Work Visa Requirements from UK to Canada

Are you looking to leave the cold trenches of the UK to come and work in the land of opportunity? The good news is that Canada is always here to welcome you with open arms and the slightly less good news is that it’s not that simple as you may think it is. According to,

"British Citizens don’t usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods. If you have a different type of British nationality or intend to travel for a longer period, check entry requirements with the Canadian High Commission. When you arrive you will need to be able to show that you have enough funds available to support yourself during your stay…"

Because work visas generally last for longer periods, you will need to have an individual assessment to check whether you are eligible for a Canadian visa.

So how do you come to Canada from the UK under a working visa?

Step One – Find out if you need a working permit

Most jobs will require you to have a working permit, however, there are a select few that do not require the work permit. These include the following industries or jobs:

  • Business visitors (NB! Business people are not the same as this)
  • Athletes and coaches
  • Aviation accident or incident investigators
  • Civil aviation inspectors
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizers
  • Crew members
  • Emergency service providers
  • Examiners and evaluators
  • Expert witnesses or investigators
  • Family members of foreign representatives
  • Foreign government officers
  • Foreign representatives
  • Healthcare students
  • Judges, referees and similar officials
  • Military personnel
  • News reporters, film and media crews
  • Performing artists
  • Public speakers
  • Students working off campus
  • Students working on campus

NB! All of the above categories are subject to their own respective terms.

Step 2 – Find out if you need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Any foreign nationals looking to emigrate to Canada should learn about the basic requirements that their future employers will need of them. In most cases, the employer will request that you have a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) done.

What is an LMIA?

According to the Canada Immigration and Citizenship, LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada that allows an employer to hire a foreign worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

If you are being employed under the International Mobility Program, you do not need to have an LMAI done but you will need to pay an employer compliance fee and submit an offer of employment to Citizenship and Immigration Canada through the Employer Portal before you can apply for a work permit.

Step 3 – How many types of work permits are available?

Canada offers many opportunities for you to emigrate with a working permit. Depending on what industry of work you are in and how long you plan to stay, please consult the following kinds of work permits to see which suits you best.

  • Foreign Workers
  • Live-In Caregivers
  • Business People
  • Students
  • Permanent Workers
  • International Experience Canada

Step 4 – Brush up on your English and French

English and French are Canada’s most commonly spoken languages. We have no doubt that coming from the UK, your English cannot be faulted – but how good is your French? Even if you have adequate language skills in English or French, those skills may not be strong enough to work in your preferred profession. Just to be sure, we strongly suggest that you take language classes or bridging programs in order to be fully prepared for the language proficiency test that will be used in your evaluation or assessment.

Step 5 – Documents you need to immigrate to Canada for a working visa

Before even thinking of starting the immigration process, you’ll need to have a valid passport. This passport needs to be valid for the entire duration of your stay but we suggest that you add an extra short period in the case of any unforeseen delays.

Another document you may need is an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). Having only been sanctioned in March 2016, this law states that all visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization. Travelers who fail to produce an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.

Step 6 – Find a job

Though last on the list, don’t mistake this step’s importance. Finding a job in Canada is instrumental in applying for your working visa. The first stride to finding a job in Canada is to research Canadian workplace cultures and standards as well as employment requirements. Thereafter, you may search and apply for jobs online or via a recruitment service.

Step 7 – Get your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

If you are successful in your application process and have arrived in Canada, the first order of business is to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in order to have access to government programs and benefits.

Learn more about the Canadian work visa requirements and how to apply in our new video.