Canada Work Permit: Explained

Apply for Canada Work Permit Now!

    A Canada work permit is a written and authorized permission that allows eligible international workers to work in the country. You can only work in Canada if you have a work permit. It is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and is based on a positive LMIA or a job offer from an LMIA-exempt employer. 

    This article includes

    1. Types of Canada Work Permit
    2. Who can Apply?
    3. How to Apply?
    4. Letter of Introduction
    5. Getting the Work Permit
    6. Immigration pathways that need a Work Permit
    7. Get your Work Permit faster

    Types of Canada Work Permit

    There are two types of Work permits in Canada:

    Employer Specific Work Permit

    An Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP) allows foreign skilled workers to work in Canada according to the conditions mentioned in the permit. These conditions are:

    • The name of the employer you can work for.
    • The duration for which you can work.
    • The location where you can work.

    Open Work Permit

    With an Open Work Permit, you are allowed to work for any valid employer. An employer is valid if they are not on the list of non-compliant employers. An employer who offers services like erotic dances or massages is also deemed ineligible. You will require an Open Work permit if:

    • You are a Ukrainian National or a Temporary Resident permit holder.
    • You are in Canada and have been sponsored by a PR as a spouse 
    • You have applied for PR on humanitarian ground
    • You are outside Quebec but have acquired a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ).

    Who Can Apply for a Canada Work Permit?

    You will apply for a work permit under four circumstances:

    • If you have applied for Canada PR from outside Canada: In this case you will be required to apply for the Employer-Specific Work permit.
    • If you have not applied for Canada PR and are outside Canada: In most cases you will need to apply for an Employer-specific Work permit (ESWP)
    • If you have applied for Permanent Resident and are inside Canada: In this case, you will be eligible for a Bridging Open Work permit (BOWP).
    • If you have not applied for Canada PR and are still in Canada: In this case, you will need to extend your existing Canada Work permit. You can apply for a Canadian work permit from within the country if:
      • You already have a valid study permit or work permit
      • Your spouse or legal partner has a valid study or work permit
      • You qualify for a post-graduate work permit and have a valid study permit too
      • Your parent or legal partner possesses a valid temporary resident permit which is still valid for 6 months or more
      • You’re awaiting a decision on a permanent residency application through the in-Canada spousal class or the Temporary resident permit holder class.
      • You have claimed refugee protection
      • You are allowed to work without a Canada work permit but need one for another job

    How to Apply for a Canada Work Permit?

    Applying for a work permit in Canada includes ten stages and two phases.

    STEP 1

    The first step towards applying for a Canada work permit is to determine whether you will apply from:

    • Outside Canada
    • Inside Canada, or 
    • At the Port of Entry

    STEP 2: Application for work permit

    Get the application for the work permit that is appropriate according to your circumstances. For instance, if you are outside Canada who needs a visitor visa, you will need an Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP)

    STEP 3: Applying online or offline

    Determine if you are applying online or offline. You can only apply for a Canada work permit offline if you suffer from some disability that prevents you from applying online or are applying under seasonal agricultural worker programs. You will need to create an account with IRCC to initiate the work permit application.

    STEP 4: Country selection

    Select the country you are applying from. For example, if you are applying from India, pick India.

    STEP 5: Fill out the application form

    Fill out the application and submit the following forms:

    • Application for Work Permit made outside of Canada
    • Document checklist
    • Family information 

    STEP 6: Provide necessary information

    Provide all the information and complete your Canada work permit application. You will be asked for the following information:

    • Personal Information- this includes:
      • Your full legal name as it appears on your passport and legal documents
      • Any nicknames
      • Gender
      • Date and place of Birth
      • Country of citizenship
      • Country you are currently residing in
      • Marital status
      • Native language and language of communication
    • Information about your passports
    • Information about your work in Canada such as:
      • Type of work permit you are applying for
      • About LMIA and the 7-digit LMIA number
      • Your place of work
      • Duration of  work
    • About Education
    • Your Work history
    • Background information

    STEP 7: Pay application fee

    Pay the application fee and submit it to the IRCC. Canada Work Permit costs $155 CAD.

    After applying for the Work Permit

    STEP 8: Completion check

    Once you submit your application for a Canada work permit, it will be assessed by the IRCC for completion. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada checks if the documents you have uploaded and submitted are complete.

    STEP 9: Review for decision

    Your work permit will be assessed for accuracy and authenticity. This is the stage where IRCC will either approve or reject your application. 

    STEP 10: Approval

    Once the IRCC approves your Canada work permit application, you will receive a letter of introduction confirming the approval of your work permit. 

    Getting Canada Letter of Introduction

    After IRCC accepts your work permit application, you will receive a Letter of Introduction. Canada Letter of Introduction does not guarantee your entry into the country. An officer at the Port of Entry (POE) will verify your eligibility and decide the duration of your permit. This will be the time you will receive your work permit. You must remember that the Port of Entry letter, also known as the Letter of Introduction is not a work permit.

    Getting your Work Permit

    Once you land in Canada you must have:

    • A valid passport
    • Visitor visa (if you are from India, you will require a visitor visa)
    • Any travel document
    • Letter of Introduction
    • Copy of a positive LMIA
    • CAQ or Certificat de sélection du Québec (if applicable)

    Once the IRCC officer assesses all your documents and is convinced of your eligibility, your Canada work permit will be printed and issued to you. Thus, you will receive your work permit at the Port of Entry (POE).

    Immigration Programs that mandate a Work Permit

    You must apply for a work permit as soon as you get a job offer and a positive LMIA from a valid Canadian employer. All immigration programs that require a job offer automatically require a work permit. 

    1. Express Entry

    If you immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system, you might be required to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

    2. Provincial Nominee Programs

    Canadian provinces and territories offer various pathways for skilled workers, students, and entrepreneurs to get provincial nominations and settle as permanent residents. All the PNP pathways that mandate a job offer as an eligibility requirement need a work permit. For such pathways, you will need an Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP).

    3. Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

    You will need to have a two-year Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP) if you want to apply for Canada PR through the Atlantic Immigration Program.

    4. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

    Canada Immigration through the RNIP pathway requires a one-year employer-specific work permit. In case you are accompanied by your spouse or legal partner, they can apply for an open work permit.

    5. Québec-Selected Skilled Workers (QSW)

    If you are living outside Quebec and get a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), you will need an Open Work Permit. If you are already in Quebec with a CSQ and have applied for Canada PR through the Quebec Selected Skilled Workers, you might apply for a bridging open work permit.

    6. Agri-Food Pilot

    Applying for Canada PR through the Agri-Food Pilot program requires a bridging open work permit.

    Note: These are not the only immigration pathways that would require a work permit. Depending upon your profile, a permit may or may not be required. Ensure that you consult with your immigration consultant about all the requirements.

    Getting your work permit faster

    Being employed in Canada offers a high-quality and balanced lifestyle. However, getting a job in the country and applying for a work permit can become a complex and intimidating task. Talent Connected Worldwide is a CICC-authorized award-winning immigration consultancy that offers premium Canada immigration and work permit services. From helping in deciding the type of work permit you are eligible for to getting your documents ready, we make the process extremely simple and fast. With us, your work permit is bound to get processed with minimal chances of rejection.