Applying for a Work Permit for Canada

Find out what you need to submit in order to get a work permit for Canada...

To work in Canada, it is necessary to apply for a work permit prior to arriving in the country.

Applying for a work permit from outside Canada

Applicants must also:
  • Meet the general requirements for being in the country, such as having a temporary resident visa
  • Have a job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Have confirmation of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which is supplied by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to confirm that an employer can employ a foreign worker for that position; some jobs do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • Meet all immigration or refugee status requirements
  • Information about applying for a work permit from outside Canada
  • A full list of procedures and documents for applying for a work permit

Applying for a work permit from within Canada

A work permit may be applied for from within Canada if:
  • A spouse has a work permit or parents have a work permit
  • A person already has a work permit but wishes to apply for another job
  • A person has a temporary resident visa that is valid for six months or more, or has applied for permanent residency status
  • A person have graduated from a program at a Canadian university, community college or other eligible school
The applicant must also have:

Applying for a work permit when entering Canada

Under certain circumstances, for example if a person does not require a temporary residence visa and if a job is exempt from a Labour Market Assessment, it is possible to apply for a work permit when entering Canada.

Work Permit Application Process

It is necessary to submit the application by mail, courier or in person to the Canadian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission in a person's country of residence. The work permit application should include:
  • The completed work permit application form
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • A valid passport (if a family is applying, all members of the family must have a valid passport and all must be submitted with the application)
  • Application fee
  • Statement from Canadian employer including details of the job offer including salary and position, and/or the Labour Market Assessment or Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI)
  • Letter from the applicant's current employer with details of current salary and position
  • Documents supporting the applicant's educational qualifications
  • A pre-paid return envelope for the passport, if not collected in person
Other criteria may include:
  • A personal interview
  • A medical examination
  • A temporary resident visa may also be required
  • Marriage and birth certificates for accompanying family members

Temporary residence visa

If a visa is required to enter Canada, it is not usually necessary to apply for this separately or pay an additional fee. A temporary residence visa should be issued at the same time as a work permit. However, a work permit alone is not enough to enter Canada if a visa is required.

Québec

People who intend to work in Quebec must apply to Immigration Québec.

Citizens or permanent residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and the United States

Citizens or permanent residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and the United States do not require a visa to enter Canada, but must show proof of citizenship or permanent residency for these countries. However, they do need a work visa in order to work in Canada.