Work Permit

Canada is one of the most diverse nations in the world, with people from all over coming to settle and work. The country has a long history of immigration of foreign workers, welcoming newcomers since 1867. Canada’s economy benefits greatly from having these skilled workers come from around the globe, providing companies with employees who can speak different languages and have skills that are not always easy to find locally.

There are many reasons why someone would want to get a Canadian work permit and to move to Canada for work-related purposes: better pay or working conditions than available at home; greater opportunities for advancement; more job security; lower unemployment rates; less political instability or violence in their home country etc. But before moving anywhere it’s important that you understand what your options are and what you should do to make the transition as smooth, and stress-free, as possible.

Work Permit

Programs for Foreign Workers

This can be done in two ways by using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) OR under the International Mobility Programs (IMP). The TFWP is administered by both Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), while IMP is solely the responsibility of the IRCC.

In reality, both those programs are umbrella programs that include dozens of smaller programs.

Types of Work Permits

There are several different work permits available to individuals who wish to relocate to Canada. The most common types of work permit that you are likely to come across are the:

  • Employer-specific Work Permit
  • Occupation-specific Work Permit
  • Open Work Permit for sponsored spouses
  • Open Work Permit for spouses of the international students and workers
  • Co-Op Work Permit or Internship Permit for International Students
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit for International Students

While there are particular conditions and guidelines that apply to each of these, one of the most popular Work Permits is Employer-specific Work Permit, which follows the same basic process: you must first find a job or an employer willing to hire you; then the employer must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), stating that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident currently available for this position.

LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

Canada runs many programs for foreign workers that are exempt from LMIA requirements.

Francophone Mobility Work Permit

To support the immigration of Francophones outside Quebec, IRCC provides an exemption from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement to Canadian employers who offer a skilled job in NOC 0, A or B to Francophone foreign workers

International Experience Canada program

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program allows citizens of select countries to apply for work in Canada. The Working Holiday category of the IEC is exempt from LMIA. The IEC WP allows the holder to have full-time employment with any employer in Canada while they are participating in this program. To be eligible under International Experience Canada, you must be between the ages of 18 and 35, have a post-secondary degree or diploma and meet the minimum required language threshold and work permit requirements.

International agreements or arrangements

Under the many free trade agreements and International arrangements, Canada offers work permits to multiple Traders, Investors, Professionals, Intra-company transferees. These agreements are:

  • Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

In addition, citizens of several ally countries can get work permits in Canada based on bilateral free trade agreements. These countries are Chile, Colombia, South Korea, and many others.

How to Obtain a Work Permit

The employer must obtain a positive LMIA before offering you the job this is a test to see if Canadian workers would be negatively affected by your employment there. To do this the employer must advertise for the position internally and externally and may require that you provide proof of language ability; education or work experience.

You should be able to demonstrate that you have the skills, training and work experience required for the position – in most cases, this means having a certain number of years of education or work experience within your field along with qualifications such as degrees or diplomas.

How to Obtain an Open Work Permit

An open work permit (OWP) allows the holder to have full-time employment with any employer in Canada. One way to get an OWP is under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students who graduated from a Canadian college or university. The PGWP provides the holder with an OWP for up to three years after their studies are completed.

Spouses of international students and foreign workers are eligible to obtain an OWP based on the study or work permit of their spouses. Although there are some conditions for eligibility, there is no need to have a job offer to apply for it.

Do you want to work in Canada? Do you have a job offer from a Canadian Employer? Are you accompanying an international student or foreign worker in Canada? Contact us today to assess your chances to work in Canada.