This article explains and entails all the details about work in Canada and everything you need to know.
For international talent and employers, Canada offers more than 100 different work visa opportunities.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program are run by Canada (IMP).
The Labour Market Impact Assessment, a test of the labor market, is what distinguishes the TFWP from the other two programs (LMIA).
It can be challenging to navigate Canada’s work permit possibilities, but we want to make it as simple as possible for you. With more than 45 years of experience, Cohen Immigration Law is a preeminent Canadian immigration law practice.
To arrange a free telephone consultation with one of our work permit attorneys, please fill out our contact form.
Work Permit Types in Canada
In Canada, there are two varieties of schemes for work permits:
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program: A foreign national must complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before applying for a work permit.
- Program for Global Mobility: A foreign national may acquire a work permit without submitting an LMIA.
Employers are required by the LMIA to show the Canadian government that the hiring of a foreign worker won’t have a negative effect on the country’s current labor force. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), a government agency, seeks to make sure that recruiting foreign workers won’t push down wages for local employees or cause them to be displaced. The Temporary category includes workers who require an LMIA.
Despite the fact that LMIA applications are the norm, there are a variety of work permits that are LMIA-exempt as a result of free trade agreements, such as the previous North American Free Trade Agreement, now known as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA. Through these FTAs, foreign workers can apply for a work permit without their employer first acquiring an LMIA. Foreign workers who do not yet have a job offer have a variety of work permit options available to them, including working holidays, post-graduate work permits, and open spousal work permits, in addition to these employer-sponsored work permits. The International Mobility Program covers employees who do not require an LMIA (IMP).
One can work in Canada under a variety of circumstances, including the following:
Required by LMIA
The process for these work permits includes the employer acquiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Under specific conditions, people are permitted to work in Canada without first obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
These are given under the CUM Agreement (previously NAFTA), allowing work without an LMIA.
Transfers Within a Company
These licenses will enable an organization to bring specific staff from its overseas locations to Canada without an LMIA.
As long as they adhere to certain requirements and stay out of the Canadian labor market, business travellers can frequently work in Canada without a work permit.
Permits to Work After Graduation
International students may work for up to three years in Canada after completing a Designated Learning Institution.
Consider Your Options for a Work Permit
I have a job offer in Canada already.
Check out our Work Permit Services to learn more about what you need to do to obtain the necessary authorizations to work in Canada if you have received a job offer from a Canadian employer and are unsure of what to do next. Cohen Immigration Law will be pleased to help you throughout the entire procedure.
In the province of Quebec, I’ve received a job offer.
The requirements for working in Quebec are specific to the province. You must first complete the process by obtaining a document known as a CAQ. Additionally, you should be aware that Quebec has its own list of professions that qualify for a quick LMIA. Due to the fluency of several of our specialists in French, we are knowledgeable about the nuances of immigration and work permit applications to the province of Quebec. Contact us if you’d like to take advantage of our expertise, and make sure to mention that you have a job offer in the Quebec region.
I am a citizen of Mexico or the United States.
Certain people may work in Canada thanks to specific ties that the country has with the US and Mexico. The former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now known as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), permits people to work in Canada with a CUSMA work permit. Professionals, intra-company transfers, traders, and investors can avoid the standard work permit process thanks to CUSMA, which is divided into four categories. Please mention that you are a citizen of Mexico or the United States when contacting us.
I want to hire a foreign worker for my Canadian company.
We would be pleased to provide you with guidance on the best ways to bring a foreign worker to Canada if you are a Canadian firm wishing to hire a person from overseas. The requirements of the worker you have in mind, your business needs, and your choices for bringing them to Canada will all be covered by our work permit professionals. You might need to request a Labour Market Impact Assessment depending on your requirements. In contrast, there can be particular programs designed to meet your needs quickly through an exemption, such an intra-company transfer. In order to determine your alternatives,
ALSO SEE: How to Get a Master’s Degree in Canada: A Guide
As a tech worker, I
For international IT talent with a job offer in the country, Canada provides a variety of work visa paths, including through free trade agreements like CUSMA. The Global Talent Stream is one of the most popular pathways. The Global Talent Stream makes it possible for tech professionals to get federal government approval to work in Canada within one month. If you are an employee or an employer looking to secure a work visa for IT talent through the Global Talent Stream or any of the many other alternatives you may have, please get in touch with us.
