Worker Permit

There are more than 150,000 foreign workers entering Canada each year with the objective of seeking temporary positions that may solve any current labour shortages or to work as live-in caregivers.

In most cases, a work permit is required to begin temporary employment in Canada. Those who wish to find employment in Quebec are advised to obtain an Application for Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) prior to applying for a work permit.

In almost any case, individuals must apply for a work permit if they intend to work outside of Canada. Every now and then, individuals may apply from either within or upon entry to Canada as requirements are often similar in both instances.

  • Applying from outside Canada
  • Applying from inside Canada
  • Applying as you enter Canada

Eligibility to apply from outside Canada

The following documents must be submitted for applicants wishing to obtain a work permit from outside of Canada:

  • A job offer from an employer in Canada;
  • A completed application form;
  • Confirmation that the employer is authorized to hire a foreign employee by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) known as the positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Applicants must also:

  • Provide enough evidence to convince a visa officer that you will be leaving once your work permit has expired;
  • Confirm that you have access to enough financial means to support the settlement of you and your dependants in Canada;
  • Have no criminal record (will be confirmed by presenting a police clearance certificate);
  • Demonstrate that you are not a risk to the safety and security of Canada and its inhabitants;
  • Be in good health (a medical examination may be required to satisfy this condition)

Eligibility to apply from inside Canada

The following are the conditions to apply for a work permit while in Canada:

  • Applicant, spouse of applicant or parent of applicant must possess a study or work permit;
  • Currently possess a work permit but would like to apply for a separate work permit for a different position;
  • Currently possess a temporary resident permit that is valid for 6 months or longer;
  • Applicants who are currently in Canada and has already applied for permanent residency must undergo further stages of the application process prior to being eligible for a work permit

Applicants are also responsible for presenting the following documents:

  • A job offer from an employer in Canada;
  • The completed application form that indicates the applicant meets all conditions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
  • Written confirmation from HRSDC that states the employer has the authority to hire a foreign worker (known as a positive LMIA)

In most cases, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide the written confirmation;

Applicants must also:

  • Provide enough evidence to convince a visa officer that you will be leaving once your work permit has expired;
  • Confirm that you have access to enough financial means to support the settlement of you and your dependants in Canada;
  • Have no criminal record (will be confirmed by presenting a police clearance certificate);
  • Be in good health (a medical examination may be required to satisfy this condition).

Eligibility to apply as you enter Canada

Individuals may apply for work permit upon entry into Canada within the following conditions:

  • Applicant is a temporary resident visa exempt;
  • Applicant’s occupation does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the HRSDC ;
  • Applicant possesses a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from HRSDC

Please note that if your intended position requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), you may apply upon entry into Canada given that the approved LMIA has been granted prior to entry (not applicable for live-in caregivers and seasonal agricultural workers).

Special categories

There are 2 categories in which applicants may have their unique eligibility requirements and therefore do not require a work permit or may have work permits approved at a faster pace. This approval may be indicative of applicant’s the country of residence.

  • Live-in caregivers
  • Business people

Live-in Caregivers

Live-in caregivers refer to those who have the appropriate qualifications to care for children, the elderly or persons with disabilities while residing in private homes and given little supervision. At the time of the employment, live-in caregivers must live in the private home of their employer.

Employers as well as employees must ensure that they meet all requirements and criteria of the Live-In Caregiver Program. Participation in the Live-In Caregiver Program is essential to eligibly work as a live-in caregiver in Canada and receive a work permit.

Requirements of the Live-In Caregiver Program:

  • Must be granted a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (previously called LMO) from an employer located in Canada;
  • Must provide a written contract signed by both you and the employer;
  • Receive a minimum of 6 months training or acquire 1 year of full-time paid work experience as a either a caregiver or in a related field within the past 3 years (must have been employed by a single employer for at least 6 months);
  • Must have a workable knowledge of the English or French language;
  • Obtain a work permit prior to entering Canada

Business people

Those who qualify under this category include individuals who enter Canada via one of the following free trade agreements:

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
  • Other Free Trade Agreements;
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

If this category applies to you, as per the above free trade agreements, you may be eligible to have access to a quicker and smoother entry into Canada with the objective of directing business or investment deeds. In addition, business persons under the approved free trade agreements may not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC).

Please note: business visitors are considered in a separate category and will thus require separate requirements. Business visitors do not need a work permit to enter Canada.

To find out about your eligibility, please contact one of our immigration specialists.

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