To be able to work legally in Canada, you will need authorization from the Canadian government known as a Work Permit.
On the other hand, over 200,000 foreign skilled-workers are offered employment on Temporary Work Permits Yearly and getting a work permit is an onerous process, it involves getting a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) through Employment and Social Development Canada. (ESDC)
It is crucial to understand the process when applying for a work permit and to be eligible, you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, who will ensure a positive LMIA.
Depending on the foreign worker’s country of origin, a Temporary Resident Visa must be obtained in order to enter Canada.
Steps to Get A Canadian Work Permit
1. Confirm Your Eligibility
To be able to work in Canada as a foreigner, you must satisfy some basic requirements, such as:
- Have no criminal records
- Proof of funds to cater for your needs in Canada
- Not posing a security or health threat
- Not planning to work for an ineligible employer
- Qualified for the position
2. Get A Job Offer and Positive LMIA
The first step of getting a work permit is to receive a job offer from a Canadian employer, thereafter the Canadian employer may need to apply for a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by ESDC, this is to ensure that there is no Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident available for the same job.
A work permit may be issued without LMIA Under certain circumstances such as:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): Workers under NAFTA program are LMIA-exempt, however, the provisions governing temporary work in Canada is binding
- If the nature of the job is religious and or charitable
- International students studying in Canada can fulfil academic requirements known as co-op placements
- If the work activity will bring significant, social or cultural benefits to Canadians
3. Start The Online Application
Ensure you have a high-quality scan of all the necessary documents you need to get a Canadian work permit. You will need to provide the following:
- A valid passport
- Two passport-size photos
- Your job offer letter
- proof you are qualified for the job
- A Certificat D’Acceptation du Quebec, if your job is in Quebec
Note: Visit the official Canada government to begin your application process. Your personal information, passport information and the job information provided by your employer.
4. Pay The Application Fees Online
You are required to pay the application, processing and biometrics fees. The biometrics and application fees may be paid through a separate online form Here
5. Complete Your Biometrics At An Approved Visa Application Centre
Fingerprints and a digital photo is required for identification for visa applicants from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Make an appointment with an approved Visa Application Centre. See the full list of approved visa application centres
Note: The foreign worker will be issued a Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when the worker arrives in Canada.
The Temporary Work Permit as the name implies is for a limited period of time, however, obtaining a temporary work permit is a stepping stone to becoming a permanent resident in Canada. A foreign worker on a temporary work permit may qualify for permanent residency under the following immigration streams:
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or through
- Provincial Nominee Programs.
Basic Work In Canada Facts
- A job offer is usually a prerequisite to receiving a work permit
- Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is a requirement indicating that the proposed employment will not displace Canadian workers
- Work permits are temporary but can be extended in Canada