Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP)

Employer Specific Work Permit
  1. What is an Employer Specific Work Permit?
  2. When do immigrants require an Employer Specific Work Permit?
  3. ESWP with LMIA
  4. Employer Specific Work Permit for LMIA exempt workers
  5. Employer Specific Work Permit Canada: Processing time and fee
  6. Get your Employer Specific Work Permit faster

If you are a skilled worker who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you will require a Canadian work permit. Work Permit is an authorized written permission to a foreign worker to work in Canada. There are two types of work permits: Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP) also known as closed work permit, and Open Work Permit.

What is an Employer Specific Work Permit?

An Employer Specific Work Permit (ESWP) in Canada is a work permit that is entirely tied to your job offer. It is a work authorization issued by ESDC that states that you are allowed to work for a valid employer. The ESWP states:

  • The name of the Employer you can work for
  • The location of your job
  • The duration for which you can work for.

As soon as an international worker gets a job offer from a Canadian employer, he/she must apply for an Employer Specific Work Permit. An ESWP is restrictive as you cannot work for any other Canadian employer. All conditions are predetermined in an ESWP. The ESWP is also of two types:

  • One that requires an LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • One that is LMIA exempt.

When do immigrants require an Employer Specific Work Permit?

You can apply for a closed work permit under the following circumstances:

  • If you have acquired a commitment certificate for Start- Up Visa program. Your ESWP will also be processed within 2 weeks if your job belongs to TEER 0 or TEER 1 of the NOC codes.
  • If you have applied for PR through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), you are eligible to apply for the ESWP with a validity of 1 year.
  • If you are a provincial nominee who has not yet applied for PR, you can apply for Employer Specific Work Permit. You will also be exempted from the LMIA. 
  • If you have applied for Permanent Residence through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program before 5th March, 2022, you can apply for LMIA exempt ESWP. However if you have applied for PR under the AIPP after 6th March, 2022, your employer specific work permit will require an LMIA report. The ESWP will be valid for 2 years.


If your work permit requires an LMIA, you must have the copy of a positive LMIA from your employer before applying for the ESWP. You will also require a copy of your employment contract. Majority of the ESWP requires you to have a positive LMIA report. A positive LMIA report  implies that the employer was unable to find a skilled worker who was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, to meet his requirements. Thus, your employment will positively impact the Canadian labour market.

Employer Specific Work Permit for LMIA exempt workers.

Majority of ESWP are based on a positive LMIA report. However, if you are LMIA exempt, your employer will be required to pay a compliance fee of $230 and register in the employer portal.

Before you apply for Closed Work Permit Canada:

  • Your employer must sign certain declarations and certifications as per the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations (IRPR)
  • They must register with the employer portal and create and submit an employment offer. Once the employer submits an employment offer through the portal, he/she is given a 7 digit offer of employment number following an A (example: A#######). The employer must provide you with this offer of employment number.

Matching the LMIA exempt employment offer with the Employer specific work permit application.

The LMIA exempt employment offer enters into the Global Case Management System (GCMS). The status of this offer remains pending in the GCMS system. Once the ESWP application with the corresponding passport number, and citizenship is entered, the status of the employment offer changes from “pending” to “matched”. This is the time when your employer specific work permit gets the :

  • LMIA exemption code
  • Name of your employer
  • Title of occupation
  • Duration of employment
  • NOC code

Once the status of the offer of employment is matched in the GCMS, the employer cannot alter the offer in the portal. They also cannot reuse the offer for any other applicant.

Employer Specific Work Permit Canada: Processing time and fee

ESWP Fees:

If you are applying for the Employer Specific Work Permit Canada, you will be required to pay $155 for the permit. Additional fee for biometrics might also be applicable.

Processing time:

If you provide complete and accurate documents required for a Canada work permit, your ESWP will be processed within 9 weeks approximately. The time taken by the IRCC to process your application also depends on how easily and quickly they can verify your provided information.

Get your ESWP faster

Being a CICC accredited immigration consultancy firm, Talent Connected Worldwide is an expert in work permits. We ensure that you have all the documents required for the work permit you are applying for. This makes the work permit processing faster. With us by your side, there are no chances of employer fraud risks. We ensure that you reach and work in Canada legally and safely.