How to Apply for a Work Visa in Canada in 2022

Do you have what it takes to immigrate to Canada and start a new life? Besides being a spectacular country with breath-taking sceneries and endless activities to choose from, Canada welcomes foreigners who are looking for a unique experience or better quality of lifestyle.

Canada also offers a wealth of job opportunities for a broad skill set in both public and private sectors. According to SkilledWorker, a global recruitment agency for skilled professionals from all over the world, there are 15 jobs that Canada is currently falling short of. Jobs in the service sector, health care, technology and various business industries are high in demand in Canada for 2022.

Immigration Levels Infographic


The above infographic shows that immigrants are the backbone of Canada’s swift economic recovery since the jobs lost were immediately filled by immigrants. It goes without saying that Canada is a highly-developed country which explains why so many people are willing to immigrate to Canada in hopes of a better future for themselves and their families. It has recently been reported that the Canadian government is currently addressing the labour shortages in Canada.

Are you ready to start your journey and apply for a Canadian work visa? We take you through the steps to get you started.

As a way forward, the introduction of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Quebec Pilot Program will be running until December 31, 2023. The TFW program currently accommodates higher skilled workers - though the upcoming implementation of the NOCC level occupations will be effective from May 24, 2022. The addition of NOC C level occupations allows for more flexibility in addressing the labour force needs.

So, you qualify for a work permit in Canada and you’re wondering if your skill set are high in demand in Canada?

Below you can find the top job opportunities in Canada for 2022 marked with its specified NOC C level occupations that differentiate the various skill levels.

Top Job Opportunities in Canada for 2022
High in demand job NOC C level occupationsExpected salary
Software DeveloperNOC 2174$74,997
Marketing ManagerNOC 0124 $84,376
Registered NurseNOC 3012 $78,000
Delivery Truck Driver NOC 7514 $33,150
Customer Service RepresentativeNOC 6552 $33,150
WelderNOC 7237$49,725
Engineer NOC 2131$80,340
AccountantNOC 1111$69,712
Human Resources ManagerNOC 0112$96,993
ElectricianNOC 7241$103,116

By now you’ve located your skill set and you’re ready to find out what the next steps involved are to get a work visa in Canada.

In order to obtain a Canadian work visa or work permit, individuals would have to show proof of eligibility to immigrate to Canada. However, you can only apply for a work permit once you’ve successfully secured an offer of employment from a Canadian employer.

girl with map

Step 1. Choose the right work permit 

There are some cases where a work permit is not required to work in Canada. In this case, I'll be highlighting the cases in which a work permit is needed to immigrate to Canada. First, you need to decide on the right work permit for you. There are two essential types of work permits:

(1) Employer-specific work permit: This type of work permit must comply with the conditions of the job which would outline relevant information pertaining to the job.

*Top Tip: This work permit is more formal in that it requires a foreigner to undergo some extra procedures such as obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada. This document serves as permission to the employer to hire a foreigner to fill the employment role. While this step mainly applies to the employer, it’s important to understand the process involved when applying as a foreigner for a work visa in Canada.

(2) Open work permit: this permit is a work permit that’s not intended for a specific job. In fact, a foreigner is allowed to work for any Canadian employer as long as the employer complies with the guidelines set out by the Canadian government.

*Top Tip: If you qualify for an open work permit, you may not need an LMIA or proof of an employment offer letter.

Step 2. Find out if you are eligible to work in Canada

Depending on the country you’re applying from, all applicants have specific requirements that should be met. Whether you’re an international student or a foreigner who has a job lined up in Canada, these are the requirements for all applicants:

  • have proof that you intend to leave Canada after the stipulated time of your work permit; 
  • if you’re an international student or a spouse or a common law partner of a skilled worker; 
  • have the ability to provide for yourself or a family member should they join you; 
  • provide a police clearance certificate that shows you have no criminal record; 
  • obey the law and refrain from any criminal activity in Canada; 
  • have a medical exam that proves you’re in good health; 
  • make sure that you only work for Canadian employers who comply with the guidelines (employers who are not involved in criminal activity or anything that the Canadian government deems unlawful or illegitimate for employers), and 
  • provide any other outstanding documents such as an LMIA that shows you’re allowed to enter the country.

