Every year, Canada grants hundreds of thousands of job permits to foreign talent from all around the world.
In the majority of cases, it is necessary for certain people to obtain a work visa to move abroad and pursue work with a foreign employer.
While a student visa provides for limited jobs, a full Canada work permit visa is necessary to work extended hours and for a wider variety of employers.
What is a Canadian work visa?
A Canadian work visa allows you to work in Canada whether you are from another country. To work in Canada, you usually require a work visa.
In some cases, you can work in Canada without a visa or a job offer.
It is a permit provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a branch of the Canadian government, under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The visa allows a foreign citizen to lawfully work in Canada and paves the way for securing Canadian permanent residency.
However, the permit also specifies certain provisions for the worker.
Among others are:
- Type of work
- The employer
- Work location
- Work duration
Business people, permanent workers, temporary workers, students, and others can work in Canada with the Canadian Work Permit Visa.
In order to apply for a work permit visa, most applicants must have a job offer in hand.
Different types of work permits:
Openwork permits and employer-specific work permits are the two types of work permits available.
1. Open work permit:
A non-job-specific work permit is an open work permit. You will not need the following documents when applying for your work permit because they are not job-specific:
- Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or proof that an employer,
- has submitted a job offer through the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee
You will have to pay the open work permit holder fee along with the work permit fee, in most cases.
Except for the following employers, an open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada:
- who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have violated the terms, or
- who regularly provides striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages
Eligibility for open work permit:
If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for an open work permit:
- are an international student who has completed their studies at a designated educational institution and is qualified for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program,
- are a student who can no longer afford to pay for your studies (destitute student),
- have an employer-specific work permit and are being or are at risk of being abused as a result of your job in Canada,
- are a reliant member of the family of someone who has applied for permanent residence in Canada,
- are a professional worker’s or foreign student’s spouse or common-law partner, of an Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program applicant,
- are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person, or their member of the family,
- are subject to an unenforceable removal order,
- are a young worker participating in special programs and have a temporary resident permit
2. Employer-specific work permit
An employer-specific work permit allows you to work in accordance with the terms of your work permit, which include the following:
- the name of the employer for whom you can work,
- the length of time you can work,
- and the location of work (if applicable)
Documents Required for Canadian Work Permit?
Applicants must submit certain forms and paperwork when applying for a work permit from outside Canada.
Before applying, the applicant must complete, sign, and date all forms requested by the IRCC.
- Payment of the document processing fee and all other appropriate payments (biometric fee or open holder permit fee) by the visa office through a suitable payment form.
- A valid passport with a copy of the details page that contains the following information:
- Amount on a passport
- Dates of issuance and expiration
- Photograph, name, date of birth, and place of birth of the applicant
- 2 passport-sized images that follow the visa application photograph criteria
- Proof of current immigrant status, if appropriate; and a photocopy of the marriage certificate, if applicable.
- Proof of qualifying for the advertised work
- ESDC offered proof of LMIA to the employer, as well as a copy of the work request or Offer of Employment ID number.
- If you work in the Quebec region, you must have a Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ).
- Send proof of completion of the research program while applying for PGWP: A complete transcript
- A letter of graduation from the college/university
- Additional documentation as requested by the visa office in the relevant home country.
- (IMM 1295)Application for a Canadian work visa that is made Outside of Canada
- Family Information Form if you are over the age of 18 or if you are bringing a minor with you to Canada.
- (IMM 5409) Common-law Union’s Statutory Declaration
- (IMM 5476)Use of a Representative
- Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475)- This form must be completed only if the applicant authorizes IRCC and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) to release the candidate’s information to someone other than himself/herself.
- Document Checklist for a Work Permit (from Outside Canada)-This is one of the forms that must be submitted with the application
Additional Eligibility Requirement for Canadian Work Permit
Applicants may be required to meet additional criteria depending on where they apply for a work permit.
These are covered in the sections that follow:
Requirements for Applicants From Outside of Canada
Some of the eligibility requirements for applicants from outside Canada may differ depending on the country or province from which they apply. Applicants from outside Canada can take advantage of the Global Skills Strategy’s two-week application processing time.
Requirements for Applicants Applying from Inside Canada
You can only apply for a work permit from within Canada if you meet the following criteria.
- You have a valid study or work permit;
- a legal study or work permit for your spouse, common-law partner, or parents;
- you are eligible for a post-graduate work permit and your study permit is still valid;
- You own a valid temporary resident permit for at least six months;
- you are awaiting a decision on an application for permanent residence from within Canada;
- you have filed a claim for refugee protection;
- and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has recognized you as a convention refugee or protected person.
