Getting a Work Permit in Canada
If you want to work in Canada and don’t know where to start – we can help you with selecting your options and the most appropriate immigration stream that is available for foreign workers. To start, those who wish to work in Canada, whether it’s long-term or short-term, must obtain a valid work permit.
A work permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and, in most cases, allows you to work exclusively for the employer that is indicated in the document and perform a specific job. A work permit is also restricted to a specific location and time of work, or, in certain cases, it can be an Open Work Permit. It is important to understand at the very beginning of the application process what category your future job falls into, and the eligibility requirements you need to meet in order for your application to be successful.
Regular Work Permit (Employer Specific)
The most common steps and requirements to obtain a work permit are:
- Get a job offer from an eligible Canadian employer
- The employer has to apply and go through the LMIA application
- Be eligible for a job in Canada (have no criminal record, pose no threat to national security, do not work for ineligible employers, be in good health and be prepared to leave Canada when the permit expires)
Open Work Permit
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you’ve been included in an application for permanent residence, or an application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. In this case, the application must fall under one of the following categories:
- Federal Skilled Worker
- Canadian Experience Class
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Family Class
- Caring for Children Class
- Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class
With this type of work permit, your job placement is not restricted to a specific employer and you may work for any employer unless the company is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions.
Overall, the process of getting a work permit – beginning with the application, getting an LMIA from your future employer, and getting the actual documents may take a couple of weeks to a couple of months. It also depends on the type of work you are applying for. If your job is at the managerial, executive or professional level, you may be eligible for a two-week application process.
Professions that do not require a work permit:
- Foreign Representatives and their family members
- Military Personnel
- Foreign Government Officers
- On-Campus Work
- Performing Artists
- Athletes and Team Members
- News Reporters and Media Crews
- Public Speakers (only non-commercial speakers)
- Convention & Conference Organizers (excluding technical workers & personnel)
- Members of Clergy
- Judges, Referees and Similar Officials involved in sports and arts activities
- Examiners and Evaluators
- Expert Witnesses or Investigators
- Health Care Students
- Civil Aviation Inspectors
- Crew Members
- Emergency Service Providers
- Farm Workers
Unfortunately, you may run into a few complications on your work permit application process. Getting a job offer from a Canadian employer is a challenge since not every employer is willing to go through the wait-time and the LMIA application process, which requires extra time, work and documentation.
This is one of the many reasons why you should work with our company, Green Light Canada, for both foreign workers and companies looking to benefit from foreign workers. As well as being an immigration consultant company, we act as an employment agency and help connect employers and potential employees, while helping to optimize the process and properly facilitate the required paperwork.