Working in Canada has become the dream of many foreign immigrants looking to make a better life for themselves and their families. If you're considering working in Canada, it's essential to understand the documents required to obtain a Canada work permit. Canada offers various work permits for eligible foreign immigrants, each with its own requirements and procedures.
Obtaining a Canada work permit can be complicated, especially if you don’t know which documents are required to obtain a Canada work permit. Don’t know which documents are required to apply for a Canada work permit? Discover what you need to apply for a Canada work permit and make working in Canada dreams a reality!
What Do You Need to Apply For a Canada Work Permit?
To be eligible to apply for a Canada work permit, you must gather and submit the following information or documents.
One of the primary documents required for a Canada work permit is identification. You must provide a valid passport or travel document to prove your identity and citizenship. Ensure that your passport is valid for your stay in Canada. We recommend renewing your passport before applying for a work permit to avoid any complications that may delay your application.
When applying for a Canada work permit, you may be required to demonstrate your educational qualifications. This could include submitting your academic transcripts, diplomas, or degrees. The Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) administers the process of validating the equivalency of your foreign qualifications to Canadian education standards.
The Canadian government wants to ensure you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute effectively to the Canadian workforce.
Learn more about the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
Work experience is another crucial aspect of the Canada work permit application process. You must provide documentation that proves your previous work experience, such as reference letters from previous employers or contracts. Demonstrating your expertise in a specific field can increase your chances of obtaining a Canada work permit.
Official Immigration Forms
The specific forms required for a Canada work permit application depend on the type of work permit you are applying for. Some common forms that you must fill out include:
- 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)
Proof of Funds
To demonstrate you can support yourself and/or your family financially during your stay in Canada, you must provide proof of funds. Documents which can serve as evidence of sufficient funds include:
- Bank statements
- Pay stubs
- Proof of employment i.e., the offer of employment letter
Dependents and Family Information
If you want to bring your family or dependents to Canada, you must provide information about them in your work permit application. This includes details of their identity, relationship to you, and any proof of their immigration status. Ensure you have the necessary documents to support their inclusion in your work permit application.
Applying for a work permit in Canada requires you to pay certain application fees. Ensure that you pay the required fees when submitting your application. The payment can usually be made online, and you will receive a receipt as proof of payment, which you must include in your work permit application.
Proof of Current Legal Status
If you currently reside in another country that differs from your citizenship country, you must provide proof of your legal status there. This can be a visa, work permit, or any document confirming your lawful presence in that country. This is important to establish your admissibility to Canada and eligibility for a Canada work permit.
A Job Offer
In most cases, a job offer from a Canadian employer is a prerequisite for obtaining a work permit. The job offer should include details such as your
- Job title
- Duration of employment
This document demonstrates that your employment in Canada is valid.
Medical Clearance Report
To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of its residents, Canada requires most work permit applicants to undergo a medical examination. A designated panel physician approved by the Canadian government must conduct this examination.
They are responsible for assessing your overall health and screening immigration applicants for communicable diseases. The results are documented in a medical clearance report, which you must submit as part of your work permit application.
Obtaining medical exam clearance documents proves that you don’t present a danger to Canada’s public health and that you won’t put unnecessary pressure on the country’s universal healthcare system.
Learn more about the 3 medical reasons you may be deemed inadmissible to Canada.
As part of the work permit application process, you may be required to provide a police report or a certificate of good conduct from your country of residence. A police report assures you have not been involved in any criminal activities that could pose a risk to Canadian society. Obtaining a police report takes time, so we recommend requesting the document well in advance.
What Documents are Required to Get a Work Permit in Quebec?
To work in Quebec, you must closely follow the distinct work permit application requirements in the province.
Québec Acceptance Certificate
If you plan to work in Quebec, in addition to the documents mentioned earlier, you will need a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). The CAQ is issued by the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation, et de l'Intégration (MIFI) and confirms that the provincial government has approved your work permit application. This document is essential for obtaining a work permit in Quebec.
What Types of Work Permits Does Canada Offer?
The IRCC primarily administers the following two types of worker permits:
Open Work Permit Canada
The Open Work Permit Canada allows you to work for any Canadian employer anywhere in Canada. This type of work permit is beneficial if you want to explore different job opportunities or work in multiple locations within Canada. Open work permit Canada immigration visa programs and streams include:
- Post-graudate Work Permit (PGWP)
- IEC Working Holiday Program
- Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP)
- Inland Spousal or Common-Law Sponsorship
Employer-Specific Work Permit
An employer-specific work permit is tied to a specific employer or job in Canada. This means you can only work for the employer specified on your work permit. You must apply for a new work permit if you wish to change employers or jobs.
Employer-specific work permits are typically issued when there is a specific labor market need for the skills you possess as an immigrant or when the job offer requires the support of a positive labor market impact assessment (LMIA).
The LMIA is needed to ensure that by hiring a foreign worker, Canadian employers will not negatively impact Canada’s labor market. Immigration visa streams in Canada that use an employer-specific work permit include:
Learn more about the types of work permits in Canada.
How Can I Apply for a Canada Work Permit?
Applying for a Canada work permit involves several steps and requires careful attention to detail. Here is a general video overview of the application process:
How Can You Improve Your Chances of Receiving a Canada Work Permit?
To improve your chances of receiving a Canada work permit, consider the following:
- Ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements and provide accurate and complete information in your application
- Demonstrate that your skills and expertise are in demand in Canada’s labor market
- Provide all the required supporting documents, including proof of funds, educational qualifications, and work experience
- Carefully follow the application instructions and submit your application well ahead of your start date
How Long Will it Take to Process my Work Permit Application?
The processing time for a Canada work permit application can vary depending on several factors, including the type of work permit, the volume of applications being processed, and your country of residence.
However, on average, it takes a minimum of 30 business days (6 weeks) for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to inform you whether or not your application was successful. We advise that you submit your application well in advance to allow for any unforeseen delays and ensure sufficient time to prepare for your move to Canada.
Find out more about what to expect after your application is submitted and IRCC processing times.