A Canadian work permit allows you to work under a specific employer (employer-specific work permit) or with any employer (open work permit) in Canada. As a foreign national, you’ll require a work permit before working in Canada, with a few exceptions.
Work Permit Requirements
For you to be issued a Canadian work permit, there are specific requirements that you must meet. These requirements may differ depending on your location when applying and the type of work permit you’re applying for. However, regardless of these various factors, one must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a work permit:
- Prove that you are financially capable of supporting yourself and your family during your time in Canada
- Prove that you’ll leave Canada once your work permit expires
- Not plan to work for an ineligible employer, i.e., employers who have failed to comply with the given conditions
- Have no criminal record
- Be of good health
If you are in Canada and you want to apply for a work permit, you must meet one or some of the following requirements:
- Have a valid study or work permit
- Graduated from an eligible school in Canada
- If you’re under sponsorship, the sponsor must have a valid work/study permit
- You applied for permanent residence and are awaiting the results
- Have a temporary residence permit valid for at least six months
- You’re an investor, business person, professional, or intra-company transferee under NAFTA
- You’re protected by the IRCC or recognized as a convention refugee
- Were previously working without a work permit but now you require one for another job
For an employer-specific work permit, you’ll need the following to be eligible:
- Proof to show that an employer has offered you a job and they have paid the employer compliance fee
- A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
Note that if you have a specific work permit, you can acquire an open work permit. An open work permit is only issued under specific circumstances.
How to Apply for a Work Permit
Confirm Your Eligibility
Depending on the type of work permit, there are requirements that you must meet to become eligible. Check these requirements to ensure that you qualify for the program under which you want to apply for your work permit.
Prepare the Required Documents
When applying for a work permit, there are certain documents that the IRCC will request you to submit together with your application forms. Preparing the necessary documents on time enables you to complete and submit your application in a smooth manner.
Get Your Work Permit Application Forms
Work permit application forms can be completed online or by hand. Completing the forms online is more efficient as you’ll save on mailing costs and the forms will be delivered instantly to IRCC, which saves time. Note that you must apply online if:
Submit Your Documents
Once you fill out your forms and attach the necessary documents, submit them to IRCC. It’s always good to double-check your application to make sure that all the required details and documents are included. Make all the payments before submitting the documents to avoid any delays.
Work Permit Processing Time
The work permit processing time varies from where (inside or outside Canada) and the country you’re applying from. Click here to check the processing time as per your location.
Work Permit Checklist
- Ensure you have the required documents as per the type of work permit you’re applying for
- Before you start your work permit application process, make sure you’re eligible
- Ensure that you apply as required, i.e., for some programs such as Global Skills Strategy, you have to apply online
- Make sure you complete your forms as necessitated and attach all the supporting documentation
Work Permit Cost
|Fees||Amount in $CAN|
|Work permit per person|
|Work permit for a group of three |
Or more performing artists (including extensions)
|Open Work Permit holder||100|
|Restore worker status($200) and get a work permit($155)||355|