Work in Canada: Canadian Work Permit & Visa Process

canada visa
canada visa

Canada is a popular destination for foreign nationals seeking employment opportunities. Each year, the country issues around half a million work permit to temporary foreign workers worldwide.

Working in Canada can also serve as a pathway to permanent immigration.


To be eligible to work in Canada, most foreign nationals need a work permit, although there are some exemptions.

The work permit application process varies depending on the type of work permit being sought. In many cases, a Canadian job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required. However, there are exceptions for individuals such as recent graduates from Canadian institutions or spouses of current Canadian work or study permit holders.


Applicants must meet several eligibility requirements, including demonstrating the intent to leave Canada after their work authorization expires, having sufficient funds to support themselves and their families, and being admissible to Canada both medically and criminally.

They must also plan to work with an eligible employer and provide the necessary documents to prove their eligibility.

There are different types of Canadian work permits available, each with its own set of requirements. Some permits require a job offer from a Canadian employer and an LMIA, while others are exempt from the LMIA requirement.

Open work permits, such as Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) and Spousal Sponsorship permits, do not require a job offer or an LMIA.


The process of obtaining a Canadian work permit varies depending on the type of permit. Some individuals, such as international students, may automatically receive authorization to work part-time as part of their study permit. Closed work permits are tied to specific employers, while open work permits allow for more flexibility.

Having a Canadian job offer does not automatically make an individual eligible to apply for a work permit. The job offer must meet specific requirements, such as being supported by an LMIA or being exempt from the LMIA requirement.

Work permit holders have certain restrictions and conditions outlined in their physical work permit. These conditions specify the type of work they can engage in, where and for whom they can work, and the duration of their stay in Canada.

It’s important to note that work permit holders are not permanent residents and must leave Canada when their authorized stay ends. However, there may be options for individuals who wish to stay permanently.

Family members can be included in a work permit application under certain circumstances. Spouses and dependent children may accompany the work permit holder to Canada. School-aged children can attend Canadian educational institutions without a separate study permit, and spouses or partners may be eligible for an open work permit.

The cost of a Canadian work permit varies depending on the type of permit. The processing fee for a closed work permit is $155 CAD per person, while it’s $255 per person for an open work permit. Additional fees may apply for specific situations, such as restoring a work permit or applying as a group of performing artists.

The application process for a Canadian work permit depends on the type of permit being sought. It’s essential to determine the most suitable work permit category and ensure all required documents are prepared. The application can be submitted online or through a paper-based process. Applicants should regularly check the status of their application through their online account or by linking their paper-based application to an online account.

Work permit applications may be refused for various reasons. Common reasons include concerns about the applicant’s ability to perform the intended work, doubts about their intention to leave Canada after their authorized stay, or not meeting the criteria for the applied work permit.

For applicants with a closed work permit, their spouse may be eligible for an open work permit. Spouses can apply for their work permit online in most cases.

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