How to Get a Canadian Work Permit from India

Between January and April of 2020, Canada issued just over 33,000 work permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The top 5 countries that secured the most permits are Mexico, Jamaica, India, Guatemala, and the Philippines. Over 76,000 work permits were issued under the International Mobility Program (IMP) with 27,000 going to Indian nationals.   

Are you interested in working in one of the greatest nations in the world? The first step is to apply for a Canadian work permit from India. Work permit applications can take anything from 2-weeks to a few months to process depending on the program through which you apply. Learn more about Canada’s work permit programs below to make the best choice for your future in the Great North. 

The International Mobility Program (IMP)

Mature Indian man smiling and shaking hands

Most Canadian work permits are issued under the IMP. The reason for its popularity is the quicker and easier work permit application process due to the fact that applicants are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement - a document that’s tricky to obtain. The IMP is designed to cater to Canada's broader economic and cultural interests through international agreements and youth exchange programs.   

Work Permits Under the IMP
LMIANot required
Closed or Open Work PermitsBoth
PurposeTo advance Canada's broader economic and cultural interests
Processing timesMany IMP streams have a two-week work permit processing standard

Let’s take a look at popular programs under the IMP for Indians below.

1. Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Indian man graduating with cap and gown

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) remains the leading stream of work permits obtained under the IMP. It accounted for 35% of all IMP work permits issued at the start of 2020. Because Indians make up the largest number of international students in Canada it comes as no surprise that they are the leading PGWP holders in the country.

The PGWP is a popular open work permit that allows international students to gain professional work experience in Canada. This then helps to strengthen their permanent residency applications to remain in the country indefinitely. To qualify for a PGWP you must enroll for an eligible course of at least 8-months in length from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in one of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.

Read more about studying in Canada here.

2. Intra-Company Transfers

The beautiful Toronto's skyline over lake. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

If you work for a company that has a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada, you may be able to secure a Canadian work permit from India through the Intra-Company Transfer Program. There are a few top Canadian companies with offices in India such as Air Canada, McCain Foods, and The Bank of Nova Scotia. Intracompany transferees provide significant economic benefits to Canada through skills transfer. A work permit under this category will be valid for 12-months with the possibility of renewal. 

In order to be eligible to work in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program, Indian workers must fall into one of three categories: 

  • Executives: Direct the management of the enterprise, or a major component thereof, and receive only general (if any) supervision from higher-level executives.
  • Senior managers: Direct the management of the enterprise, or a major component thereof, and receive only general (if any) supervision from higher-level executives.
  • Workers with ‘specialized knowledge’: Can demonstrate specialized knowledge of the enterprise’s product or service, or an advanced level of expertise in the enterprise’s processes and procedures.

3. Significant Benefit Work Permit

Unlike the other work permit programs under the IMP with clearly defined requirements, the Significant Benefit Work Permit is up to the discretion of visa officers to decide if a worker’s presence in Canada is crucial to an upcoming event or adds to the country in a cultural, social and economic manner. These types of workers include artists, entrepreneurs, and investors, among others.

Got questions about Canadian work permits? Our immigration consultants can give you crucial answers that’ll help you make the best decision.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

Professional man smiling at camera

Many people apply for Canadian work permits from India through the TFWP. This category is labor-market based and designed for employers in Canada to hire foreign workers to fill job shortages across the country. To qualify for a work permit you must have a job offer and a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) document. You can only get an LMIA from the employer in Canada who wishes to hire you.

Work Permits Under the TFWP
Closed or Open Work PermitsClosed: Employer-Specific
PurposeLabour market-based (to fill shortages on a temporary basis)
Processing timesThe two-week processing standard is only available for certain occupations and top 10% wage earners, otherwise, the process can run for many months

Let’s take a look at two popular TFWP streams for Indians below.

1. Low and High Skilled Worker Streams

According to a 2018 BDC Study, close to 40% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are having difficulty hiring new employees. As Canada’s population ages and baby boomers retire, new and existing job positions are not filled fast enough to maintain economic growth. The survey shows that labor shortages are most serious in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, and Ontario.

Employers in Canada can hire workers from India through the Low and High Skilled Worker Streams of the TFWP for job positions that they are genuinely struggling to fill. They need to first prove that no Canadian or permanent resident was willing or available to fill the position with the help of an LMIA.

Wondering which jobs are most in-demand in Canada? Explore the in-demand occupations across Canada for 2020. The best part is that many of these crucial jobs in Canada are associated with an immigration program or pilot!

2. Agriculture Worker Stream

Friendly farmer at work in greenhouse

The Agriculture Worker Stream of the TFWP and the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot are two popular paths for agri-workers from India who are looking to make a permanent move to Canada. How does it work? Agriculture workers in the meat processing, animal raising, green housing, and mushroom production sectors with 1-year of work experience in Canada and a full-time job offer from their employers can apply for permanent residency through the Agri-Food Pilot. But before they can work in Canada to satisfy the requirements of the Pilot they need to apply for a work permit from India through the Agriculture Worker Stream.

As with any work permit obtained through the TFWP, you must have a valid job offer and an LMIA to apply.

How We Can Help You Work in Canada

As one of the leading immigration and visa agencies in Canada, offers comprehensive eligibility assessments to provide you with a wide range of new opportunities and possibilities to work in Canada. 

We take time to understand your needs to ensure world-class service. Our immigration specialists provide personalized guidance and advice to each and every client. We can assist you in applying for a Canadian work permit from India by personally handling the intricate process on your behalf and walking you through every step of the journey. 

All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.