How Do I Get a Work Permit in Canada?

Foreign workers seeking employment in Canada will need to obtain a work permit.  There are two types of work permits available in Canada: restricted work permits and open work permits. While there are some jobs that are exempt from work permits, most jobs will require one.

Restricted Work Permits

Restricted work permits are the most common type of work permit issued in Canada.  These work permits are only issued for a specific employer, so you will need to obtain a new work permit if you change employers. Work permits also have a set duration. However, you may apply for a new work permit from inside Canada. The maximum duration a foreign worker may work in Canada is four years. After 4 years, you must leave Canada and will be unable to obtain a new work permit until an additional 4 years have passed. This takes into account all time worked in Canada, whether it is continuous or with gaps between work periods.

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The steps for obtaining a work permit in Canada include:

1. LMIA Assessment

Your prospective employer must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if required to do so. If the employer is able to prove that there is no Canadian or permanent resident available to perform the job, and presents a detailed job offer, they may receive a positive LMIA.

The prospective employer must obtain a positive LMIA before a work permit will be considered. There are limited exceptions to this rule, as some jobs qualify for LMIA Exempt Work Permits. These exemptions are generally granted due to international treaties, Canadian interest, or certain Canadian permanent resident applicants.

2. LMIA Approval and Job Offer

Once the employer has received a positive LMIA, the employer must send you a copy of the LMIA approval letter as well as a detailed job offer.

3. Apply for Worker Permit

In addition to the LMIA approval letter and job offer, you must apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You may also need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), depending on where you are applying from or your citizenship.

4. Receiving Your Work Permit

If your application for a work permit is approved, it will be issued to you at a point of entry in Canada.

Open Work Permits

An open work permit differs from a restricted work permit in a few major ways. An open work permit does not require a specific job or employer, and also does not require LMIA approval. Holders of an open permit may work for any Canadian employer doing most types of jobs. Open work permits do not require a job offer. However, open work permits in Canada are restricted to those who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Spouses or common-law partners of temporary foreign workers in a level 0, A or B occupation, according to the National Occupation Classification (NOC)
  2. Spouses or common-law partners of foreign students engaged in full-time study
  3. International students who have recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Sobirovs Law Firm

With years of experience, our team knows and understands the LMIA process fully, staying on top of the laws and changes that are frequent in the business immigration world. As you begin your efforts, know that you will have trusted legal advice by your side every step of the way by choosing Sobirovs Law Firm. Complete our business immigration assessment and contact our legal team today.