Work Permit

LMIA

There are over a 100 work permit options to apply from. Most require a positive LMIA barring a few exceptions.

Work Permit

A work permit is an authorization from an officer that allows Foreign Skilled Workers who are neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident to engage in employment in Canada. 

 

To work in Canada as a Foreign Skilled Worker, you need to apply for a Temporary Work Permit. This can be done once you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer approved by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), prior to arriving in Canada and engaging in work for a Canadian employer. 

Glossary of terms used on this page.

What is the process of getting a work permit for Canada? 

The standard process for a foreign national to obtain a work permit visa comprises of two steps:

  1. A positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) needs to be obtained  by the employer from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) before hiring a foreign worker. 

  2. Once a positive LMIA is received by the Canadian employer, the foreign worker must apply for a work permit through the Canadian Visa office in their country of residence. 

Do I need a work permit to work in Canada?

 

Not everyone is required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Canada. Here are some exemptions: 

  • Business Visitors

  • Diplomats

  • Foreign Athletes

  • Military Personnel

  • Crew members

  • Clergy

  • Performing Artists

  • Public Speakers

  • News Reporters

  • Expert Witnesses, examiners and evaluators

  • Students engaging in part-time work on campus.

What are the eligibility requirements for work permit for Canada?

There are specific requirements you need to meet depending on where you are when you apply for your work permit.

 

In general, you must: 

  • convince the assessing officer that you will leave Canada once your work permit has expired;

  • provide sufficient proof of funds to take care of yourself and your family members (inside or outside Canada) during your stay in Canada and to return home;

  • prove that you are admissible to Canada and have no record of criminal activity;

  • prove that you will 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; or in other words, you must convince the officer that you will not participate in unauthorized work;

  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and

  • provide the officer sufficient documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

What are the Different Types of Work Permits for immigration to Canada?

Canadian Work permits primarily fall under the following categories: 

Open Work Permit: An open work permit authorizes a foreign national to work in Canada for any employer and in any location. A restricted open work permit may restrict a industry or occupation but allows you to work across Canada. All open work permits are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA).

Post-Graduate Work Permit: Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is for international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI). Post-graduate work permits allow students to gain Canadian experience after completing their study program. A post-graduate work permit is valid for up to 3 years, and the duration is based on the length of your study program.

The Intra-Company Transfer Program allows an international business with a parent, subsidiary, branch or an affiliate of that enterprise in Canada to bring an executive, senior manager or an employee with specialized knowledge to Canada on a temporary work permit.

Inland Spousal Sponsorship Open Work Permit: Allows spouses or partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to apply for unrestricted work permits while the outcome of their application is still pending. You must have a valid temporary residence permit and an application for permanent residency under process to be eligible to apply. 

Bridging Open Work Permit: You may be eligible to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit(BOWP) if you have already applied for permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class Program, Provincial Nominee Program, Agri-Food Pilot, Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot Programs.

It is an open work permit, which allows you to continue to work while your permanent residency application is processing.

What are LMIA exempt work permits? 

You may be exempt from applying for an LMIA and can apply directly for a work permit if you are part of one of the following categories:

  • International Experience Canada participants (Working holiday, young professionals, co-op students)

  • Intra-company transferees

  • CSQ holders in Quebec who already have a work permit

  • Spouses and common-law partners of full-time students

  • Spouses and common-law partners of workers who hold a job in NOC category 0, A or B

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Francophone mobility (skilled work outside of Québec)

  • International mobility program

  • Bridging open work permits (applicants who already applied for permanent residence

A Canadian work permit may open possibilities for a foreign worker towards Canadian immigration (Permanent Residency) under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), or by means of one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).
How can I apply for a Permanent residence without an LMIA approved job offer?

 

We have tried to list the possibilities in the below video. Watch the complete video to make a better decision.

What is the processing time for Work Permit applications?

The processing time for a work permit application depends on the type of work permit and the applicant’s country of residence at the time of application. Processing times range anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

 

Most work permit applications are processed and issued within a matter of days or weeks, depending on whether or not a medical examination is required and the workload at the particular visa office to which the application was submitted.

What are the programs under which I can apply for an open work permit?

Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA required) can be applied under: 

  • Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)

  • Spousal Sponsorship from Inside of Canada

  • International Experience Canada (IEC)

  • Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

  • Spouse Accompanying International Student

Can I apply for a work permit for Canada as an entrepreneur?
 

As an entrepreneur if you wish to come to Canada temporarily in order to start or operate a business, you may be eligible for an LMIA exempt temporary work permit if you are able to satisfy the immigration officer that your work in Canada is temporary.

 

As an entrepreneur you will have to demonstrate that your business will make significant contribution to the Canadian economy. A significant contribution may mean creation of jobs, innovation and development etc. If you have already applied for Canadian permanent residence you may also qualify for LMIA-exempt work permits in this category. 

On what grounds can my work permit application to Canada be refused?

Based on subsection 200(1) of the IRPR, an immigration office may refuse your application if:

  • You were not able to demonstrate that you will be able to adequately perform the work you seek. 

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on the purpose of your visit.

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on your family ties in Canada and in your country of residence.

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on your travel history.

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on your immigration status.

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on your family ties in Canada and in your country of residence.

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on the purpose of your visit.

  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, based on your current employment situation.

How Can I Avoid a Canadian Immigration Refusal?

Refusal or denial can be painful and stressful. Most people think that they know what they're doing and will do it right. Not all of them can actually claim that they will not make a mistake. Immigration applications to Canada are a 1-time opportunity. A mistake can lead to irreparable damage to your profile. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a professional immigration consultant who has the knowledge and expertise in matters of Canadian immigration laws. 

Contact us now to connect with our Regulated Canadian  Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

Frequently asked questions

What does a negative LMIA mean?


A negative LMIA indicates that a position should be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.




Am i eligible for a work permit if i already have a job offer for Canada?


Not necessarily. For most temporary work permits, in order to be eligible for a work permit, an applicant’s job offer must be valid and must be either:

  • Supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); or
  • Exempt from requiring an LMIA.
Please note that the province of Quebec has its own process for determining the validity of an offer of employment.




What do i need to apply for a work permit for Canada?


There are general requirements that all applicants must fulfil, and specific ones they need to fulfil based on the work permit stream they are applying under. The most common ones for a LMIA supported job offer are:

  • your job offer letter
  • your employment contract
  • a copy of the LMIA
  • the LMIA number




Do i reqiure a language test report (IELTS) to apply for a work permit for Canada?


No. IELTS is not required to apply for a work permit.




Can i renew or extend my work permit?


Yes, as long as, you submit a new application at least 30 days before your work permit expires. You are not allowed to extend your work permit beyond your passport's expiry date.




What is the age limit to apply for a Canadian work permit?


You must be at least 18 years of age.




Can i renew or extend my PGWP?


NO. PGWP's are specific to duration. But, during COVID-19, a public policy was issued to facilitate the renewal of PGWP's. Please check to see if you qualify, before you apply.




Can my spouse work in Canada?


Yes they can. They will need to apply for a work permit and meet the eligibility criteria of an LMIA-required or LMIA-exempt work permit. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident your spouse may be eligible to apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit.




I have an LMIA approved work permit for Canada, but i am still outside Canada. When should i apply for spousal open work permit?


It's best that you land in Canada first with proof of work and then apply for your spouse's open work permit. If you wish to bring your spouse along, they can accompany you as a tourist. Please check the TRV rules from your country of residence.