Work in Canada

There are great opportunities  to Work in Canada.

work in canada

A work permit is a written authorisation issued by an officer that allows a person who is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident to work in Canada. It is required whether or not the employer is in Canada. Usually, it is valid only for a specific employer, job and length of time, and is issued based on a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada.

Options to work in Canada has opened up and the Government has simplified the routes to entry t work in Canada. With or without an employer, there is sure to be a suitable route for you to work in Canada.

Cumulative Duration of Permit to Work in Canada

A temporary foreign worker can work in Canada for a maximum period of four years. Therefore, you need to keep track of the time you work in Canada after April 1, 2011. However, there are some exceptions to this rule if:

  • the work you intend to do in Canada creates or maintains significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents,
  • the work you intend to do in Canada relates to an international agreement between Canada and one or more countries (including seasonal agricultural workers),
  • your work is done while you are authorised to study,
  • 48 months have passed since you accumulated 4 years of work in Canada or since you last worked in Canada.

If you do not work for a period of time during the validity of your work permit (for example you have a work permit valid for four years and you fall sick or you leave Canada temporarily), you may need to submit proof of time not worked when you apply for another work permit later on and you are close to the four-year maximum. Examples of proof documents include but are not limited to:

  • passport entry and exit stamps,
  • Record of Employment from Service Canada,
  • receipt of severance pay,
  • letter from a foreign educational institution where you attended school,
  • travel receipts (tickets, boarding passes),
  • proof of receipt of maternity/parental benefits,
  • letter from physician confirming you were on medical leave,
  • any other document that demonstrates that you were not working in Canada while on a work permit.
Labour Market Opinion

A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is the opinion provided by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to the officer which enables the officer to determine whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to have a positive or negative impact on the labour market in Canada. A LMO may be required in order for a work permit to be issued.

The LMO process begins by the prospective employer contacting ESDC to get a job offer form. Once the form is completed and submitted, ESDC considers several factors, including the availability of Canadians and the offered wages as well as the economic benefit the foreign worker would bring to Canada. ESDC then provides the opinion to the officer.

The LMO is typically given for a specific period of time, and the work permit issued will coincide with that period. Renewal of a work permit beyond the specified period will likely require a new LMO.

NOTE: For LMO-exempt work permits, these assessments will be completed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

When should I Apply to Work in Canada?

You should apply as soon as you receive written evidence of your job offer or contract of employment and your Labour Market Opinion (LMO) of ESDC.

In cases where a LMO is not required, you may apply once you receive written evidence of your job offer from the employer. But without this, you should also not wait as there are many routes to entry and the earlier you make your application, the earlier you can be on your way to working in Canada.

Speak to one of our advisors for more info as the various routes to a Canada Visa have varying lengths of time in order to get visa to Canada. In some instances, we can get you a decision in 24 hours.

Requirements to obtain a Work Permit for Canada
You must show the officer that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay. You must also:

  • satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment,
  • show that you have enough money during your stay in Canada to take care of yourself and your family members and to return home,
  • be law-abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate),
  • not be a danger to the security of Canada,
  • be in good health and complete a medical examination, if required,
  • not intend to engage in employment with an employer on the List of Ineligible Employers found on CIC’s website,
  • not have worked in Canada for one or more periods totalling four years after April 1, 2011 (with certain exceptions),
  • provide any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your admissibility.

Other conditions on my Work Permit

An officer may impose, change or cancel conditions when issuing a work permit. These may include one or more of the following:

  • the type of employment in which you may work
  • the employer for whom you may work
  • the location where you may work
  • how long you may continue to work

Do I need a Temporary Resident Visa?

If you want to work in Canada, you may require a temporary resident visa.

A temporary resident visa is an official document issued by an officer that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the general requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident.

When you arrive at the point of entry in Canada, an officer will make the final determination.

If you submit a work permit application and you require a temporary resident visa, it is not necessary to make a separate application or pay a separate fee; an officer will issue it at the same time as the documentation necessary for your entry to Canada as a worker.

Documents Required to get a Visa to Work in Canada

Proof of identity:

  • A valid passport or travel document that guarantees you re-entry to the country that issued it and
  • Two (2) photos of yourself and accompanying family members according to the Visa application photograph specifications.

(NOTE: if you are required to provide biometric information (biometric fingerprints and a biometric photo), you are not required to include paper photos.)

Proof of employment in Canada:

  • Your job offer letter or contract from your prospective employer, including a description of job duties, anticipated duration of employment and salary.
  • A copy of Labour Market Opinion (LMO) provided by ESDC. Your employer should be able to provide you with this file identifier.
  • Evidence that you meet the requirements of the job. Proof may include a valid Canadian provincial/territorial trade certificate, educational requirements or past work experience outlined in a resume.
  • Evidence of a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration et des communautés culturelles (MICC), if you intend to work in Quebec or will be working in Québec. If you do not need a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) you will usually not need a CAQ.

(NOTE: It is your responsibility to keep track of any breaks in work while in Canada on a work permit. You will be required to provide documentary evidence to prove periods where you have not worked in order for that time not to count towards the four-year limit.)

Proof of relationship:

  • You may be required to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family members.
  • If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner will accompany you to Canada, you must complete the enclosed form Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409). Also provide evidence outlined on the form to support your relationship.

Other documents:

  • If you are not a citizen of the country in which you are applying, you must provide proof of your present immigration status in the country of application.
  • If the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a re-entry permit this must be obtained before you apply for a Canadian visa.
  • Additional documents may be required.

Translation of documents

If your documents are in a language other than English or French, we will need to check with the responsible visa office to determine whether they need to be translated. Generally, all documents that are not in English or French will need to be translated.

Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions

Persons who do not require a visa to visit Canada include:

  1. Citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia (Republic of), Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western Samoa;
  2. Persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can provide other evidence of permanent residence;
  3. British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom;
  4. Citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  5. Persons holding a British National (Overseas) Passport issued by the Government of the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
  6. persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China;
  7. Persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See;
  8. Persons holding an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number.