Some people, including temporary workers, business people, students, and caregivers (Live-in caregiver program), need a Canada work permit in order to work in Canada. You can check here to be sure if you need a work permit.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers a variety of services with the goal of helping foreign nationals who are already temporary residents. To learn more about the provided Canada work permit by IRCCs, read this article carefully.
Table of Contents
What is a work permit?
A work permit is a permission to let you work inside Canada. There are two types of work permits:
Employer-specific work permit
This type of work permit lets you work in Canada based on specific conditions like your employer, the amount of work you do and, and the location of your work.
Before submitting your work permit application, your employer must take certain steps themselves and either give you a copy of Labour Market Impact Assessment, or give you an employment offer number so you could add it to your application.
Open work permit
With this type of Canada work permit, you can work for any employer in Canada unless they are mentioned as ineligible. You might be eligible for an open work permit if you:
- are an international graduate from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program; or
- are a destitute student (a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies); or
- applied for permanent residence in Canada; or
- are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence; or
- are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student; or
- are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program; or
- are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member; or
- are under an unenforceable removal order; or
- are a temporary resident permit holder; or
- are a young worker participating in special programs.
Generally, there are conditions to apply for a work permit, regardless of applying from inside or outside of Canada, or the type of work permit. To meet this conditions you must:
- prove to the officer that after your Canada work permit is expired, you will leave Canada;
- show that you have enough assets for you and your family and dependents during your stay and Canada and for returning home;
- abide to the law and have no criminal record (you might be asked to give a police clearance certificate);
- not be a danger to Canada’s security;
- be healthy and have a medical exam, if needed;
- not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible”;
- not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
- give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.
Applying for a Canada work permit from outside, inside, or at the port of entry? What are the conditions?
You can apply for a Canada work permit from inside, outside, or at a port of entry when entering Canada. But each option has conditions you must meet. Here we take a deeper look at them.
Applying from outside of Canada:
To apply from outside of Canada you need to make sure you meet the visa office requirements for your entry. After that, the process of applying depends of which country/territory you are applying from. Here you can see the conditions and application form.
Applying from inside of Canada:
You can apply for a work permit from inside Canada only if:
- you have a valid study or work permit;
- you’re a Ukrainian national or an accompanying family member of a Ukrainian national
- your spouse, common-law partner or parents have a valid study or work permit;
- you’re eligible for a post-graduation work permit and your study permit is still valid;
- your temporary resident permit (for example, visitor visa) is valid for six months or more;
- you’re waiting on a decision on an application for permanent residence from inside Canada;
- you made a claim for refugee protection;
- you’ve been recognized as a convention refugee or protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada;
- you’re allowed to work in Canada without a Canada work permit but you need a work permit to work in a different job (this does not apply to business visitors); or
- you’re a trader, investor, intra-company transferee or professional under the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
Applying at a port of entry:
If you are to apply when entering Canada, at a port of entry, there are conditions you must meet. But generally, we suggest you apply before entering Canada, not at the port of entry.
The conditions are:
- You must be eligible for an eTA and don’t need a visitor visa; AND
- You must be eligible to enter Canada when the pandemic restrictions are in place; AND
- Meet the other conditions for the type of Canada work permit you are applying for.
Taking your family with you to Canada
So, you have applied or are going to apply for a work permit, and you want to take you family with you to Canada, right? If you are here wanting to know more about it, in a few seconds you will know the condition of it.
If your family members want to come with you to Canada while you are working, they must either apply to visit, work, or study in Canada. Be noted that they can apply at the same time you do.
Spouse or common-law partner:
Your spouse or common-law partner will be eligible for either an open work permit, or another type of work permit. Just keep in mind if they are applying for another type of Canada work permit, they are going to need their employer to get a labour market impact assessment.
If you spouse or common-law partner does not plan to go to Canada to work, they can apply as either a visitor or a student.
You dependent children also can apply as a worker, visitor, or a student.
Post-graduation work permit in Canada:
If you are graduated from a designated learning institution and plan to stay in Canada to work, you can try to get a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). The length of your post-graduation work permit depends of the length of your study:
- If your program was less than 8 months: you are not eligible for a post-graduation Canada work permit
- If your program was between 8 months to 2 years: You might be eligible, and your post-graduation work permit will be as long as your program time. For example, if your program was 13 months, you will be given a 13-months post-graduation work permit.
- If you have finished more than one program: Given your programs are all post-graduation work permit eligible, and more than 8 months, you will be given a post-graduation work permit that combines the time of your study programs. Just keep in mind you cannot get a post-graduation work permit if you have gotten one already for a study program.
Also, it is important to note that if your passport expires before your post-graduation work permit, your post-graduation work permit will be limited to the time of validity of your passport, or you will be told by IRCC to extend your passport to get full length of your post-graduation work permit.
To be eligible for a post-graduation Canada work permit, you need to apply within 180 days after you get your degree, diploma, transcript, or official letter from your school. Also your study permit must be valid at some point during this 180 days.
A problem you might face, is that your status may expire while you wait for your marks. To prevent this from happening you can either:
- Apply for a visitor record to stay legally longer in Canada; or
- Leave Canada and apply for a post-graduation work permit from outside of Canada.
To be eligible to apply for a post-graduation Canada work permit you must have:
- completed a study program at a designated learning institution that was at least 8 months long and led to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program:
- This doesn’t include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies.
- If you had to stop studying or change to part-time studies between March 2020 and the fall semester in 2020 because of reasons related to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for a PGWP.
- graduated from one of the following:
- a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade/technical institution, university or CEGEP (in Quebec)
- a private post-secondary institution in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public institutions in Quebec
- a private or public secondary or post-secondary institution (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, that leads to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS), or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS);
- An AVS can be less than 900 hours if combined with a DVS.
- a Canadian private institution that is authorized to award degrees under provincial law (for example, an Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree), but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.
You can apply for a post-graduation work permit here.
International Experience Canada (IEC)
If you are eligible for IEC, you have the chance to come and work in Canada for up to two years. The following three are the categories you can apply to:
This category suits people who don’t have a job offer, intend to work for more than one employer in Canada, want to work in more than one location or want to get some money so they can travel. The work permit you receive for Working Holiday is an open work permit.
This category is for people who have a job offer in Canada related to their future career and will work for the same employer in a certain location. The Canada work permit for this category is an employer-specific work permit.
International Co-op (Internship)
If you are a post-secondary student, have a job offer acting as a work placement or internship in Canada, and will work for the same employer in a certain location, you are fit for this category.
To apply, you must either be a citizen of a partner country with Canada or apply through a recognized organization.
Our last words on Canada work permit
We discussed Canada work permit in this article. Thank you for your attention, dear applicants. Let us know how we can improve your immigration. We hope that our information has been interesting enough for you.
Get in touch with us if you want to know more about work permit. We are happy to help, and we look forward to seeing your comments. You can also read more about Canada’s s politics, history, economy, geography, and Socio-cultural aspects.