Work Permits

Each year, close to 200,000 foreign skilled workers come to work in Canada on Temporary Work Permits.

  • In order to work in Canada on a temporary basis, foreign skilled workers must have a temporary offer of employment from a Canadian employer and be granted a Temporary Work Permit by CIC and a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). There are several steps to this process.
    • Step 1: Employer applies for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, if necessary
    • Step 2: Employer extends a Temporary Job Offer
    • Step 3: Foreign Skilled Worker applies for a Work Permit from CIC
    • Step 4: Work Permit is issued by CIC

Depending upon the foreign worker’s country of citizenship, a Temporary Resident Visa may also be needed in order to enter Canada.

Note: The province of Quebec has unique regulations and processes covering temporary work permits.

Do you have a Canadian job offer and need a Work Permit?

In almost all cases, individuals with a job offer from a Canadian employer must secure a Temporary Work Permit to perform work in Canada.

A Temporary Work Permit may be issued for a period of time ranging from a few days to a few years. The process of applying for a Work Permit is twofold. First, the Canadian employer must receive government permission to hire outside of Canada. Once this permission has been granted, the designated employee(s) must apply for and receive their Work Permit(s). A Work Permit granted for a specific job in Canada will be tied to that job. This means that an employee may only work for the employer specified on their Work Permit. If they find different employment, they must apply for and receive a new Work Permit before performing another job in Canada.

There are a number of different ways to secure a Work Permit. Depending on one’s nationality, occupation, and intended work in Canada, there may be possibilities for expediting the process.

Are you a Canadian employer who needs to obtain Work Permits for new employees?

The Work Permit process for both Canadian employers and foreign workers can be a lengthy one and involved Labour Market Research and submissions of up to 150-200 pages depending on the size and scope of the temporary project or work involved. Note that a Canada Temporary Work Permit is for those foreign skilled workers who plan on working in Canada for a finite period of time. To work and live in Canada on a Permanent basis, foreign workers must apply for permanent residency if they qualify.

However, a Temporary Work Permit may be a stepping stone to Canadian Permanent Residency. Once in Canada on a Temporary Work Permit, a foreign worker may qualify for Canadian immigration (Permanent Residency) under the Canadian Experience Class through a Skilled Worker category, or through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

Work in Canada – Basic Facts

  • For Canadian immigration purposes, “work” is defined as an activity for which remuneration is earned or as an activity that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents in the Canadian labour market.
  • Canadian immigration authorities require a Work Permit for a limited number of work related activities in Canada.
  • A job offer from a Canadian employer is usually a prerequisite to receiving a Canadian Work Permit.
  • In some instances, Canadian immigration regulations allow for Open Work Permits which are not employer specific.
  • Work Permits are always temporary in nature, but can often be extended from inside Canada.
  • Normally, Work Permits will only be granted by Canadian immigration authorities if supported by a positive “Labour Market Impact Assessment” (LMIA) letter issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), indicating that the proposed employment will not adversely affect Canadian workers.

Please contact us by booking a consultation to receive more information to have your situation assessed for a Temporary Work Permit in Canada.

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Julie McMahon, RCIC, CAPIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
CICC number: R509339

Phone: 778.231.9410
Fax: 778.653.0665
Office Address:
Airport Square Building Suite 1100, 1200 West 73rd Avenue Vancouver, BC, Canada V6P 6G5
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