If you are a foreign national who is looking to work in Canada, then you will need a Canadian work permit to do so. A Canadian work permit is a document that allows you to work legally in Canada for a specific period of time. This permit is issued by the Canadian government and is granted to those who meet the eligibility requirements.
What is a Canadian Work Permit?
A Canadian work permit shows that the holder has been authorized to work in Canada and is allowed to engage in work activities that are specified on the permit. The permit has information such as the holder's name, passport information, the name of the employer, the start and end date of the permit, and the type of work that the holder is allowed to do.
A Canadian work permit allows the holder to work in Canada for a specific period of time, which can range from a few days to several years, depending on the type of work permit issued. It also allows the holder to travel in and out of Canada while the permit is valid. However, it is important to note that a work permit is not a permanent residency permit, and it does not guarantee the holder the right to stay in Canada permanently.
It is important to obtain a Canadian work permit before starting work in Canada, as working without a valid work permit is illegal and can result in severe consequences such as deportation, fines, and being barred from entering Canada in the future. There are different types of Canadian work permits, such as employer-specific work permits, open work permits, and various ways you can get a work permit, such as through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Each type has its own eligibility requirements and application process.
Open Work Permit
An open work permit is issued by the Immigration Office to immigrants who wish to work for any employer for a certain amount of time.
There are two subcategories for Open Work Permits (OWP), Unrestricted and Restricted Permits. The main difference between the two is that Unrestricted Permits allow you to work in any occupation and location, while the Restricted does not. The Restricted Permit allows you to work in a specific job and thus does give you as much freedom of movement to work in different areas of Canada.
Employer-Specific Work Permit
The employer-specific Canadian work permit is issued to foreign nationals who have received a job offer from a Canadian employer. This type of work permit is tied to the employer and the job that was offered. It means that if the foreign national wants to change their employer or job, they will need to apply for a new work permit.
To apply for an employer-specific Canadian work permit, the employer must first obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA is a document that assesses the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labour market. The employer must prove that they have made reasonable efforts to hire Canadian citizens and permanent residents before offering the job to a foreign national.
Once the employer has obtained a positive LMIA, the foreign national can apply for an employer-specific Canadian work permit. The application must include the job offer letter, a copy of the LMIA, and any other supporting documents required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Popular Canadian Work Permit Programs
Canada has over 100 routes to immigrate, work and study. Many of these require a work permit. These are the most popular work permits you could be eligible for.
Post Graduate Work Permit
If you are an international student who has recently completed your studies in Canada, you may be eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). This permit allows you to stay and work in Canada for up to three years after you graduate. The Canadian work permit is an excellent opportunity for you to gain valuable work experience in your field of study, earn money, and potentially even become a permanent resident.
The PGWP is an incredible opportunity for international students to gain Canadian work experience, which can be vital in securing future permanent residency or a job offer. The Canadian work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, regardless of the industry. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in your field of study and potentially even land a full-time job offer from your employer.
To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have completed a full-time study program at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada, which is a post-secondary school recognized by the Canadian government. You must also have a valid study permit when you apply for the PGWP and be able to prove that you have completed your studies.
The duration of your PGWP will depend on the length of your study program. For example, if you completed a two-year program, you will be eligible for a two-year work permit. If you completed a one-year program, you will be eligible for a one-year work permit. However, the maximum duration of the PGWP is three years.
International Experience Canada (IEC)
The IEC encompasses three streams that allow young people to live and work in Canada. The Working Holiday visa allows individuals from participating countries to work and travel in Canada for up to two years. This program is perfect for those who want to explore Canada while also earning money to support their travels. It is important to note that the Working Holiday visa is only available to individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 (or 35 for some countries).
If you are a young professional looking to gain international work experience in your field of expertise, the Young Professionals program may be the right fit for you. This program allows individuals from participating countries to work in Canada for up to two years in a job related to their field. This program is an excellent opportunity for young professionals to gain valuable work experience in Canada while also networking with industry professionals.
The Working Holiday visa, The Young Professionals program and the International co-op require a Canadian work permit, which can be obtained through the IEC program. The application process for the IEC program can be done online and requires a few documents, including a valid passport and proof of funds. It is important to note that the application process can take several weeks, so it is recommended to apply well in advance of your desired travel date.
Work Permits For Spouses
To be eligible for a Canadian work permit, your spouse will need to apply for an open work permit. This type of permit allows them to work for any employer in Canada, without needing a job offer beforehand. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for an open work permit. For instance, your spouse must be legally allowed to live in Canada through a spousal sponsorship for example, and your work permit must be valid for at least six months or longer.
The process of obtaining a Canadian work permit for your spouse can be complex and time-consuming. It's important to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information before starting the application process. Some of the documents required include a valid passport, proof of relationship, and proof of financial support.
It's also important to note that the processing time for a work permit can vary depending on a number of factors such as the country of origin and the type of permit being applied for. Therefore, it's recommended to apply for the permit as early as possible to avoid any potential delays.
How Can We Help You
Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be a bit tedious; with 100+ immigration programs to sift through, a copious amount of forms and documents to complete and strict submission dates, the process can become very complicated and stressful. But that's what we’re here for.
At CanadianVisa, we take the hassle out of relocating to Canada. Our accredited RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) are ready to evaluate your eligibility, review all documentation and submit all documentation on your behalf. Using an RCIC not only gives you the best possible chance of receiving an ITA for permanent residence but will make the entire process simple and effortless.
What Visa Programs Use Open Work Permits?
Some of the types of work permits Canada considers to be OWP are the:
- Temporary Work Permits for Spouses or Partners;
- Post Graduation Work Permit;
- Temporary Resident Permit;
- World Youth Program Permit;
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Spousal Permit;
- Regular Open Work Permit; and
- Bridging Open Work Permit
What is a Bridging Open Work Permit?
This is a special work permit that lets you work in Canada while you wait for your permanent resident application results. There are also certain requirements you must meet to apply. You must apply if you are already living in Canada, if your work permit is expiring within four months or if your work permit is still valid.
What Does a Canadian Work Permit Show?
A Canadian work permit has four conditions. It shows:
- The employer you work for;
- The type of work you will do;
- The location where you can work; and
- The amount of time you can legally work in the country