How to get a work permit in Canada

In this article, you will get to know what it entails to get a work permit in Canada. But before we get to that, we will provide you with some basic information you will need about work permits.


First, what is a work permit?

A work permit is a legal document that allows a foreign national to pick up employment while inside Canada. The Canadian authorities issue more than half a million work permits to foreign workers across the globe.

So, why work permit in Canada?

The simple reason is that Canada has been a prime working destination for professionals and non-professionals alike. Employment in Canada can serve as a gateway for those seeking permanent residency in the country. So this means if we are talking about “white-collar” jobs, this is one place you wouldn’t want to miss.

Let’s take a look at what it takes to get a work permit in Canada.

General Eligibility Requirement for All Applicants

Let us examine some of the requirements for getting a work permit in Canada.

There are some general requirements that one must meet in order to apply for a work permit. But regardless of where you are applying from or the category of work permit being applied for, applicants must:

  • Prove your willingness to leave Canada when your work permit expires;
  • Show that you are financially capable to take care of yourself and your family members while staying in Canada and on returning home;
  • Prove that you don’t have any criminal record. You will be required to prove a police clearance certificate;
  • not be a danger to Canada’s security;
  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;
  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
  • give the officer any other documents required to allow you to enter the country.
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How to Get a Work Permit: The Application

To apply for A Canadian temporary work permit or visa, you need to go through the following four steps:

  1. The employer applies for labor market opinion (if necessary)
  2. Employer extends a temporary job offer to foreign workers
  3. A foreign skilled worker applies for a work permit
  4. The work permit is issued

Step 1: Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIA)

The first step to getting a work permit in Canada is to meet the qualifying criteria for a Labor Market Impact Assessment, LMIA. LMIA was previously called an LMO offered by Service Canada.

Depending on the type of job you are qualifying for, you can either go for a low-wage LMIA or a high-wage LMIA. Note that getting a low-wage LMIA is more stringent than getting a high-wage LMA. Some of the restrictions for low-wage LMIA are that the company can hire a foreign worker for just one year at a time. In addition, low-wage foreign workers can only make up to no more than 10% of the total workforce for organizations with more than 10 employees.

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For High-wage LMIA applications, there is a high application fee for Canadian companies, long application forms, and requires that the companies provided detailed records of their recruitment procedures.

Step 2: Employer Extends Temporary Job Offer

The next step is for the employer to send a copy of the positive LMIA including a detailed “job offer letter” to the prospective foreign skilled worker. The contract letter which is referred to as a “Job Offer Letter” must include the following:

  • The job title for the position
  • Job description
  • Requirements for the temporary position
  • Details about start and end dates
  • Specifics about the salary
  • The name and address of the employer

It is the job of the Canada Service Agency to ensure that this offer letter is legit and accurate.

Step 3: Application for Work Permit by Foreign Skilled Worker

Once you have successfully gotten an LMIA and Job Offer Letter, you can go ahead and apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit. Note that in some cases, you will need to attend an interview with a visa officer. The visa officer will check and confirm that the position you are applying for does not adversely affect employment opportunities in Canada, then issue you with a Canadian Work Permit.

Step 4: Issuing a Canadian Temporary Work Permit

Upon the skilled worker’s arrival in Canada, the Canadian Temporary Work Permit will be issued at the point of entry by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In addition, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may be given to the worker depending on the country of origin.

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What are the Required Documents for a Canadian Work Permit?

The following are the supporting documents required for the Canadian work permit:

  • Completed application forms
  • Proof of status in Canada (if applicable)
  • Family member’s proof of status (if applicable)
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment (if applicable)
  • A written offer of employment (if applicable)
  • CV/ résumé
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (if applicable)
  • Proof that you meet the job requirements
  • A valid copy of your passport
  • Copy of education credential
  • Medical exam results (if requested)
  • Evidence of financial means to stay in Canada and return to home country
  • Proof of payment for applicable government fees
  • Recent passport-sized photos

How can I Check the Status of my Work Permit Application?

You can check the status of your application online if you have submitted an online application for the work permit. This you can do through your online account. You can check the status of paper-based applications by linking them to an online IRCC account.

How Much Does Canadian Work Permit Cost?

The processing fee for a Canadian work permit depends on whether it is a closed or open work permit. The fee for a closed work permit per individual is $150 CAD, while that of open work permit is $255 CAD per person.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get a work permit in Wisconsin?

You can simply apply for a work permit at your school office. Also, you can call (608) 266-6860 for information on where to apply for a work permit near you.

How much is a work permit?

A closed work permit costs $150 CAD, whereas an open work permit costs $255 CAD.

How do I get a Canadian work permit?

Under normal grounds, you are expected to apply for a Canadian work permit before entering the country. However, you can apply at the border. Also, you can apply online from inside Canada on a temporary basis due to COVID-19.

How do I get a student work permit in Canada?

There are two ways you can get a work permit as a student in Canada. In the first place, the minor is required to fill out the B1-1 form guided by a parent/guardian and employer. This form is then submitted to the minor’s school. After that, the school reviews the B1-1 form and issues the B1-4 which is the work permit.


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