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How to Obtain a Work Permit in Canada

The first step in obtaining a work permit for Canada is determining your eligibility. Although there are some severe conditions for entry into Canada, if you meet them, the process is quite simple.

You must have a firm job offer from a Canadian company to qualify for a work permit. To demonstrate that they could not find a Canadian to fill the position, they will need to acquire a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). You might be exempt from the LMIA if you possess highly in-demand expertise. Doctors, teachers, and other in-demand professions can obtain work permits without an LMIA.

Having a current passport, being in excellent health, having a spotless criminal record, and demonstrating that you have enough money to maintain yourself when you first arrive are additional essential conditions. The precise sum varies by province but is typically in the range of a few thousand dollars.

You can list your spouse and kids on your work permit application if you have them. The same health, safety, and financial obligations apply to them. They can reside in Canada with you if you have a work permit, but they’ll need their own visas to work or attend school.

Forms, proof of eligibility documentation, and processing fees are all required as part of the application procedure. Expect to spend between $150 and $500 for a work permit, though the costs vary based on the type. According to a variety of criteria, processing timelines can range from a few weeks to several months.

Making sure you comprehend the requirements and submit an entire application is crucial. If you do, you’ll quickly be on your way to working and living in lovely Canada! The first step to starting a new life north of the border is obtaining the appropriate work visa for your circumstances.

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Find a Canadian Employer to Sponsor You

Finding an employer to sponsor your work permit is key. The good news is, Canada has several programs that allow employers to hire foreign workers.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is the most common route. Under this program, Canadian employers can hire foreign nationals to fill temporary labor shortages. The job offer must be for at least one year, and the employer must obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to prove no Canadians are available for the job.

Another option is the International Mobility Program, which includes several streams like the Intra-Company Transfer for those transferring within a company, or the Significant Benefit work permit for those with specialized skills. These permits don’t require an LMIA.

Do some research on jobs in demand in Canada that match your experience and education. Technology, healthcare, and skilled trades are always good areas to look at.

Build a great resume highlighting your relevant experience, skills, and education. Emphasize any Canadian education or work experience you may have.

Start applying to jobs on sites like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn. When you find positions you’re interested in, make sure the employer is willing to sponsor a foreign worker. Many will indicate this in the job posting.


If selected for an interview, be prepared to make a case for why you’re the best candidate for the job. Explain how your skills and experience will benefit the company.

Once you receive a job offer, the employer will need to apply for your work permit. Be ready to provide documents like language test scores, proof of funds, an offer letter, resume, and diplomas.

The process can take time, so start looking for an employer sponsor as early as possible. With the right opportunity and perseverance, you’ll be well on your way to working in Canada!

Apply for a Work Permit

To work in Canada, most foreign nationals need a work permit. The process to obtain one may seem complicated, but by following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to living and working in Canada.

Find a Canadian employer to hire you

The first step is finding a company in Canada that will hire you for a job and support your work permit application. Search online job sites like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn or network through industry connections. Once you have a job offer, the employer will need to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to show no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available for the role.
Apply for a work permit

With the LMIA, you can now apply for a work permit. This is done through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s website. You’ll need to create an account, fill out some personal information, and upload the necessary documents like:

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1)A copy of your job offer and the LMIA
2)A medical exam
3)Proof of funds to support yourself in Canada
4)A police certificate for any country you’ve lived in for 6+ months

The processing time varies but can take 3 to 4 months. The work permit will be specific to the job and employer listed on your application. Most are valid for 1-2 years but can be extended.
Prepare to enter Canada

Once your work permit is approved, you can make arrangements to enter Canada. In most cases, you’ll need either an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) depending on your citizenship. You’ll also want to prepare by booking a flight and accommodations, and packing the essentials to get started in your new home!

Upon entry, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will validate your work permit to officially allow you to work in Canada for the specified period. Congratulations, you now have legal authorization to live and work in Canada! Be sure to follow all the conditions listed on your work permit to maintain your status.

While the process requires time, patience and diligence, obtaining a Canadian work permit is absolutely achievable if you have a job offer and meet the eligibility criteria. With the right opportunity, you too can gain valuable experience living in Canada. Best of luck!

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