What is a work permit?
The Canadian work permit, also known as a work visa, is issued to eligible individuals to allow them to work in Canada for a specific time period.
As one of the world’s leading economies Canada is a great destination for individuals seeking to work abroad. The Canadian Work Permit Visa allows business people, permanent or temporary workers, students and others eligible applicants to work in Canada. In most cases, applicants need to have a job offer in hand in order to apply for the work permit.
Types of work permits:
There are countless ways to work in Canada. Below, please find the most commonly used ways to obtain a work permit or authorization to work in Canada:
1) Through a program of studies (part-time during studies);
When you study any post-secondary program in Canada which is a designated learning institution and the program duration is of at least 6 months, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during your program of studies. Although you do not receive a formal work permit, you are allowed to work in Canada while studying.
2) Through a study program with Co-Op
A Co-Op it is like an internship that forms an integral part of your studies in Canada. During your Co-Op, you are allowed to work full-time, up to 40 hours per week.
3) At the end of a study program, with a Post-Graduate Work permit
When you complete a qualified post-secondary program of studies of at least 8-month duration in public institution or when you graduate from a Bachelor, Master or Doctorate degree in either public or in a private post-secondary institution in Canada, you qualify for a post-graduation work permit that gives you the authorization to work in Canada for at least the same duration of your program of studies, up to three years.
4) As an accompanying spouse of a post-secondary student
If you are accompanying your spouse or common-law partner during their studies in Canada, and your spouse or common-law partner is enrolled in a qualified post-secondary program of studies of at least 8-month duration, you may be eligible for an open/unrestricted work permit for the duration of your spouse’s studies in Canada.
5) With a work visa obtained by the Working Holiday visa, Young professionals’ programs
Canada has agreements with several countries and institutions that may allow you to qualify for a work permit to Canada. The working holiday visa is an open/unrestricted work permit usually valid for at least 1 year. The Young Professional visa usually will be linked to a Canadian employer and you also usually are issued for at least 1 year.
Other requirements include being a citizen of a participating country, being between 18 to 35 years old, having medical insurance for the period authorized for your stay and passing a criminal and security check.
The list of participating countries is very extensive and includes most European countries, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
6) With a work visa obtained by international agreements – Free Trade Agreements
Several countries have agreements with Canada that allow the issuance of a work permit for certain professionals or technicians. Participating countries include Mexico, USA, Colombia, Peru, Panama, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, among others.
Please note terms and conditions may vary according to each county and occupation.
7) Being transferred to a Canadian entity – Intra-Company transferees
If you have been working for a company that has a relationship with a Canadian entity and the Canadian entity provides you a job offer in a managerial or executive position, you may qualify for an employer-specific work permit through the LMIA exempt, Intra-company transferee category.
8) Through the French-Mobility program
Do you speak French and have a job offer of a qualified Canadian employer outside Quebec? You may qualify for an employer-specific work permit through the LMIA exempt, French Mobility program category.
9) By receiving a job offer, via an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Canadian employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers must obtain a neutral or positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC, which is issued if ESDC is satisfied that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the job.
With the LMIA approval letter and the job offer, the foreign worker can submit an application for a Canadian temporary work permit to IRCC and receive an employer-specific work permit, usually valid for up to 2-years.
10) By receiving a job offer in Technology occupations, via the Global Talent Stream program
Canadian employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers in the Tech sector or with unique skills can apply for an LMIA through the Global Talent Stream program.
The Global Talent stream does not require proof that there is no Canadian or permanent resident available to do the job, and besides regular documents and forms, will involve a negotiation with ESDC on how the company can contribute to the Canadian Labour Market.
Besides the fact no proof of recruitment is required, applications via Global Talent stream are processed in 15 days, which is also a great advantage of the program.
With the LMIA approval letter and the job offer, the foreign worker can submit an application for a Canadian temporary work permit to IRCC and receive an employer-specific work permit, also processed through a faster / priority route. The work permit issued based on the Global Talent stream is usually valid for up to 2-years, depending on the terms of the job offer.
11) By receiving a nomination in one of the several employer-driven provincial programs available
Canada has 10 provinces and 13 territories and mostly all of them have at least one employer-driven stream available for employers from that province to allow them hire foreign workers. Upon receiving a nomination from an employer-driven stream, you may qualify for an employer-specific work permit, issued for 1 or 2 years, depending on the stream you applied under.
12) By receiving an endorsement in one of the several employer-driven pilot programs available
Canada has several pilot programs that allow employers to bring foreign workers to Canada and address specific needs of a region, such as the Atlantic Pilot Program that includes the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, the Rural Northern Pilot program that includes rural communities throughout entire Canada or specific areas, such as the Agri-Food Pilot program. These pilots are mostly employer-driven programs that allow qualified applicants to apply for a work permit in Canada and in most cases, to also apply for permanent residence. Upon receiving an endorsement from an employer-driven stream, you may qualify for an employer-specific work permit, issued for 1 or 2 years, depending on the stream you applied under.
13) By receiving a job offer to care for children or elderly
If you meet the education, language and experience requirements to receive a job offer as a home care support worker (usually to take care of elderly people or people with special needs) or a home child care provider (commonly referred as nanny, to take care of children), you may qualify for a work permit to Canada.
14) Upon submitting your immigration application inside Canada through one of the 80+ immigration programs available;
If you qualified for immigration for an inside Canada stream, you may qualify for obtaining an open-unrestricted work permit. In some cases, you will only qualify if you were already a work permit holder with a work permit due to expiry within 4 months or less. This type of work permit is known as the Bridging open work permit.
15) After being sponsored by your Canadian spouse or common-law partner through the in Canada Spousal or Common-law partner Sponsorship program
If you have a valid status in Canada as a visitor, student or worker and submit an application under the spousal or Common-law partner Sponsorship program, you qualify for an open/unrestricted work permit for the expected processing time of your application, usually issued for 1 year.
Work Permit Eligibility
There are specific requirements you need to meet depending on the type of work permit you are applying.
In addition to specific requirements, all applicants must meet the following general requirements:
● have a passport that is valid for 6 month or more.
● have no criminal or immigration-related convictions.
● convince an immigration officer that you have ties to your home country.
● convince an immigration officer that you will leave when your work permit expires;
● pass a medical exam, if applicable according to your country of residence or desired occupation;
● not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible”;
● not plan to work in businesses related to striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.
How to apply for a Work Permit
To start the application for the Canadian work permit, there are several forms and steps that you as the applicant must go through. The steps for applying for a work permit for Canada are explained below:
- Confirm your eligibility for the Canadian work permit.
- Complete the documents and forms required for a work permit application.
- Submit the Canadian work permit application, according to IRCC guidelines.
- Wait for processing and respond to additional requests for information, if any.
- Send your passport for stamping.