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Work Desk


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Work Permit

A work permit is a legal document that authorizes a foreign worker to work legally in Canada. Barring certain exceptions, most foreign temporary workers need this document to work. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) might also be required to enter Canada based on your country of residence or citizenship.

There are two different types of work permits:

  • Open Work Permit

  • Employer Specific Work Permit

Open Work Permit: With an open work permit you can work for any employer in Canada except one who has failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses that engage in the sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlors. An open work permit is non-job specific, therefore you will not need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to apply.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you are in one of the following situations:

  • Permanent residence applicants who have applied to an office in Canada,

  • Dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants,

  • Spouses and common-law partners of some workers and international students,

  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons, and their family members,

  • Some temporary resident permit holders, or

  • Some young workers participate in special programs.

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.

Employer-Specific Work Permit: An employer-specific work permit allows a foreign worker to work for a specific employer for a certain amount of time. This type of work permit will include the name of the employer you can work for, and the duration and location of work if applicable. It is also known as a closed work permit. It is often subject to a job offer by a Canadian employer supported by a positive LMIA which proves that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the job offered.

Eligibility: To find out if you are eligible to apply for a work permit, certain conditions need to be met. There are some general eligibility criteria and some of them depend on where you are applying for the work permit from.

General Requirements:

  • You must be able to prove that you will leave the country after your work permit expires.

  • Must not work for any employers who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses that engage in the sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlors.

  • Must get your security and background check done and submit your police clearance certificate.

  • Must get your medical exam done.

  • You must have enough funds to support yourself and your family for your entire stay in Canada.

If Applying from Outside Canada


Depending on your country of residence or origin, you can apply for a work permit through your visa office outside Canada. They will be able to guide you on the documentation, fee, and procedure. It would help if you also got your police clearance certificate issued from your consulate and a medical examination conducted by a designated medical officer.

If Applying from Inside Canada: 


You are eligible to apply for a work permit while you are in Canada if :

  • You or your spouse currently live in Canada on a valid study or work permit.

  • You have graduated from a designated educational institution in Canada. You are eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.

  • You have applied for your permanent residency and waiting for a decision to be made. You can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit.

  • You have asked for refugee status inside Canada. You are waiting for a final decision, or when you have been granted the status of a convention refugee or a protected person.

A work permit can be granted when you land in Canada if you are from a visa-exempt country with a valid medical certificate or if you are eligible to apply for an open work permit.

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