I work in the movie and TV industry.
Although foreign employees and producers are still required to adhere to Canadian work permit regulations, labour market impact assessments are not necessary for TV and film workers in Canada. For information on how to obtain work permits for TV and film, click here.
As an entrepreneur, I’d prefer to work in Canada.
If you have business management or entrepreneurial experience in addition to the Entrepreneur Work Permits, make sure to research Canada’s Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program. To learn more about using an intra-company transfer work permit to launch a new firm in Canada, visit our page on International Business Start-ups in Canada.
As a self-employed person, I want to work in Canada.
Under certain conditions, a number of programs permit self-employed people to work in Canada. The application process could be a little challenging if you want to work independently in Canada. We would be pleased to evaluate your credentials for employment in Canada, nevertheless. To find out more about your choices, get in touch with us.
I attend a Canadian educational institution, or I recently graduated from one.
You can be qualified for a Post-Graduation Work Permit depending on how long you studied in Canada (PGWP). If you want to apply for Canadian immigration through Quebec, the Provincial Nominee Program, or Express Entry, this work visa is a great way for you to get experience in Canada. Contact us if you need PGWP support.
I’m seeking work in Canada.
We have the ideal resources to get you going if you are seeking for work in Canada or have received a job offer from a Canadian business but are unsure of what to do next. You might also want to look at some of our excellent tools for finding a job, including our Job Search Tool or our other Career Coaching Tools.
Frequently Asked Questions about Work in Canada
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and how can you get one?
In order to hire a foreign worker in Canada, Canadian companies must first receive approval from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), sometimes known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Employers in Canada are required to prove that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are now available to fill the post and that hiring a foreign worker won’t, in most situations, have a negative effect on the local labor market. Usually, to prove there were no qualified Canadian candidates for the position, the vacancy is advertised on numerous different websites. The government will closely scrutinize an LMIA because it is such a thorough and difficult process, therefore it must be done correctly.
How do you get a work permit in Canada?
Work permits are handled by two federal departments in Canada. The department of Employment and Social Development Canada will examine the LMIA application and decide whether to approve it or not if a labour market impact assessment is necessary.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada department is in charge of the work permit application procedure (IRCC). You submit a work permit application to IRCC following the approval of an LMIA. You can also apply to IRCC for a work permit if an LMIA is not required. You have the legal right to carry out temporary employment in Canada thanks to the work permit
To apply for a work permit, what is required?
According to the work permit stream they are applying under, applicants must meet both general standards that are applicable to all applicants and particular requirements. The following papers must be sent to IRCC as part of your work permit application if, for instance, you are applying under a work permit stream that calls for an LMIA:
- one for a job offer
- contract of employment
- the LMIA document
- an LMIA number
Generally speaking, all candidates must show they’ll depart Canada when their work permit expires, they have enough money to sustain themselves financially in Canada, they don’t represent a risk to public health and safety, and they won’t work for ineligible firms or engage in any illegal activity.
How long does it take to process a work permit in Canada?
The duration of the processing time depends on a variety of variables, including whether a Labour Market Impact Assessment is necessary, the work permit stream you are applying under, and the nation where the worker is presently residing. For estimates, use the immigration processing
time calculator on CanadaVisa.com
How can your Canadian work permit be renewed?
You must submit a fresh application at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your current work permit if it is about to expire or if you need to amend the terms of it. Your work permit cannot be extended past the date on which your passport expires.
What is an open work permit? A closed work permit—what is it?
An open work permit allows a foreign employee to work for any Canadian employer. When requesting an open work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, foreign nationals are not required to present a Labour Market Impact Assessment or a job offer.
