Canada Work Permit

Canada Work Permit

Canada work permit helps all applicants seeking employment to work in Canada. Unless they are exempt from the same.

The country offers 2 types of work permit as per the applicant’s situation such as:

Employer Specific Work Permit

This work permit allows the applicant to work in Canada as per the terms specified on the work permit such as:

  • Firstly, the name of the Canadian employer hiring the applicant.
  • Secondly, the duration of employment.
  • Also, if applicable, the location of work.

However, before this, the applicant’s Canadian employer must qualify to hire a foreign worker. To do so it must get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Also, the employer must give the applicant either a copy of a positive LMIA or a job offer number. Because the same needs to be shared with IRCC to meet the work permit terms.


Open Work Permit

This work permit allows the applicant to work for a Canadian employer without an LMIA. But the applicant can not work for employers who:

  • Is on the list of ineligible employers who have failed to meet the terms and conditions, or
  • Offer services that are erotic.


Besides Canada issues this work permit in certain situations such as the applicant:

  • Has graduated from a Canadian educational institution and successfully qualifies to get a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
  • Is a student who can not bear the financial costs of their studies in Canada.
  • Has an employer-specific work permit but is at risk of being abused or facing workplace abuse in Canada.
  • Has applied for permanent residence in Canada
  • Is currently
    • a dependent family member, where the supporting family member has applied for a Canada PR.
    • the spouse or common-law partner, where the other partner, is a skilled worker or an international student.
    • the common-law partner or spouse of an applicant from the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program.


For details and updates on Open Work Permit Canada for family members click here.


  • Is a refugee, or refugee claimant, or protected person, or its family member is:
    • Under a removal order.
    • Is a temporary resident permit holder.
    • Participating in special programs as a young worker.


Eligibility to Apply for a Canada Work Permit

General terms to meet to apply for a Canada work permit

To apply for a Canadian work permit, the applicant must meet the following terms:

  • Firstly, agree to leave Canada when the work permit is no more valid.
  • Secondly, submit proof of funds to support itself and any family member(s).
  • Also, must follow all Canadian laws. Further, must not have any past criminal history. Besides, Canada may verify the same by asking to submit police certificates.
  • Must not pose a threat to the security of the country.
  • Be in good health and take a medical examination (if applicable).
  • Besides, must not work with an employer listed as ‘ineligible’ by Canada.
  • Further, do not work for an employer that offers erotic services.
  • Finally, submit all supporting documents as and when required.


In addition to the above terms, the applicant must also meet other terms if they are either applying from inside or outside Canada, or at a port of entry (POE).


Terms to meet – If applying from within Canada

The applicant can apply if they meet the following terms:

  • Have a valid study or work permit.
  • The applicant’s spouse or common-law partner has a valid work permit or study visa.
  • Qualify for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Also, their study visa must be currently valid.
  • Have a temporary resident permit with a validity of 6 months or more.
  • Have applied for a Canada PR from within Canada and are awaiting a decision on the same.
  • Canada recognizes the applicant as a convention refugee or a protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
  • Have permission to work in Canada without a work permit. But need a work permit to do another job. Besides the same does not apply to business investors; or
  • Under the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the applicant is an intra-company transferee, investor, trader, or a professional.


Terms to meet – If applying from outside Canada

If applying from outside Canada, the applicant must meet terms as per the country/territory they are applying from. Also, the applicant must check if it qualifies for the 2-week processing of its Canada work permit application under the Global Skills Strategy.


Applying for a Canada work permit at a Port of Entry (POE)

Currently, due to Canada’s travel restrictions, the country may not allow most people to apply for a work permit or give biometrics at a Port of Entry.

However, to apply the applicant must meet the following conditions:

  • Firstly, enter Canada from the United States. Besides, they must not flagpole[1].
  • Secondly, have a plan to quarantine for 14 days in Canada.
  • Also, have a valid job offer.
  • Further, meet other POE terms.


Usually, Canada suggests applicants get a work permit before they enter Canada. But to apply for a work permit at the time of entering Canada, the applicant can apply if it meets the following conditions:

  • To come to Canada, the applicant does not need a visitor visa.
    • Also, the applicant must enter directly from the United States and must not be flag poling.


In addition,

  • Are applying for an open work permit.
    • Also, Canada requires applicants to have a valid job offer even when the travel restriction is in place; or
    • The Canadian employer meets all terms for the applicant’s employer-specific work permit.


If the applicant, meets the above conditions, submit a work permit application online. Also, if Canada approves the application then they will give an approval letter to the applicant. This letter is not a work permit. Because the work permit will be given to the applicant:

  • At the POE, if applying and approved at a POE.
  • Will be mailed at Canadian residential address, if applying from within Canada.

[1] Refers to the activity of briefly crossing Canadian borders but not entering the U.S.A. to arrive back at a POE. This practice is used to fast-track renewing of study or work permit or for activating a new permanent residence status.