Canada Work Permit Overview
A Canada work visa, also known as a work permit, is an official document that grants foreign nationals the right to work in Canada for a specific duration. The work permit program is specifically designed to address labour shortages in the country by attracting highly skilled workers from other countries.
If you are from India and wish to work in Canada, you can join thousands of foreign workers from around the world whom the Canadian government approves work permits for each year. The work permit allows you to work for a designated employer in Canada and gain valuable professional experience in a diverse and thriving economy.
It’s important to note that a work permit is typically temporary and has an expiration date. However, working in Canada could open pathways to permanent residency for you in the future through programs like the Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Programs.
Obtaining a work permit requires meeting specific eligibility criteria, which may include having a job offer from a Canadian employer and demonstrating qualifications and work experience relevant to the job. Additionally, there may be different categories and streams under which you can apply, such as the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.
Before applying for a work permit, it is advisable to research the specific requirements, consult with immigration professionals, and gather all the necessary documents to ensure a smooth and successful application process.
Our immigration experts at Total Law can assist you with your application. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online to get started.
- Canada Work Permit Overview
- Open VS Closed Work Permit for Canada
- Canada Work Permit Eligibility Requirements
- Requirements for Work Permit in Quebec
- Documents Required to Obtain Canada Work Permit
- Canada Work Permit Application Process
- Canada Work Permit Fees
- Canada Work Permit Processing Time
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Open Work Permits
An open work permit is not job-specific, allowing you to work for any eligible employer in Canada. An eligible employer is one that:
- Is not listed as ineligible on the list of non-compliant employers, or
- Does not engage in illicit activities.
Who Can Apply for an Open Work Permit?
To be eligible for an open work permit, you must meet some of these criteria:
- You are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence
- You are a spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or an international student
- You are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or a family member
- You are an international graduate from a designated learning institution eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.
- You are a temporary resident permit holder.
Programs Requiring an Open Work Permit
Programs requiring an open work permit mostly require candidates to have a connection to Canada, such as previous educational experience or spousal sponsorship. Some open work permit streams include:
- Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)
- International Experience Canada.
- Bridge Open Work Permit (BOWP).
Additionally, spouses and common-law partners of full-time international students are eligible for an open work permit.
Closed Work Permit
The closed or employer-specific work permit allows you to work a particular job for a specific employer.
To qualify for an employer-specific work permit, it is mandatory to have a job offer from a Canadian employer. Additionally, the employer might need to hold a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
If you obtain an employer-specific work permit, the conditions of your permit will include:
- The name of the specific employer you can work for
- The duration of the work
- The location where you can work (if applicable).
Before you apply for a closed work permit, your employer must give you a copy of your employment contract and one of the following:
- A copy of a labour market impact assessment (LMIA)
- An offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers)
Upon approval of your application, you will receive a work permit that is valid for the duration specified in your employment contract.
Closed Work Permit Programs in Canada
There are two kinds of closed work permit programs in Canada, each with its own set of requirements.
Programs Requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Some programs require an employer to have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before a foreign worker can apply for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker.
A positive LMIA is a confirmation that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It also demonstrates that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job.
Foreign workers requiring a LIMA fall under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Some streams under the TFWP where a worker can be hired include:
- Global Talent Stream
- Facilitated LMIA (Quebec)
- Foreign Academics
- High-Wage Workers
- Low-Wage Workers
- Foreign agricultural Workers
- In-Home Caregivers
LMIA-exempt but Requires a Job Offer or Employment Contract
Some foreign workers do not require a LIMA but must have a job offer to work in Canada. These workers fall under the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The IMP is designed to advance Canada’s extensive economic, social, and cultural interests. Since the program has broad goals, the Government of Canada does not use the LMIA process on applicants under the IMP streams.
Some individuals that fall under the LMIA-exempt streams include:
- Dependents of foreign workers
- Intra-company transferees
- Participants in programs such as the International Experience Canada
- Provincial nominees
- PhD students pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at a Canadian university
Changing the Conditions of Your Closed Work Permit
While a closed work permit restricts you to a particular employer and job, it is possible to change the conditions of the permit during its validity. You might be eligible to change the conditions on your permit if:
- There are changes to your current job, such as a change in your pay or new responsibilities
- You are offered a different job
- You want to work for a new employer
Some of the changes you can make to your work permit include:
- The type of work you can do
- The employer you can work for
- Where you can work
Canada Work Permit Eligibility Requirements
To apply for a Canadian work permit from India, you must meet the following requirements:
- Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada after your work permit expires
- Show that you can financially support yourself and any accompanying family member during your stay in Canada
- Obey the law and have a clean criminal record
- Prove that you are not a threat to Canada’s security
- Be in good health and appear for a medical examination if necessary
- Have a job offer or employment contract and LMIA decision letter from an employer where applicable
- Have no plans to work for an employer deemed ineligible to hire foreign workers
- Have no intention of working for an employer who engages in illicit activities.
