How to Make Sure Your Canadian Work Permit Application is Complete

Starting a new job can be very daunting, but depending on your perspective, it can also be a very exciting time. More often than not, Canada tops the list as the country of choice for foreign nationals who want to pursue a career in a new setting.

Canada’s booming economy is a major draw for those seeking to take their earning potential to a higher level, while soaking up the full splendor of the greater Canadian landscape. Before making a move to chase those career goals, though, you’ll have to obtain a valid Canadian work permit.

A work permit is a written document of authorization issued by a Canadian immigration officer that will allow you, as a permanent resident of a foreign nation, to be employed in Canada. To successfully obtain one, you’ll have to put together a long list of documents, including an offer of employment and your biometrics, to name but a few.

A work permit, when granted, is valid only for a specified employer, position and time period. It is issued according to a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), or an offer of employment from an LMIA-exempt employer.

A Canadian work permit will allow you to legally work in the country, earn an income, pay taxes, and carry out business activities. To secure the work permit, you’ll have to fill out and obtain a number of documents, all of which make up your Canada work permit application pack.

The way in which it is filled out will determine the success of your application, so it’s important to be thorough. The consequences for not properly filling out an application ranges in severity from a needless delay in the processing of your application to a complete rejection of the entire application itself. In order to avoid these dreadful outcomes, let’s take a look at everything you’ll need.

Why do you Need a Work Permit?

Why you need a work permit

You will need a work permit if you don’t have Canadian citizenship or a permanent residency and want to work temporarily in Canada. While there are instances where you could be exempt from needing one, it is generally required for your work status to be legal.

A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document obtained from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that grants an employer the permission to appoint a temporary worker.

LMIAs are required as proof that Canadian business had previously sought to hire Canadian residents and citizens but as a consequence of failing to find requisite local talent, looked to find skilled workers elsewhere internationally.

ESDC assesses an employer’s LMIA application to check how the appointment of a temporary foreign worker will affect Canada’s job market. They will then issue a positive or negative LMIA letter to the employer. Your employer is instructed to give you a copy of the letter, so that it can be included in your work permit application pack.

An LMIA is granted for a set time period, so the work permit you receive is valid for that period. Should you require a work permit for an extended period, chances are, you’ll have to get another LMIA.

What you Need

What you need

Now that you’re clear on what exactly a work permit is, let’s go through everything you’ll need for your Canadian work permit application. Remember, if you send an incomplete work permit application pack, your application will not be valid.

  • A copy of your offer of employment from your prospective Canadian employer
  • Proof that you are qualified for the job you have been offered
  • At least two ID photos
  • Your biometric details (possible at this stage)
  • A copy of the Labor Impact Assessment (LMIA) that you’ve obtained from your prospective Canadian employer
  • An Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labor Market Impact Assessment

Required Forms

Here is where you can find the required forms related to permanent residence and work permit applications:

  • Application For Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475)
  • Document Checklist (IMM 5488)
  • Family Information (IMM 5645)
  • Schedule 1- Application for Temporary Resident Visa
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409)
  • Use of Representative (IMM 546)

Required Documents

Valid Passport

You’ll have to have a valid passport that will allow you to go back to the country in which it was issued, along with two ID photos of yourself and any family members who will be joining you.

Proof of Employment in Canada

If your work permit is LMIA-exempt your employer should give you an Offer of Employment number. If you need an LMIA, your prospective employer should give you a copy of the LMIA from the ESDC as well as a copy of an employment contract.

Proof of Relationship

You might need to submit marriage and birth certificates for loved ones joining you in Canada. If you’re in a common-law relationship and your partner will be joining you in Canada, you’ll have to complete the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409)

Please note that the immigration application stream most aligned with bringing family with you to Canada is the Family Sponsorship program.

Additional Documents

If you’re not a citizen of the country or territory from which you are applying, you’ll have to provide proof of your current immigration status there.

Certified Copies

As with all official undertakings, you’ll need to make sure that copies of your documents for your Canadian work permit application are all certified. This means that a person with authority - known as a commissioner of oaths in some countries - will have to examine the original document and compare it to the copy, then stamp and date.


You will also have to provide certified copies of original documents that have been translated - the document in its original language, along with the English or French translations. In addition to this, you'll be required to get an affidavit from your translator if they are not professional.

Medical Examinations

A medical examination may be necessary if you wish to enter Canada.

  • You must be examined by a Panel Physician at the beginning stages of your application; or
  • You must wait for your application to be reviewed and for medical instructions to be provided by immigration office officials.

Note that if your medical results are included from the beginning, the Canadian work permit application can be processed faster, because they won’t have to request the results. You will have to cover the costs of your examination.

If you end up having an upfront medical test, you'll have to provide proof of this in your application. If this is omitted it will cause unnecessary delays. Remember that a medical test will not influence the outcome of your application.


Biometrics are an important part of a work permit application. You’ll need to have your fingerprints taken at a biometric center. If your family will be joining you, they’ll need to have theirs taken as well. You’ll also need your picture taken with your biometrics.

If you find yourself in Canada and are applying for your first work permit, you’ll have to do this at a set Service Canada center. If you submit biometric fingerprints and photos, you won’t have to add paper photos to your work visa application pack.

When Should my Biometrics be Taken?

Biometrics may be Submitted:

  • As soon as you’ve paid for and submitted application and biometric fee.
  • Once you get a biometric instruction letter (BIL) that will tell you which biometric center you are allowed to use.
  • Your application will be processed as soon as your biometrics are received.

Pay Fees

Pay fees

There are likely to be three different types of fees.

  • The application processing fee: 155 C$
  • The open work permit holder fee: 100 C$.
  • The biometric fee: 85 C$

Things to Remember

Things to remember

  • Your application needs to be complete
  • Your application needs to be accurate
  • You need to complete every section of your forms
  • If something does not apply to you, simply write “Not Applicable” (NA)

How we can Help you Apply for Your Work Permit 

How we can help you apply

Make sure all the sections that require your name and surname are filled out. Make sure you add your signature and the date to the application form. If your application is incomplete it may be rejected or sent back to you and this will delay processing.

If you run out of space to write on a paper application, print another page for that section, complete and add the page to your application. Applying for your work permit is a huge step. Make sure that all information you include is verified. The processing of your Canadian work permit application will be halted if you submit false information.

According to Refugees Immigration and Citizenship, making a false claim on your application form is an offense under section 127 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. At, we can help you apply for your work permit without the stress. Let’s get started on your journey to Canada.


How do I Check Whether my Work Visa Application Package is Complete?

If you mean checking if you received a result for your application, you should receive a notification by email that there is a result in the portal you created for your application.

What is the Main Reason my Work Visa Application Could be Rejected?

Your work visa application could be rejected If you can't prove you have the necessary qualifications to perform the duties of the job.

When Is the Best Time to Apply to the Express Entry Program?

There is no best time. It depends on the quality of candidates that are already in the pool.