Step 3. Apply for a work permit in Canada

Most applicants applying for a work permit in Canada would have to be fully vaccinated and exempted from COVID-9 restrictions. A good place to start would be the Canadian government where you would have to select where you’re applying from – whether or not you’re applying inside or outside the country. There will be specific online documents you would have to read or submit, and continue to follow the instructions on the website from thereon.

Step 4. Post application: What happens after you submit your work visa application?

If you’re applying outside of Canada, you would have to submit your biometrics which consist of your fingerprints and photo. Are there applications that do not require biometrics? Yes. According to Canadian government, you do not need to give your biometrics if:

  • you're 17 years or younger; 61 years old or older, or 
  • if you’re someone who had your Canadian visa previously approved.

Furthermore, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) would process your application and verify the following information:

  • the legitimacy of the Canadian employer and whether they have followed the employer guidelines set out by the Canadian government; 
  • if you qualify for a work permit, and 
  • a medical exam would possibly have to be presented

Once the above information is verified, you will receive an approval letter which is a letter that confirms you’re eligible to work in Canada. Do not mistake the approval letter for your work permit as this letter should be shown to the border services officers at the port of entry. You will receive your work permit at the border once you land in Canada.

Step 5. Prepare for the day you arrive in Canada

The time has come for your arrival in Canada and you want to ensure that you have all documents prepared for the border services officer. The following are important documents you should have:

  • Passport 
  • Work visa 
  • Letter of approval, 
  • LMIA, and 
  • any other outstanding documents that prove you’re eligible to apply for a work permit and shows that your application was successful

Note: Your work permit will be printed after the border officers have verified all your documents. It’s important to double-check your permit for any mistakes before leaving the port of entry.

Step 6: What are the conditions of my work permit?

At this point, you’ve proven eligibility to apply for a work permit and you’ve been approved by the border officers. Now, you’re ready to start your new job in Canada but before you do so, you need to note the following:

  • Make sure you understand the conditions of your work permit and that you meet those conditions. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the Social Insurance Number (SIN) which allows you access to various government programs 
  • Make sure you understand Canada’s labour laws, contract and housing which plays a vital role in making your stay comfortable.


How long does it take to get a work permit in Canada 2022?

The waiting time can be daunting for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Canada. Different Canadian visas will have different processing times depending on your skills set or occupation level. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be processing all documents and this depends on the backlog of visa applications.

The IRCC will be improving their processing time in 2022 in hopes of alleviating the long delays. In the meantime, you should know that there are certain factors that could cause a delay in processing your visa application:

  • Depends of the type of visa application 
  • The country you’re applying from 
  • The accuracy of your application: for example, submitting all necessary documents required 
  • Confirmation of information from the applicant: whether applications are already on the system and if the IRCC can process your application 
  • The response time of the applicant when the IRCC follows up

What is the age limit for a working visa in Canada?

Applicants in their 30s are usually in the peak of their careers and are looking for professional growth. Canada’s Express Entry system for immigration operates on a point ranking system for those who are seeking to immigrate to Canada for better financial gains. The objective of the points systems is to attract those between 18 to 30. This means that you’re more likely in demand in Canada’s labour market. Canada wants to attract young skillful candidates who can add value to the Canadian economy.

Depending on the applicant’s age, candidates will be ranked according to their score. The candidate’s score is also known as a CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score, which can go up to 110 points. To put it simply, candidates who want to immigrate to Canada should apply early to maximize their points which could eventually result in an invitation being issued for application.

How hard is it to get a Canadian work visa?

Applying for a Canadian work visa can be a long process but there are ways to speed things up. For your application to be recognized and successful, you would need to have a job lined up in Canada as this will enable you to have:

  • A job offer letter and 
  • A positive labour market impact assessment document or number

Top tip: both of the above documents require the help of a Canadian employer who has made an employment offer.

There are three simple ways that will boost the chances of getting your work visa.

  • Get employer support 
  • Have in-demand skills 
  • An LMIA may be required.

Are you wondering how to apply for a Canadian work visa without an LMIA? Don’t sweat it. There are ways around this through the International Mobility Program (IMP) that enables the foreign worker to apply without an LMIA.