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Work Permit Overview

What is a Work Permit?

Foreign residents who wish to come to Canada to work must first secure permission to do work within the country.

This typically comes in the form of a work permit which is a letter and a stamp in one’s passport that allows them to work in Canada.

Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada do not need to obtain this document as their status automatically allows them to work.

Applying for Work PermitsCanadian Work Permit

In order to apply for a work permit one first has to get a job offer in Canada. Before the work permit can be granted, an examination must be made called the Labor Market Opinion.

The Labor Market Opinion (LMO) is a test to see if there is no other person in Canada who can do the proposed job. If the immigrant applicant is absolutely necessary, the LMO is considered positive.

Potential immigrants can apply for a work permit either at a Canadian diplomatic mission in their country or at the Canadian border.

Who Can a Work Permit Holder Work for?

Depending on what kind of work permit the immigrant holds they may be more or less restricted in whom they may work for. Regular work permit holders must work for the employer that they claimed when they first applied for the permit.

People with open work permits can work for any eligible employer. There are some ineligible employers, they are companies which have violated rules regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and are suspended.

How Long Does a Work Permit Last?

Work Permits are temporary documents and more permanent working arrangements in Canada can only be achieved by getting Permanent Residency or citizenship,

A work permit allows an immigrant the chance to work in Canada for four years. At the end of this period they have to wait an additional four years before they can apply for another work permit.

What are Work Permit  Conditions?

If your work permit has conditions you will be able to find them written into the permit itself. These conditions may dictate what kind of work you can do, where you work, how long you will be allowed to work and who you can work for.

Violations of these conditions may result in future difficulty in applying for immigration benefits.

Wait Times

The amount of time one has to wait before being granted a work permit in Canada is called the wait time or a processing time. These estimates are very variable and range individually and over different locations.

Mailed in work permit requests within Canada may take up to 55 days (and even longer), however, online applications take significantly less time with 30 days. Check with your local embassy or consulate for further wait times as the amount of time varies greatly depending on location.

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