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Canada Temporary Work Visa

If you wish to work for Canadian employers as a temporary worker, you will need to make sure you have all the necessary documents and permits in order to do so.

For more information about visas or any other questions regarding your visit to Canada, get in touch with one of our trusted legal experts at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online today.

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    What is a Temporary Work Visa?

    A ‘Temporary Work Visa’ is an unofficial term for a combination of two different documents.

    These are the Canadian Work Permit and either one of the Canadian visitor visas: the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

    Temporary workers need to own both a work permit and one of the visitor visas in order to work in Canada temporarily. A visitor visa allows you to enter Canada, while a valid work permit allows you to work during your stay in Canada.

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    Who needs a TRV to work in Canada?

    As mentioned above, a Temporary Work visa is a combination of a Canadian work permit and a visitor visa.

    A temporary foreign worker from a visa-exempt country will not need to obtain a temporary work visa for Canada.

    Below is the list of visa-exempt countries for Canada. If your country is not on this list, you will need a TRV to gain entry into Canada instead of an eTA.

    Andorra Finland Netherlands
    Australia France New Zealand
    Austria Germany Norway
    Bahamas Greece Papua New Guinea
    Barbados San Marino Poland
    Belgium Hungary Portugal
    British citizen Iceland Romania (electronic passport holders only)
    British National (overseas) Ireland Samoa
    British overseas citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom) Israel (must have a national Israeli passport) Hong Kong (must have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR)
    British overseas territory citizen of one of these:

    • Anguilla
    • Bermuda
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Cayman Islands
    • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
    • Gibraltar
    • Montserrat
    • Pitcairn Island
    • Saint Helena
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
    British Subject with a right of abode in the United Kingdom Taiwan (must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number)
    Italy Japan Slovakia
    Brunei Darussalam Republic of Korea Slovenia
    Bulgaria Latvia Solomon Islands
    Chile Liechtenstein Spain
    Croatia Lithuania Sweden
    Cyprus Luxembourg Switzerland
    Czech Republic Malta Singapore
    Denmark Mexico United Arab Emirates
    Estonia Monaco Vatican City State (must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican)

    Which Visitor Visa Will I Need for a Temporary Work Visa?

    The type of visitor visa temporary foreign workers need depends on whether the country they are from is on the visa-required list or visa-exempt list.

    If your country is on the visa-required list, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). If your country is on the visa-exempt list, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

    Note that if you apply for an initial work permit before you travel to Canada, you’ll get a Temporary Resident Visa or an eTA automatically once your work or study permit application is approved. In this instance, you won’t need to apply separately for a TRV or an eTA or pay extra fees.

    If you’re issued with a TRV, it’ll be placed in your passport.

    If you’re issued with an eTA, your eTA number will be included in the letter of introduction you’ll receive when your work permit is approved.

    For more information about Canadian visitor visas, visit our dedicated page for Visitor Visas. You can also contact our immigration lawyers for advice by calling +1 844 290 6312 or contacting us online.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Temporary Work Visa for Canada

    To be eligible to work in Canada under a Temporary Work Visa, you will need to obtain a Canadian work permit.

    In order to be eligible for a work permit, you must:

    • Demonstrate to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires
    • Show that you have enough money to fund yourself and your family members during your stay and also to return home
    • Obey the law and have no record of criminal activity
    • Not pose any danger to Canada’s security
    • Be in good health and undergo a medical exam, if necessary
    • Not plan to work for an employer listed on the ineligible list
    • Not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages
    • Be prepared to give border services officers any documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country upon your arrival

    There are also specific eligibility requirements if you are applying for an employer-specific work permit. For this, you must have the following:

    • A job offer letter from a Canadian employer
    • A contract
    • A copy of the employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment and the Labour Market Impact Assessment number

    For more information about the work permit and its eligibility criteria, please visit our dedicated page discussing the Canadian work permit.

    How to Apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Visa

    You can apply for a Temporary Work Visa online or on paper. However, it is recommended that you apply for your visa online using the IRCC secure account system rather than on paper. This is due to potential delays processing paper applications.

    You must normally apply for a Temporary Work Visa from outside of Canada, although you may be able to apply for a work permit at the border or from within Canada in certain specific cases.

