Canada is a highly developed country with many opportunities for foreigners who are looking for employment. Besides, Canada has a stable and diverse economy, offering competitive wages and many other amazing opportunities for professional growth and development. Therefore, it attracts many foreign workers who are seeking to immigrate permanently and find jobs in the country. But with few exceptions, most of them will need a Canadian work permit to enter the country.
Moreover, the Canadian work permit allows you to find an employment offer within the country if you are from a foreign country. Besides, in most cases you will need to have received a job offer to be able to obtain a Canadian work permit. This depends on the type or category of work visa you choose.
However, we will provide information in full details in this article about work permit in Canada, types, eligibility requirements, how to apply and any other important information pertaining to how to obtain a Canadian work permit.
Understanding Canadian Work Permit
A work permit is a document which you must apply and obtain when you apply for the visa to go to a foreign country that you are not a citizen or permanent resident of seeking employment opportunities. That is to say that a Canadian work permit is a document that gives the authorization to take an employment offer within Canada. Also, the application for the work permit will be done at the same time at the embassy or consular office you get your visa.
Working in Canada, which is only possible when you get a work permit, is the chance for foreigner who are seeking to immigrate to the country permanent. To clarify, you may be able to apply for permanent residency if you work for one year or more with a valid work permit in Canada. However, it is important to get all the proper authorization that are necessary in order to work legally in Canada. Working otherwise in the country without these proper authorization may result to serious consequences on future immigration applications. Such as applying to become a permanent resident in Canada.
Moreover, there are two ways which a foreign national seeking for employment opportunities in Canada can get a work permit. The ways are through temporary work visas and permanent or immigrant work visas. However, the type of work visa you apply for determines the requirements you will need to meet to obtain a Canadian work permit and other things you can do with it.
Types of Canadian Work Permits
There are two types of work permits in Canada, open work permit and closed or employer-specific work permit. However, here’s an overview on each type of Canadian work permit:
1. Employer-Specific Work Permit:
An employer-specific, otherwise known as closed work permit. It lets you work for a specific employer in Canada according to certain conditions outlined on your work permit. However, the conditions may include:
- the name of the specific employer you can work for
- how long you can work
- the location where you can work (if applicable)
Moreover, before you submit your application for the employer-specific Canadian work permit. The Canadian employer that wants to hire must complete certain steps and give you either a copy of a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Or an offer of employment number to include in your application.
2. Open Canadian Work Permit:
An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada without any conditions unlike the employer-specific. It only excludes certain employers such as:
- An employer that is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions or
- Ones that regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages
Furthermore, applicants will only be able to receive an open work permit in specific situations. In addition, you will not need to provide the following when apply for an open work permit. Since it is not job-specific, unlike the employer-specific that only lets you work for a specific employer.
- A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada, or
- Evidence that the Canadian employer has submitted an offer of employment through the Employer Portal and also paid the employer compliance fee.
However, below are the general requirements or criteria you must meet in order to be eligible for to obtain a Canadian work permit.
- You must prove to be willing to leave Canada and return to you home country when your work permit expires
- You must adhere to the conditions on your work permit. Regardless of if it is open and allows you to work for any employer or if it closed or specific and allows you to work for one employer
- Obey the law and have no criminal activity, which you may need to provide a police clearance certificate as proof.
- Show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home
- Not be a danger to Canada’s security
- Be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed
- Not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions
- Not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages
- Give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.
How to Apply for Canadian Work Permit
However, applications for work permit are generally done at the same time at the embassy or consular office you get your visa. But due to COVID-19, most applicants now need to apply online. Below are the guidelines for online application of Canadian work permit.
- Firstly, to apply online you will need the following:
- a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
- a valid credit or debit card
- Secondly, make sure you read the instruction guide before you complete the your work permit application. It will explain how to complete each field on the application form.
- After that, you will need to answer some questions before you uploads your forms. The answers you provide to these questions will be used to create a personalized document checklist for you.
- Then, after uploading your application, you will asked to pay the applicable fees for the work permit which are as follows:
- work permit fee: $155
- open work permit holder fee: $100
- Finally, create your online account. You will need an account to apply online, moreover, the account will help you
- pay your fees
- submit your application
- check your status
Moreover, after you apply for the Canadian work permit, your application will be processed. This is to make sure that you have all the necessary documents required. You will also need to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) at your local visa application center. Also, make sure that your application is complete, otherwise it will be returned without processing.
After that, you will get a letter that says you are allowed to work n Canada, that’s if your work permit application gets approved. However, this letter is known as port of entry letter of introduction. You will have to present the letter to the officials at the Canadian port of entry the day you arrive. Then, you will be issued your Canadian work permit.
Furthermore, some conditions will be written directly on your work permit, they may include:
- the type of work you can do,
- the employer you can work for,
- where you can work, or
- how long you can work
There are also other standard conditions that all work permit holders must adhere to. Even if you have no specific conditions on your work permit. These conditions include:
- You must not work for an employer in a business where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion such as risk of sexual exploitation of some workers.
- strip clubs
- massage parlors
- escort agencies
- You must leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay
Canadian Work Visa Extension
Meanwhile, your work visa will not be permanent, it either lasts for six months or less. You can either apply to extend it once it is about to expire or leave the Canada and return to you home country once your stay is over. To extend your work visa, you will have to apply for a visa extension at least 30 days before the expiration date.
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However, you can only apply for a work visa extension on certain situations such as:
- You sign a new contract with your employer, and
- The Canadian employer gets a new Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or
- Your employer pays for the employer compliance fee and submits a new employment offer. Either way it just like apply for a new Canadian work permit, only that you will still be working and staying in the country.
In conclusion, please you can refer to the official website of the Canada Immigration Authorities using the link below for more details on the how to get a Canadian work permit. As information may change at any moment without notice