Are you considering working in Canada temporariily and wondering about the work permit process? Here, we provide answers to the most commonly asked questions to help you navigate Canada’s work permit system.
1. How Much Does a Canadian Work Permit Cost?
The processing fee is $155 CAD per person.
An open work permit, allowing you to work for any employer, costs $100 CAD per person.
2. What Documents Are Required?
To apply for a work permit in Canada, you must prepare essential documents and forms. Here’s a detailed list of what you’ll need:
- A valid travel document or passport
- Submission of biometric fingerprints and photo
- Evidence that you meet the requirements for your prospective job
- Certificat d’Acceptation du Quebec, if applicable
- Proof of relationships with all spouses, children or common-law partners
- Completed Application For Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295) form if you are applying from outside Canada.
- Completed Document Checklist (IMM 5488) to ensure all required documents are included.
- Completed Family Information (IMM 5645) form, which should be filled out by the principal applicant, spouse or common-law partner, and all dependent children aged 18 or older.
- Completed Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa form, but this is only required for foreign nationals who need a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.
3. Can You Get a Canadian Work Permit Without a Job Offer?
In most cases, candidates will need a job offer from a Canadian employer, typically supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
However, there are exceptions where foreign workers can apply for a work permit without an LMIA or a job offer:
- Recent graduates from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) may qualify for a PGWP without needing a job offer.
- Spouses of individuals already holding Canadian work or study permits may be eligible for a work permit without a job offer.
4. Who Qualifies for an Open Work Permit in Canada?
You may qualify for an open permit in Canada if you fall into one of the following categories:
- An international student who has graduated from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and is eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP).
- A student who can no longer afford the costs of your studies (destitute student).
- You’ve applied for permanent residence in Canada.
- You’re a dependent family member of someone who has applied for permanent residence.
- You’re the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student.
- You’re the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.
- You’re a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person, or their family member.
- You’re under an unenforceable removal order.
- You’re a temporary resident permit holder.
- You’re a young worker participating in special programs.
5. Can Family Members Join Me in Canada on My Work Permit?
- Your spouse or partner may be eligible to apply for an open work permit, granting them the flexibility to work for almost any employer in Canada.
- Dependent children of temporary foreign workers may also qualify if they meet specific criteria.
6. What are the Different Types of Work Permits in Canada?
- LMIA-Supported (Closed) Work Permits: These require Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) to ensure that hiring foreign workers won’t negatively affect the Canadian job market, including employment and wages.
- LMIA-Exempt (Open) Work Permits: This category, part of the International Mobility Program (IMP), doesn’t mandate LMIAs. Workers under free trade agreements like the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) can obtain these permits without their employer needing an LMIA.
7. What’s the Fastest Way to Get a Work Permit in Canada?
Processing Time: Skilled workers applying through the Global Talent Stream can typically secure a permit within two weeks, with applications processed in about 10 business days.
Two Categories: The program has two categories:
- Category A: Designed for high-growth companies requiring unique specialized talent from abroad.
- Category B: Intended for employers seeking to hire highly skilled foreign workers for specific occupations listed in the Global Talent Occupations List, which are deemed in-demand with insufficient domestic labor supply.
8. What’s the Typical Processing Time?
The processing time for these permits can vary, typically taking between one to nine months. Several factors influence this timeframe:
- Application Type: The processing time depends on the specific type of work permit application.
- Application Completeness: Applications that are complete and include all required documents are processed more efficiently.
- Verification: The ease of verifying the information provided in your application affects processing time.
- Response Time: Your prompt response to any requests or concerns from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can expedite the process.
9. Is It Possible to Switch from Visitor to Worker Status in Canada?
If you’re a visitor in Canada and wish to change your status to a worker, you can follow these steps:
- Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV): If you don’t already have a TRV, apply for one.
- Secure a Job Offer: Obtain a job offer from a Canadian employer.
- Meet Eligibility Criteria: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, which may include having the necessary qualifications for the job.
- Apply: Submit an application for a work permit within Canada.
10. Can You Secure Permanent Residency from a Canadian Work Permit?
It is possible to apply for Canadian permanent residence (PR) while in Canada on a work permit. One of the immigration pathways tailored for temporary foreign workers is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Requirements for PR under CEC:
- Work Experience: You must have at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in Canada within the three years before applying.
- Language Skills: You should meet or exceed the required language skills level, based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level of your work experience.