- Be willing to show any documents the officer requests when you enter Canada.
If you intend to work in Canada for six months or less, you will usually not require a medical examination. Applicants working for more than six months will generally require medical clearance.
However, regardless of how long you will work, if your job is in a designated occupation, such as the field of health services or with children, or if you intend to work in agricultural occupations, you might need a medical exam.
Documents Required to Obtain Canada Work Permit
The following is a list of documents you must have while applying for a Canada work visa:
- Complete application forms
- A valid passport or travel documents
- Two photos
- A copy of your employment contract from your future employer
- A copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC
- The offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt work permits)
- Proof of educational requirements
- Proof of past work experience
- Payment receipt for applicable fees
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Medical clearance, where applicable
- Proof of relationship if you are coming with any family members
- Other documents, as required
Requirements for Work Permit in Quebec
If you’re applying for a work permit in the province of Quebec and your employment requires LMIA, it is necessary to obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) before applying for a work permit through a Canadian immigration office.
Your employer is responsible for contacting both Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the MIFI to obtain authorisation to hire you. They will then ask you to sign the CAQ application, which they will submit to the MIFI on your behalf.
Offline Application Process
Applying for a work permit on paper is limited to specific circumstances, including:
- Having a disability that prevents an online application
- Applying under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
- Possessing an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees, or stateless persons.
If you meet these requirements, include a note with your application to inform the visa application centre.
To make a paper application from India, follow these steps:
- Gather your documents: Use the document checklist (IMM 5488) to help you gather what you need to apply for your work permit. In addition to IMM 5488, use the visa office requirements for applications in India to ensure you have the right documents.
- Fill out the forms: Carefully fill out the Application form (IMM 1295) and Family Information form. If applicable, also fill in the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form.
- Submit the application: Set up an appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC) to submit the forms and pay the visa fees. You may also be required to give your biometrics at the VAC.
Online Application Process
Follow these steps to make an online application:
- Create an account: Create an IRCC secure account to begin the process.
- Gather your documents: Use the document checklist (IMM 5488) to help gather what you need to apply for your work permit. In addition to IMM 5488, use the visa office requirements for applications in India to ensure you have the proper documents.
- Fill out the forms online: Carefully fill out the Application form (IMM 1295) and Family Information form. If applicable, also fill in the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form. You also have the option to save your form online and fill it out later.
- Pay the visa fees: Pay the necessary fees with a credit or debit card.
- Submit the application: Submit all required forms and supporting documents on the online portal.
Canada Work Permit Fees
Here is a breakdown of the work permit application fees that you may have to pay:
|Work permit (including extensions) – per person||155|
|Work permit (including extensions) – per group (3 or more performing artists)||465|
|Open Work Permit Holder||100|
|Biometrics – per family (2 or more people)||170|
|Biometrics – per group (3 or more performing artists)||255|
Canada Work Permit Processing Time
The processing time for a work permit from India is nine weeks. However, offline application processing might take a longer time.
This processing time does not include the following:
- The time it takes to send an application between a visa application centre and the IRCC
- The time you need to give your biometrics.
Some factors that could increase the processing time include:
- The workload of the visa processing centre
- Incorrect fee payment
- Incomplete application forms and supporting documents.
The Canada work permit application process can be complex, as it requires strict eligibility criteria and thorough documentation.
At Total Law, we offer comprehensive support for your work permit application every step of the way. Our services include evaluating your eligibility, assisting in document collection, and submitting your application on your behalf.
For expert guidance and help with your work visa application, call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
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To renew or extend your work visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Submit your application before your temporary residence status expires
- Submit your extension application online on the government website, except you are exempt from this requirement.
- Ensure your application is complete by including all necessary components, such as biometrics, fees, and other applicable requirements.
If your family members wish to accompany you, they must also submit their applications to visit, work, or study in Canada simultaneously with yours.
You will undergo a physical medical test where a doctor will:
- Weigh you
- Measure your height
- Check your hearing and vision
- Take your blood pressure
- Check your pulse
- Listen to your heart and lungs
- Feel your abdomen
- Check how your limbs move
- Look at your skin