With closed work permits, an employee can only work for an employer who has a positive LMIA and a job offer for them. If a foreign worker decides they will no longer work for this company, they must request to have the terms of their work permit changed in order to continue to be able to lawfully work in Canada.
A post-graduation work permit: what is it?
International students who have completed an approved program of at least 8 months of full-time study at a Designated Learning Institution are eligible for the PGWP (DLI). The PGWP
aims to give overseas students the opportunity to earn professional work experience that they can later utilize to qualify for a Canadian immigration program.
You can submit your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada if you meet the requirements for the PGWP (IRCC). The length of your studies in Canada will determine how long your PGWP will ultimately be. A PGWP may last no more than three years. In general, a PGWP can only be obtained once. As soon as your PGWP expires
My spouse or partner wants to work in Canada.
If your spouse or common-law partner qualifies for an LMIA-required or LMIA-exempt work visa, they may submit an application. The Spousal Open Work Permit is one choice offered to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
What is an Open Work Permit for the Spouse?
While Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada processes an eligible person’s spouse sponsorship application, they can get a temporary work permit through the Spousal Open Work Permit
program (IRCC). The person who is awaiting sponsorship can work for any employer in Canada with this work permit.
Can I apply for a work permit if my goal is to immigrate to Canada?
Is the number of work permits I can get in Canada limited at a specific quantity?
There are none, that’s for sure. Each work permit has an expiration date. Some work permits can be renewed an unlimited number of times, whereas others, like the Post-Graduation Work Permit, can only be applied for once. If your work permit isn’t renewable, you can apply for a permit under a different category for which you qualify.
Will my work permit be governed by restrictions?
Conditions will be included in your work permit, including those that are noted on the document itself.
Conditions might include what kind of job you can do, who you can work for as an employer, where you can work, and how long you can work if you have a closed LMIA-required work permit, for instance.
Other general terms that apply to all foreign workers include having to leave Canada at the conclusion of your employment.
While I’m living in Canada, can I extend my work permit?
You can apply to have your work permit extended while residing in Canada, provided that it is still in good standing.
When I arrive in Canada, can I apply for a work permit?
However, some foreign workers may be eligible to apply for one once they arrive. IRCC strongly advises you to apply for your work permit before you travel to Canada.
At a Canadian port of entry (POE), applicants seeking work permits must fulfill the requirements listed below:
meet all other conditions for the work permit stream, be qualified for an electronic travel authorization (eTA), or be able to enter Canada without a visitor visa.
How is a job offer letter defined by the Canadian government?
A Canadian company must give you a job offer letter outlining the specifics of your position, according to the IRCC. It is not the same as a “job offer letter” and is less specific than a contract. Instead, it describes your salary, job responsibilities, and employment terms. In order to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, you must also attach a copy of your employment offer letter (LMIA). If a business wants to hire you but does not require an LMIA, they must post their offer of employment on the Employer Portal of the Canadian government. Following submission, the portal will produce a job offer number for the foreign employee.
To get a work permit in Canada, must I pass a medical examination?
If they want to work in a position that involves the preservation of public health, some international workers must undergo a medical examination. These jobs include, for instance, those in the health care industry, child care, or elementary or secondary education.
Additionally, you might need to undergo a medical if you’ll be working in agriculture and you previously resided in a designated country or territory, or if you want to work in Canada
for longer than six months and you previously lived there for six consecutive months in the year prior to the date you plan to move there. countries and territories that have been designated
Does getting a work permit cost money?
To process work permits, the Canadian government often pays either workers and employers fees. On its website
, IRCC provides a list of fees.
Pay the work permit processing fee if you have a work permit
that is required by the LMIA.
Employees with work permits that are exempt from the LMIA must pay both the work permit processing charge and the open work permit holder fee at the same time.
An application processing fee is required of employers who require an LMIA. Employers who submit an offer of employment through the Canadian government’s Employer Portal but do not require an LMIA still have to pay an employer compliance fee.
A POE letter: What is it?
