after applying from inside Canada.

If your request for a work visa from inside Canada is accepted, IRCC will send you a letter of approval.

If you filled out your application online, your approval letter will be in your account.

If you sent in a paper application, the letter would be sent to the address you gave.

Once you get your approval letter, your work permit will be sent to you in the mail.

When the permission arrives, it will be turned on and you will be able to work in Canada.

B. You must turn on your work visa after applying from outside of Canada.

If your application is approved while you are outside of Canada, you will get a letter telling you how to get your physical work permit at a Canadian port of entry (POE).

If you filled out your application online, the letter of instructions will be in your online account. If you sent in a paper application, the letter would be sent to the address you gave.

C. You must turn on your work permit after applying at the port of entry.

Some people may be able to get a work permit at the point of entry into Canada.

If you want to get a work visa at the border, you must bring proof that you are eligible.

If the application is approved, the officer at the border can print out the work permit right away. This work permit can be used right away.

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