- You can work in Canada without a work permit, but you’ll need one if you want to change jobs (this does not apply to business visitors);
- or you’re a trader, investor, intra-company transferee, or professional under the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
Requirements when you enter Canada at a port of entry
Candidates can apply for a work permit in Canada at POE if they meet the following criteria:
- A visitor visa is not required to visit Canada.
- As well as applying for an Open Work Permit.
- The employer must complete the necessary steps for the Employer-specific Work Permit.
How to Obtain a Work Permit in Canada?
Those interested in obtaining a work permit in Canada can do so online.
The below are the specifics of the application process:
Gather the Required Documents:
Before applying, applicants must ensure that they have gathered all of the required documents. This ensures that the details or document copies are carefully provided with the application form.
Fill out the application form and respond to all of the questions:
The application form includes questions about the applicants’ personal information, such as:
- Personal information
- Language proficiency information
- Passport information
- Details of work in Canada
- Details about your education and previous work experience, if any
Pay the processing and other fees:
Applicants for a Canadian work permit must pay three separate fees. The application processing fee, work permit holder fees, and biometric fees are all included.
The following are the fee details:
- Permit to Work (including an extension per person)- 155 CAD
- Permit to Work (including an extension for a group of performing artists) – 465 CAD
- holder of an open work permit 100 CAD
Per person -85 CAD
Family (2 or more)-170 CAD
Group of performing artists- 255 CAD
Submit the Application:
After completing the application process, online applicants can submit their applications with a single click.
Offline applicants can submit their application packages to VAC (Visa Application Center).
Benefits of Applying Online for a Canadian Work Permit?
There are several benefits to applying for a work permit online.
- There will be no waiting period for mail delivery or courier charges.
- Processing time is reduced.
- Makes sure that only a complete application is submitted.
- If you need to submit additional documents quickly, you can do so online.
- It is not necessary to submit a passport.
- Application information is sent to the online account is used to apply.
After you apply
Following the processing of an application for a work permit in Canada,
- applicants may be asked to attend an interview, submit additional information, and medical exam results.
- If an application is incomplete, it is either refused or returned.
- If applications from applicants outside of Canada are approved, a letter of approval is sent.
- This letter does not constitute a work permit, but it is required to obtain a Canadian work visa upon arrival in Canada.
- Applicants who apply for a work permit from within Canada will receive their work permit mailed to their Canadian address.
- The border services officer issues the work permit to applicants who apply at POE.
Applicants must notify the BSO (Border Service Officer) of their arrival in Canada.
Following arrival, the following steps are taken:
- Applicants arriving at one of the ten major Canadian airports: At the Primary Inspection Kiosk, fingerprints are checked.
- Applicants entering through other Canadian airports: If the applicant is referred to secondary inspection, fingerprints will be required.
After passing the identity check, the applicant must meet the following entry requirements:
- Valid travel documents
- Excellent health condition
- There have been no criminal or immigration-related convictions.
- Persuade the immigration officer that you intend to return to your home country.
- Evidence of sufficient funds
At the POE, applicants must submit the following presenting documents:
- Introduction letter: It’s a letter of confirmation for a visa, must be accompanied with
- Visa, and
- Travel Documents.
- Evidence of meeting job requirements
- Copy of employer positive LMIA
- When an offer is submitted through the employer portal, an offer of employment number is sent to the employer.
To avail of or access government programs and benefits related to medical and health insurance, applicants must apply for a SIN (Social Insurance Number). Candidates can apply for the same via the Service Canada Office. The IRCC’s decisions on work permits and processing times are determined by the number of applications received.
Work and study in Canada
International students must provide proof of sufficient funds to cover their living expenses in Canada.
They can also register for work-study and augment their budgets by doing part-time positions on and off-campus.
An international student can use work-study in Canada to help them immigrate to Canada after graduation. International students with a valid study permit may apply for on-campus/off-campus part-time jobs in Canada without requiring a work permit.
According to IRCC, approximately 332,000 international students were eligible for a work permit (on and off-campus work) in 2017.
Around 114,000 people were said to have a work permit under the PGWP.
According to statistics from previous years, a large number of international students apply for a Canadian work permit both during and after their studies.
Work Visa into Permanent Residency
If you are currently working in Canada and have applied for permanent residence, you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit if your work permit expires within four months.
This means you can continue to work while we decide on your permanent resident application.
To be eligible, you must have applied under the following categories:
- Canadian Experience Class,
- Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- Federal Skilled Trades Program,
- Provincial Nominee Program,
- Caring for Children Class,
- or Caring for People with Special Medical Needs Class.
In addition, you must:
- Currently residing in Canada,
- Have a valid work permit that will expire in four months,
- select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit when filling out your work permit application,
- and pay the work permit processing fee as well as the Open Work Permit Holder fee.