Starting a new career in a new country is a big step. But with all the bureaucracy comes along with the excitement of taking one’s skills to the international level. Before you can land your dream job in Canada, you need to apply for a Canadian work visa. This article will show you how to apply for a Canadian work permit and outline your pathway to living and working in the Great White North.

Do I need a work permit to work in Canada? A Canadian work permit allows you to work legally in the country. With this document, you can earn income, pay taxes and participate in all business opportunities. If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and want to work in Canada temporarily, you must apply. However, some individuals may be exempt from the need for a work permit.

Type of work permit

There are two types of work permits in Canada: employer-specific work permits and open work permits.

Employer-specific work permit

An employer-specific work permit permits you to be employed in Canada, but under the conditions set out in the work permit. The conditions are:

  • Who you can work for
  • Employment period
  • Place of work

Before submitting your employer-specific work permit application, you must obtain the following from your employer:

  • Copy of employment contract
  • Copy of Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or
  • Recruitment number (for LMIA exempt workers). To obtain this number, employers must use the Employers Portal.

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Open work permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada. But there are exceptions. You cannot work for an employer that:

  • Considered ineligible
  • Did not meet IRCC requirements
  • Provide adult services on a regular basis

How do I apply for a Canadian work permit?

Before applying online, make sure you have the following:

  • Instructions will help you fill out the form
  • A copy of the visa section requirements for applicants from your country
  • Access to a scanner or camera
  • A valid credit or debit card

Step 1: Check your eligibility

When applying for a work visa in Canada, you first need to check if you are eligible to live there. Each immigration program and visa has its own eligibility requirements. Eligibility for a Canadian work permit will most likely require a job offer from a Canadian company.

If the job you are applying for requires an employer-specific work visa, you will need to apply for her LMIA with your employer. This must be attached to the work permit application.

You may also be eligible for permission if your spouse or dependent children are joining you in Canada. Conditions vary by job level. The higher your position, the more likely it is that work permits will be opened for your spouse and dependents.

To obtain a Canadian work permit, you must:

  • Prove to the immigration officer that you will leave the country when your work permit expires
  • Prove that you have sufficient financial resources for yourself and your family
  • Comply with Canadian Law
  • have a clear antecedent
  • prove to be healthy
  • Stay away from employers who are considered ineligible
  • provide all requested documents

Step 2: Check what visa options are available

The type of work permit you need depends on the type of work you get. So understand the requirements and whether you want an open work permit or an employer-specific work permit.

An example of a stream granting an open work permit is the International
Experience Canada’s Working Holiday and International Mobility Programs. A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is not required to apply for a work visa in Canada.

The IEC Young Professionals and International Co-op (internship) programs require an employer-specific work permit. This work permit requires an LMIA.

Step 3: Apply online

In most cases, you will need to apply for your work permit online. In the following cases, you can apply only on paper.

  • People with disabilities cannot apply online
  • When applying for the seasonal farmer system
  • If you apply as a foreigner, refugee or stateless person

If you are submitting a paper application, you must include a note stating that you are eligible to apply this way.

To apply online, create an account. It can be used to pay fees, check status and extend your residence permit.


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