If your work permit application
has been approved, IRCC will give you a “Port of Entry” (POE) Letter. Other names for the letter include “Correspondence Letter,” “Introduction Letter,” and “Introductory Letter.” Although this letter does not serve as your work visa, it is significant still because you will need to present it to Canadian border agents when you enter the country.
How long are valid POE letters?
The “Permit validity” part of your POE letter
will let you know how long the permit is valid for. If the validity date passes, a new application must be submitted.
Only participants in International Experience Canada (IEC) are often given validity periods of 12 months. If you underwent a medical examination, your POE Letter will be valid for 12 months or until the date when your medical examination expired (whichever of the dates is less).
Can I leave Canada with a work permit and then come back?
, you can. Please remember that your work permit does not grant you permission to travel to Canada as it is not a valid travel document. It instead grants you permission to work in Canada. You require an electronic travel permission or a temporary residence visa in addition to your current work permit (eTA).
Can I work in Canada while I’m a student? If I’m studying in Canada, do I need a work permit?
If enrolled full-time, students do not require a work visa. Without the need to apply for a separate work permit, study permits will automatically authorize the holder to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic session and full-time during specified breaks. The bearer of a study permit must be enrolled in a designated learning institution for at least six months of academic, vocational, or professional training that results in a degree, diploma, or certificate (DLI)
International students must be registered and enrolled at an authorized educational facility and get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada in order to work in Canada.
International students are not permitted to work in Canada while they are enrolled in general education, preparatory, or English or French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL) courses. Before starting work in Canada, it is the individual’s and their employer’s responsibility to make sure they are eligible. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations may impose enforcement action on foreign students who start working in Canada before they are eligible.
In Canada, is it feasible to obtain a short-term work permit exemption?
Yes. It is possible to be excused from requiring a work permit in some situations in order to work in Canada for a brief length of time.
There are two groups of people who are eligible to enter Canada without a work permit under the Global Skills Strategy (GSS).
Although the Global Skills Strategy does not require a work permit, applicants are still required to submit an application for a temporary resident visa (TRV) or, if necessary, an electronic travel authorization (eTA).
In order to be eligible for the work permit exemption, researchers must show
- Every year, they’ll spend one 120-day period working in Canada;
- They will do research at a Canadian degree-granting university that receives public funding or at one of its research institutions that is linked with it.
Highly Qualified Personnel
Highly Skilled Workers must exhibit the following to be eligible for the work visa exemption:
- They will be employed in an occupation classified as skill type 0 (executive,
- They have a skill level A (professional), level B (managerial), or level C in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and they’ll be employed in Canada for one of the following times:
- every six months, up to 15 consecutive days; or
- every 12 months, up to 30 days in a row.
Workers who have been admitted under the Global Skills Strategy are not permitted to continue working once the exemption expires. They can either opt to apply for a work permit or wait until they are qualified for another exemption under this heading.
On the same work permit, is it possible to switch employers?
Work permits often only pertain to one employer. A person must submit an application for a new work permit if they switch employers. Only individuals with open work permits can switch employers without having to reapply for admission to Canada. Open work permits
are the exception and may be granted to certain work permit holders’ wives or common-law partners, spouses or common-law partners of international students studying in Canada, asylum seekers, in-land sponsored family members, and destitute students studying in Canada.
Does a work permit application require a medical exam?
In any occupation where maintaining the public’s health is crucial, a medical exam is always required before starting work. If the job offer is longer than six months, a candidate may, in the absence of this, be needed to undergo a medical examination before the work permit is approved, depending on the country of residence.
Can a spouse or common-law partner accompany a temporary worker to Canada or follow a temporary worker there?
A temporary worker’s spouse/common-law partner and dependent children may go with them to Canada. Many times, individuals entering Canada on a work permit may ask for their spouse or common-law partner to receive an open work permit. In some cases, kids could need a study permission to go to school in Canada.
When applying for a work permit, does the Canadian government charge any fees?
Each application for a work visa costs the Canadian government $155 CAD. In the event that a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is also necessary, additional expenses would be charged.
For assistance, get in touch with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm.
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