How Do I Get a Work Permit in Canada?

Work Permits are immigration documents that allow immigrants to work within Canada. Work permits typically come with the status conferred onto immigrants who have obtained permanent residency, but there are other, less permanent, ways to obtain a work permit.

Different “Kinds” of Work Permits

Though there is no real difference in the actual permit itself, there are a few different ways to get a work permit in Canada:

  • There are some circumstances where you do not need a work permit at all. Certain professions do not require a work permit and depending on which country you are from they might not even require a visa. This is of course only available on a temporary basis.
  • Students can get work permits in some situations.
  • Workers who only wish to stay in Canada for a short period of time can get a temporary work permit that they might be able to parlay into permanent residency.
  • You can also choose to immigrate to Canada on a work visa which would allow you to work freely anywhere in the country. The easiest way to come to Canada on a work visa is by finding an employer who will sponsor you. This is easier than it sounds due to a number of programs already in place designed to attract immigrants.
    FSWP recipient


The National Occupation Classification (NOC) exists to codify and standardize job descriptions in Canada.

Why is this useful? Other than being an excellent metric for intercompany use in HR departments, this classification system is also widely used in immigration to match up potential immigrants with their potential employers.

By using one of the job descriptions in the NOC to identify your skills you can be better prepared to communicate your value to a potential employer.

Finding a Job

Finding an employer who is willing to sponsor your immigration to Canada can be something of a process. You will have to find potential employers and apply for positions within their organizations. After you have established a sponsor you can then apply for immigration in Canada.

Applying for Immigration

There are many different forms that need to be filled out to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Immigration Direct provides assistance in filing these forms on the website.

Keep in mind that the newest version of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will not be available until May 4, 2013 and it is inadvisable to apply for work-based immigration until that day.

Why Canada?

Canada has one of the most stable and leading economies in the world and there are plenty of jobs available. Probably the best part of Canada’s cooperation between its economy and its government for immigrants is that it encourages more and more people to come to Canada every year.

Keep in mind that applying for a work permit through a federal program is not your only option. You can also petition individual provinces or territories to sponsor your landing if you believe that you can bring a particular set of skills that would provide useful there.