A work permit or work visa is issued to eligible overseas individuals to work in the country for a specific time period. It is a legal document which authorizes a foreign worker to work legally in Canada. Excluding certain exceptions, most foreign temporary workers require this legal document to work. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) might also be required to enter Canada depending on your country of residence or citizenship.

Work Permit Canada & Work Visa

Work permits are of two types:

  • Open Work Permit
  • Employer Specific Work Permit

Open Work Permit: Open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada except the ones who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses who engage in sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlours. An open work-permit is non-job specific, hence you will not need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to apply for an open work permit.

You are eligible for an open work permit if you are in one of the following situations mentioned below:

  • Permanent residence applicants who have applied to an office in Canada,
  • Dependent family members of permanent residence applicants,
  • Spouses and common-law partners of workers and international students,
  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members,
  • Some temporary resident permit holders,
  • Some young workers participating in special programs.

In each of these situations above, you are required to meet additional criteria to be eligible.

Work Permit Canada & Work Visa

Employer-Specific Work Permit: An employer-specific work permit legally allows a foreign worker to work for a specific employer for a certain period of time. This type of work permit includes the name of the employer you will work for, the duration and location of work if applicable. It is also called a closed-work permit and is subject to a job offer by a Canadian employer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which shows as evidence that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the job which is being offered to the applicant.

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for a work permit, certain conditions need to be met. There are a few general eligibility criteria and fewof them depends on the location are applying for the work permit from.

General Requirements:

  • You must be able to prove that you will leave the country when your work permit expires.
  • You must not work for any employers who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses who engage in sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlours.
  • You must get your security and background check done and submit your police clearance certificate.
  • You must get your medical exam done.
  • You must have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family members for the entire stay in Canada.
Work Permit Canada & Work Visa

If Applying from Outside Canada: Based on your country of residence or origin, you can apply for the work permit through your visa office outside Canada. They will guide you on the documentation, fee and procedure. You will need to get your police clearance certificate issued from your consulate and medical examination conducted by a designated medical officer there.

If Applying from Inside Canada: You can apply for a work permit while you are in Canada if:

  • You or your spouse are currently living in Canada on a valid study or work permit.
  • You have graduated from a designated educational institution in Canada. You are eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.
  • You have applied for your permanent residency and awaiting for a decision to be made. You can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit.
  • You have applied for a refugee status inside Canada and are waiting for a final decision, or when you have been granted the status of a convention refugee or a protected person.

A work permit can be granted when you land into Canada in case you are from a visa-exempt country with a valid medical certificate or if you are eligible to apply for an open work permit.


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