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How to Apply for a Canadian Work Visa for UAE Nationals?

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Do you want to immigrate from the UAE to Canada? Given that Canada’s permanent residence immigration programs are very competitive, the easiest route is to move to Canada on a temporary visa and later transition to permanent residency.

A Canadian work permit is a temporary visa that is relatively easier to get to make your Canadian immigration dream a reality. But how does a UAE national apply for a Canadian work visa?

Here we’ll answer all your questions. Let’s start the discussion by explaining the different types of work permits.

What is a Work Permit?

A Canadian work permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada temporarily. Canada has two different types of Work Permits:

  • Employer-specific Work Permit
  • Open Work Permit

Employer-Specific Work Permit

The employer-specific work permit allows you to work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as:

  • The name of the specific employer
  • The location where you will work
  • How long you will work with the employer

Thus, with the employer-specific work permit, you are not allowed to switch employers. You can only work for the named employer at the named location.

A popular immigration program that you can target to get an employer-specific work permit is the Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFWP). The program lets Canadian employers hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs when qualified Canadians are not available.

There are different TFWP streams to apply to for the specific-employee work permit, including Global Talent Stream, In-Home Caregiver Stream, and Low-Wage Worker Stream.

Open Work Permit

The open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada. The only exceptions are employers:

  • Listed as ineligible for failing to comply with certain conditions
  • Regularly offer striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages

You can only get an open work permit under specific conditions, such as:

  • You’re a temporary resident permit holder
  • You’re an international student who graduated from a DLI (designated learning institution) and are eligible for a PGWP (post-graduation work permit)
  • You’re a wife or common-law partner of a skilled worker or an international student
  • You’re a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence

Popular Canadian immigration programs that you can target to get an open work permit are:

International Mobility Program (IMP) – It helps Canadian employers hire foreign workers without needing an LMIA. People eligible for IMP include intra-company transferees and workers entering Canada as part of trade treaties.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) – It lets international students in Canada work temporarily in the country after completing their studies.

How to Apply for a Canadian Work Visa for UAE Nationals?

How a UAE National Can Apply for a Work Permit in Canada?

Getting a Canada work permit from the UAE requires taking the following steps:

  1. The employer applies for an LMIA
  2. Receive the offer of employment and the LMIA from your employer
  3. Submit your application for a work visa to the IRCC
  4. Receive a temporary work permit

Let’s take a look at these steps in a little more detail.

1. The Employer Applies for an LMIA

A Canadian employer cannot proceed to hire a foreign worker to fill a vacant position when there are Canadians or permanent residents to do the job.

Thus, before hiring a foreign worker, a Canadian employer may need to apply for and get a positive LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA document proves that the employer actually needs a foreign worker to fill the vacant position.

2. Receive the LMIA Document and the Offer of Employment from Your Employer

When your employer gets a positive LMIA, they must send you a copy along with your employment contract (or job offer letter).

The job offer letter should explain the details of your job, so it must contain the following information:

  • Name and address of employer
  • Title of the job
  • Description of the job
  • Roles and responsibilities of the position
  • Start and end date of the employment contract
  • Conditions of employment, such as hours of work
  • The pay and deductions from the pay

How to Apply for a Canadian Work Visa for UAE Nationals?

3. Submit Your Application for a Work Visa to the IRCC

The next step is to apply to the IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for your work permit. If the Canadian employer is in the province of Quebec, you’ll also need a Certificate d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ), a document allowing you to work temporarily in Quebec.

Work permit applications to the IRCC must be online except if you qualify for a paper application.

When applying on paper, you should include a note telling the visa application center that you are eligible to apply on paper. People who qualify to apply on paper are:

  • Those with a disability that prevents them from applying online
  • Those that have documents as non-national residents, refugees, or stateless
  • Those applying under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

When filling out your online application, you’ll need certified translation for any document that is not in English or French. Some of the documents you’ll need are:

  • Valid passport or travel documents
  • Copies of reference letters (on official letterhead paper) from past and present employment
  • Resume or CV showing work and education history
  • Copies of secondary and post-secondary diplomas or degrees
  • Original police certificates

It takes about two weeks to process the Work Permit when you apply for a work visa in Dubai. Know that you may be asked to attend an interview with Canadian immigration officials in the UAE.

You may also be required to take a medical examination to show that you’re not inadmissible for medical reasons. An officer will tell you if you need a medical exam and will send you instructions on what to do. A medical exam can add over three months to the application processing time.

4. Receive a Temporary Work Permit

If your application is successful, you’ll get an approval letter that says you are allowed to work in Canada.

The letter is your Port of Entry letter of introduction. When you arrive in Canada, you must present the letter at the port of entry to get your Work Permit.

General Requirements When Applying for a Canadian Work Permit

When you apply for a Canadian work visa in Dubai or any other city in the UAE, you’ll also need to do the following:

  1. Prove that you will not work for an employer that offers prohibited services (like striptease, erotic massage, etc.), or an employer that is listed as ineligible to hire temporary workers because of failing to comply with certain conditions
  2. Prove that you will respect the conditions of your work permit (e.g., with an employer-specific work permit, you will work for only the named employer)
  3. Prove to an officer that after your work permit expires, you will leave Canada
  4. Prove that you have enough money to support yourself


How to Apply for a Canadian Work Visa for UAE Nationals?

Final Thoughts

To work in Canada, you need a work permit. Canada has two types of work permits, an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer, or an employer-specific work permit that allows you to work for only a named employer.

UAE nationals can apply for a Canadian Work Permit from the Emirates. The process is easy. First, you get an LMIA document and an offer of employment from a Canadian employer, then you submit an online application. The processing of UAE nationals’ work permit applications takes about 2 weeks.

If you’re still wondering about whether or not you’ll be eligible to live and work in Canada, take the assessment form on our website. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a clearer idea of what your next steps will be.

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