How to Apply for a Work Permit in Canada

Many foreign nationals relocate to Canada in search of employment opportunities. For those who want to live there permanently, having to work in Canada is a great first step.

With so many career options in Canada, many people might consider applying for a work permit.

We’ll go over how to apply for a Canada work permit.

To begin, we’d define a work permit.

What is a Work Permit

A work permit is a legal document authorizing a foreign national to engage in employment within Canada.

Each year, Canada gives about half a million work permits to momentary foreign workers around the world.

Eligibility to Apply for a Work Permit

Most foreign nationals require a work permit to work in Canada, while there are certain exceptions.

Most candidates will need a Canadian employment offer accompanied by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to apply for a work permit.

Foreign workers can apply for a work permit without an LMIA or a job offer in particular circumstances.

This might include a recent graduate of a Canadian Designated Learning Institute (DLI) or the spouse of someone who already has a work or study permit in Canada.

Candidates must also fulfill the following eligibility conditions to apply for a work permit:

  • Indicate their intention to depart once their work authorization expires.
  • Prove they have enough money to maintain themselves and their family in Canada and return home.
  • Are not criminally or medically ineligible to Canada.
  • Make arrangements to work for a reputable company.
  • Can deliver whatever documents essential to ascertain their ability to enter Canada.

Types of work permits in Canada

There are various types of work permits in Canada, and they would be discussed below.

Some work permits need an employment offer from a Canadian employer, others require the employer to present a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and still, others require a connection to Canada (previous education, spousal sponsorship, etc.).

Now we go to the discussion of the different categories below, so look through to find the work permit that best suits your qualifications:

  • Demanding a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • LMIA-Exempt, however a work offer or employment contract is required.
  • Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA required)

1. Demanding a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

  • Temporary Foreign Worker

Program (TFWP)

  • Facilitated LMIA (Quebec)
  • Global Talent Stream

2. LMIA-Exempt, however a work offer or employment contract is required

  • CETA Work Permits
  • Intra-Company Transfers
  • International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • NAFTA Work Permits

3. Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA required)

  • International Experience Canada (IEC) (working holiday visa)
  • Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
  • Spouse Accompanying International Student or Worker
  • Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)
  • Spousal Sponsorship from Inside of Canada

Note: Permanent residents of Canada do not require a work permit to work in the country.

A person with permanent resident status has the legal right to live and work anywhere in the country.

You can discover more on your own about professional and skilled worker permanent immigration alternatives.

How to Obtain a Work Permit in Canada

The method for acquiring a Canadian work permit differs considerably based on the type of work permit sought.

For example, as part of their study visa authorization, a foreign student studying in Canada is sometimes granted permission to work part-time.

The majority of closed work permit applications require a foreign national to have an official job offer from a Canadian business that is backed up by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Even individuals who are exempt from the LMIA or do not require a work visa should be aware of the special papers they must produce to be admitted to Canada.

The closed (limited) work permit and an open work permit are the two types of work permits available in Canada.

Closed work permits are tied to certain employers, which means that foreign nationals must continue to work for the same employer at the same location until their work permit is changed.

The cost of a Canadian work permit

A closed work permit costs $155 per person, while an open work permit costs $255  per person. Extra fees will apply if you are reinstating a work permit or applying as a group of performing artists.

How to apply for a Canadian work permit

Depending on the type of work permit you need, the application process differs. The first step is to figure out which work permit suits you best.

If you need assistance with the application, check out the Canadian Immigration web page for help.

Required Document

The paperwork needed for a Canadian work permit varies depending on the sort of work permit you’re seeking.

As part of their work visa application, applicants may be required to submit the following documents:

  • Application forms that have been filled out completely.
  • Evidence of Canadian residency (if applicable)
  • Identification of a family member (if applicable)
  • Evaluation of the Labor Market (if applicable)
  • An employment offer in writing (if applicable)
  • CV/ résumé.
  • Certification of marriage (if applicable)
  • The Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) is a document that certifies that a person has met the requirements of the province (if applicable)
  • Demonstrate that you are qualified for the position.
  • A valid passport photocopy.
  • A copy of a student’s diploma.
  • The outcomes of the medical examination (if requested)
  • Financial proof of ability to stay in Canada and return home.
  • Proof of government fee payment.
  • Passport photographs were taken recently.

Other requirements include

  • Photo requirements
  • Medical exam
  • Police clearances
  • Biometrics

Photo requirements

A passport-sized portrait is required for foreign nationals seeking a work permit in Canada. The image must follow the IRCC’s rules.

Medical exam

Foreign nationals applying to work in Canada may be needed to take a medical exam, depending on their projected length of stay, where they have lived, and what occupation they will work in.

With few exclusions, if you want to work in Canada for less than 6 months, you will most likely not need a medical check.

If you plan to work in a position that needs direct contact with people or if you are an agricultural worker who has traveled to specific countries, you must have a medical exam.

If you plan to work in Canada for more than 6 months and meet one of the following criteria, you will be required to take a medical exam:

  • You have spent at least six months in or been to one of the countries listed on Canada’s Find out if you require a medical checkup page.
  • You want to work in a field where you’ll be in constant contact with people.

Police clearances

You may be asked to present police clearance certificates by the visa officer who is assessing your application.

Depending on where you are applying from, this document may be part of your application checklist and must be included with your first submission.

Applicants for work permits may be asked to show a police clearance certificate from any nation where they have lived for 6 months or more since turning 18.


Applicants applying for a work permit from within Canada are now exempt from IRCC’s temporary measure.

After obtaining a biometrics instruction letter, candidates outside of Canada are still needed to furnish biometrics.

Follow the procedures on the Canadian government’s dedicated page for providing your biometrics.

Time frame to process work permit

The type of work permit requested and the applicant’s present country of residence determines how long it takes to process a work permit application. The time it takes to process a document ranges from a few weeks to many months.

How to activate the work permit

How you activate your work permit is determined by where you apply and how you apply.

A. After applying from within Canada, you must activate your work permit.

If your application for a work visa from within Canada is approved, you will get an approval letter from IRCC.

Your approval letter will be available in your account if you applied online.

The letter would come to your mailing address if you filed a paper-based application.

Your physical work permit will be mailed to you once you have received your approval letter.

The permission will be activated when it arrives, allowing you to work in Canada.

B. After applying from outside of Canada, you must activate your work visa.

If your application is granted while you are outside of Canada, you will receive a letter with details on how to obtain your physical work permit at a Canadian port of entry (POE).

The instruction letter will be available in your online account if you applied online. You would receive the letter to your mailing address if you applied on paper.

C. After applying at the port of entry, you must activate your work permit.

At the point of entry into Canada, certain individuals may be eligible to apply for a work permit.

You must bring documentation that proves your eligibility while applying for a work visa at the border.

If the application is granted, the officer may print the work permit at the border immediately away. This work permit is immediately usable.


There are various questions about the work permit, such as whether the applicant’s family is covered by the permission and others.

But, apologies, this article is solely about the application procedure and what it entails.

So I would conclude by saying you could get all of the prerequisites then when you are ready try it out using the thorough explanation of how to apply for a Canadian work permit provided above.


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