    As a general outline, the application for a Temporary Work Visa involves filling in and completing the following forms:

    • Application For Work Permit Made Outside of Canada
    • Document Checklist
    • Family Information

    In addition, you must fill out the following forms if they also apply to you:

    • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union
    • Use of a Representative
    • Authority to release personal information to a designated individual

    Note that different visa types will each have their own documents and requirements needed to complete applications. These will also vary depending on where you are applying for a work permit from.

    For more information about the application process, please consult our page on work permits.

    Costs and Processing times for the Temporary Work Visa

    Temporary Work Visas cost CAN$155 per person.

    In addition to this, you may have to pay an open work permit holder fee of CAN$100 if you wish to apply for a work permit that is not job-specific.

    You may also need to pay a biometric fee of CAN$85 if you need to provide your biometrics as part of your visa application.

    The time it takes for a Temporary Work Visa to be processed can vary greatly depending on where you’re applying from. For some countries it may only take a couple of weeks, while others take several months.

    You can check up-to-date estimates as to how long your application will take to get processed using the Canadian government’s application processing time checker.

    three people with a laptop sitting on grey steps

    What to Expect After You Apply

    After you submit your application for your Temporary Work Visa, you will likely have to give your biometric information.

    You will normally have to make an appointment at a Canadian visa office (or Visa Application Centre) in order to do this. There are several VACs located internationally.

    During your appointment, they will typically collect the following information from you:

    • Name, date of birth, and other personal details as listed on the biographic data page of your passport or travel document
    • Your fingerprints
    • A digital photograph of you

    You may also be asked to attend an interview with Canadian officials in your country, attend a medical exam, or to send more information or documents if required.

    The Canadian government will then process your application and check if all the necessary documents have been included.

    If your application is incomplete, it will be returned to you without being processed.

    If your application is approved, you will get your original documents back and an approval letter confirming your eligibility to work in Canada. You will also receive a TRV in your passport when you get it back from the application processing process, if you require a TRV to travel to Canada.

    If you need an eTA to travel to Canada, the eTA number that is linked to your passport will be included in your letter of approval.

    You won’t get your actual work permit until you are at the border.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your Temporary Work Visa application. Contact Us

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      What to Expect at the Canadian Border

      The Canadian border services officer will check your identity to make sure that your are the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.

      You’ll need to tell the border services officer that you’re in Canada to work. You must also be prepared to show your supporting documents when asked. These might include things such as your offer of employment number, your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment, or proof that you meet the requirements of the job.

      If you enter Canada at certain airports, your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk.

      If you enter Canada at smaller airports and all land ports of entry, your fingerprints may be checked if you’re referred to a secondary inspection.

      You must also:

      • Convince the officer that:
        • You meet Canada’s entry requirements
        • You’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved stay
      • Have valid immigration medical exam results (if you needed an exam)

      The officer will then make the final decision whether to issue you with a work permit and allow you to enter Canada.

      Once the border services officer has checked your documents and confirms that you can enter Canada, they will print the actual work permit for you.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      If you are travelling to Canada with the intention of working, it’s important that you have all the knowledge and information you need in order for your application to be successful.

      If you require additional assistance with your work permit or visa application, Total Law’s Canadian immigration lawyers are here to help.

      We are experts in immigration and are dedicated to providing each and every applicant with the assistance and support they need. We can support your visa interview, application or immigration case and help ensure that you get to where you need to be.

      Whether you require an approval from the Canada Immigration and Refugee board, or applying through a specific work programme such as the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, we can help.

      For more information about how we can assist you and your application, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online today.

      If you have any questions about your Temporary Work Visa application, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  There is no formal right of appeal on work permit application decisions. If your application is rejected, you can either re-apply for a work permit again or ask for a judicial review through the Federal Court of Canada, where. A lawyer in Canada will act on your behalf.

                  There is no set maximum amount of time you can work as a temporary worker in Canada. Instead, the length of time you can work depends on:

                  • The type of job offer from your employer
                  • The length of time listed on your Labour Market Impact Assessment, if your employer needed to get one to hire you
                  • How long your passport or visitor visa is valid for

                  You should always double-check your documents to ensure that you don’t accidentally overstay your temporary work visit.

                  If you have a work permit for Canada, you may be able to bring your partner and minor children to Canada. They can apply to join you if you are already in Canada or you can add them to your application.

                  The Temporary Work visa is temporary, so it cannot lead to permanent residence in Canada. If you want to become a Canadian permanent resident, you should get other visas or immigration routes, such as these:

                  These programs allow foreign workers to become permanent residents if they qualify. If you are successful, you can become a Canadian citizen in a few years.