FAQs: How to Get a Canadian Work Visa

When it comes to living and working in Canada, the means to achieving that almost seem endless because Canada has more than 100 immigration pathways. Along with the many immigration programs, also come many requirements. One of the most frequently asked questions typically seems to be about how to get a Canadian work visa.

There’s no reason for you to miss out on the chance of being one of the over 1.2 million immigrants welcomed to Canada by 2023, as we answer all crucial questions on work visas in Canada.

FAQ 1: What Is a Canadian Work Visa?


The Canadian work permit, also known as a Canadian work visa, is issued to foreigners who wish to work in the country for a specific period of time. The work permit allows business people, temporary workers, permanent workers, students and others to work in Canada. There are two main types of work visas in Canada, they are:

  1. employer-specific work permits; 
  2. open work permits.

FAQ 2: How Can I Get an Employer-Specific Work Permit?

Most foreigners wanting to work in Canada will receive an employer-specific work permit, as it will allow you to work in Canada under specific conditions. This permit, also known as a closed work permit, will limit you to one employer and position.

Limitations on your visa may include:

  • the name of the specific employer you can work for;
  • how long you can work for; and
  • if applicable, the location where you can work.

One way of securing a closed work permit is through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This program allows Canadian employers to temporarily hire foreign nationals to fill Canada’s labour shortages and bring new skills and knowledge to help the country's economy grow. Streams that fall under the TFWP are the Global Talent Streama and the Agricultural Stream.

Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a program provided by the government to help Canadian employers with a faster way to hire highly skilled foreign talent to expand the Canadian workforce. One of the major benefits of going through the GTS is that processing times can be as short as two weeks. The GTS is available to two categories of employers:

Category A

This category is for employers who have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of the stream’s designated partners after they have demonstrated the need to hire unique and specialized temporary foreign workers in order to grow.

To be eligible for this category, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
  2. You must have a job offer in Canada.
  3. Be able to prove that you’ll leave Canada after the work permit expires.
  4. Prove that you can finance your stay and your family’s stay in Canada and that you have enough funds to go back to your home country.
  5. Have a clean criminal record;
  6. prove that you aren’t a threat to the national security of Canada.
  7. Be in good health.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) a document proving that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is willing or able to fill a specific position in Canada, allowing the employee to hire a foreign worker.

Category B

This category is for employers looking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions for in-demand jobs in Canada found on the Global Talent Occupations List.

This list includes occupations such as:

  • Computer and information systems managers;
  • Database analysts and data administrators;
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers; and
  • Information systems testing technicians.

Agriculture Stream


The agricultural stream will allow foreign nationals to work as foreign temporary workers for a period of 24 months. One of the many benefits of this stream is that the employer needs to pay for the round trip transportation costs, provide affordable housing and pay health insurance for you.

Other ways on how to get a Canadian work visa can be through the stream for high-wage positions or low-wage positions.

FAQ 3: How Can I Get an Open Work Permit?

Obtaining an open work permit would mean that you are allowed to have any job in Canada, at any location. However, t restricted open work permit could bind you to the type of work you do.

Essentially, the open work visa also means that you are exempt from needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment. A way to obtain an open work permit can be through the International Mobility Program (IMP). This program allows Canadian employees to hire temporary foreign workers without the need for an LMIA. Employers favour this program as the process is much quicker and simpler.

The International Mobility Program serves Canada’s broader economic and cultural interests. One of these interests is the Post-Graduation Work Permit, which enables foreign graduate students to obtain an open work visa.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) will allow international students who have graduated from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) to get an open work visa. Graduates who have the PGWP are free to change jobs or locations in Canada. The validity can be up to three years, depending on the length of the program

You can apply for a Post-Graduation Worker Permit if:

  • your study permit is still valid;
  • you have a valid visitor record;
  • you have maintained full-time student status in Canada;
  • you submitted an application to extend your study permit before it expired and no decision has been made on your application; and
  • you studied program at a designated learning institution that was at least eight months long.

If studying in Canada is something you’d like to do there are many affordable tertiary institutions in Canada. A spouse or common-law partner of an international student may also apply for an open work permit.

Other programs that able you to obtain an open work permit include International Experience Canada (IEC) or being the spouse of a skilled worker, an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program or a family member of someone who applied for permanent residency.

FAQ 4: What Is the Cost of a Canadian Work Permit?

Canadian Work Visa Fees
Fees CAN
Work permit (including extensions) – per person $155
Work permit (including extensions) – per group (3 or more performing artists) $465
Open work permit holder $100
Restore your status as a worker - Restore your status ($200) and get a new work permit ($155) $355

Work permit maximum group fee: To qualify, you must be a group of three or more performing artists and their staff and apply simultaneously and in the same place.

FAQ: 5: How Long Does it Take to Get a Canadian Work Visa?


The Canadian work visa has a large range and the application processing time will depend on the completion of your application and the office you applied at. However, it generally takes around 1 to 27 weeks to process the permit.

FAQ 6: How to Apply for a Work Visa

You need to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This can be done online, each country of origin will have different forms that need to be completed.

How applying online helps you

  • No courier fees or mail delivery time – they get your application instantly.
  • It helps you make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • You can quickly submit more documents online (if need be).
  • You get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.

Your Pathway to Immigrating to Canada

Regardless if you end up working in Canada via an open or closed work visa, it will open doors to immigration. Canadian work experience plays a significant role in foreigners successfully becoming permanent residents of Canada. The Canadian Experience Class that falls under the Express Entry system for one, is a great way to use your Canadian work experience to permanently live and work in Canada.

Now that all the frequently asked questions have been answered on how to get a Canadian work visa, the next thing to do is fill out the form via the link below. With the help of the Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs), we work with, your journey to getting a work visa can be simple and hassle-free!