Work Permits To Canada

A work permit is required for most jobs in Canada. However, certain business people, investors, and people involved with multinational companies, or who are from countries that have signed trade agreements with Canada may not require work permits.


There are 2 types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits.



An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada.

 You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

  •  are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • are an international student who is no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student)
  • have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada
  • applied for permanent residence in Canada
  • are a dependent family member of someone who has applied for permanent residence
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
  • are under an unenforceable removal order
  • are a temporary resident permit holder
  • are a young worker participating in special programs

 In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.



 An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions specified on your work permit, which include:

 –       the name of the employer you can work for

–       how long you can work

–       the location where you can work (if applicable)

Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing (LMIA)

 How can you obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

Sometimes, Canadian businesses need to hire foreign workers because they can’t find any Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the job. In these cases, if a Canadian business has to hire a temporary foreign worker, it needs to apply to obtain an LMIA.  

You must apply for an LMIA through one of the following streams:

  • High-Wage worker application
  • Low-wage worker application
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • Agricultural Stream

What happens when you receive your LMIA?

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers to fill labour and skill shortages. Once an LMIA is issued, you should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each temporary foreign worker and tell each of them to apply for a work permit.  You’ll need an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada.

Don’t take any chances with your LMIA application.  It is a tricky process, and rejection is very time-consuming and costly.

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