Immigration Advice Service
+1 844 290 6312 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6 pm

Find an office

7 offices in US


Attorneys based in the
USA and the UK
Licensed USA
Immigration attorneys
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

Canadian Work Visas

The Canadian Work Visa process can be difficult, but with the right information, you can make it easy. Whether you want to move to Canada or if you’re a Canadian company hiring international workers, you’ll find answers to all your questions here.

Call us at +1 844 290 6312 for immediate help and assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    What is a Canadian Work Visa?

    A Canadian Work Visa is a written authorization that allows a foreign national to gain entry into Canada for the purpose of working in one of the many industries that require skilled workers.Canadian work visas come in two different types: temporary and permanent. Temporary Canadian work visas are valid for a specific period of time, usually one year (and a maximum of three years), and may be renewed upon expiration.

    Permanent Canadian work visas allow you to live in Canada indefinitely, although there are some requirements that must be met before applying for this type of visa.

    Canadian work visas are issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). If you are eligible for a work visa, you will need to apply for one before entering the country.

    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews Logo

    Types of Canadian Work Visas

    There are the main two types of work visas and permits:

    Employer Specific Work Permit

    Employer-specific work permits let you work in Canada for a specific employer in a particular location, and may stipulate other conditions such as the length of time you can stay and what type of work you can perform.

    Your employer must give you a copy of your employment contract, and a copy of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an offer of employment letter, before you apply for an employer-specific work permit.

    Open Work Permit

    An open work permit allows you to work for any Canadian employer, except those that have been blacklisted because they did not follow the rules or are involved in any illegal or criminal activities.

    Since open work permits aren’t job-specific, your employer doesn’t need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada, or to offer an offer of employment through the Employer Portal and pay the employer compliance fee.

    There are two types of open work permits: unrestricted and restricted. Unrestricted open work permits allow you to work anywhere in Canada and foreign nationals may apply for this type of permit.

    Restricted open work permits are based on occupational restrictions or location restrictions.

    Is Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Needed?

    If you are applying for an employer-specific work permit, you will need to show that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available for the job. The first step is to find out if your occupation does require an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment).

    An LMIA is an assessment from the government that confirms there are no Canadians who can do the job. In other words, if Canadian employers wants to hire someone from outside Canada and does not have a current LMIA, the employer will need to apply for one.

    If you are applying for an open work permit, you do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from any employer and you need not have an offer of employment. For example, LMIA is not required for the International Experience Canada (IEC) permit and Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program.

    Eligibility Criteria for Foreign Workers for Work Visa

    The eligibility for Canadian work visas depends on several factors, including the job you want to do, the program you want to apply for, and if your job requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In some cases, foreign workers don’t need an LMIA or a job offer to apply for a work permit.

    Qualified candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements to apply for a work permit:

    • Convince the officer that you will leave Canada once your employment ends
    • Have no criminal activity
    • Have good health and a valid medical exam
    • Not pose a threat to Canada’s security
    • Show that you can support yourself and any family members who stay with you in Canada
    • Provide officers with any other documents they request that prove eligibility to enter the country

    Documents Required for a Canadian Work Visa

    There are several documents required to apply for a Canadian work visa:

    • Letter of Offer: A Letter of Offer is a document that confirms that the applicant will be employed in Canada by an employer. The letter must be provided by the employer for employer-specific permits. For open work permit holders, a letter of offer is not required.
    • Proof of Education: An applicant must provide proof of education by submitting transcripts or diplomas to prove that they have met the educational requirements set out by Canadian immigration authorities.
    • Proof of Funds: An applicant must prove that they have enough money to support themselves during their stay in Canada, and sufficient funds for travel expenses to return home at the end of their stay in Canada. This can be done through bank statements, or if an applicant has a sponsor who will cover these expenses then it can also be shown through letters from sponsors stating this fact.
    • Proof of Health: An applicant must provide proof that they are not suffering from any infectious diseases, and have a clean bill of health.
    • Passport: An applicant must have a valid passport, and it should be valid for at least six months after the date of their intended departure from Canada.

    Most often, you’ll also need one or more of the following documents to apply for a work permit:

    • an LMIA number from your employer if your job needs one
    • A letter from your employer showing that you have been offered a job through the Employer Portal
    • An employment contract or letter (if your employer is exempt from the employer compliance process)
    • proof that you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to do a job

    In some cases, you might not need an LMIA to work in Canada. For example: if you are between 18 and 35 years old, you might be able to get a temporary work permit under International Experience Canada.

    Do you need help with your Canadian work visa application and eligibility, our team can help you. Contact us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      Canadian Work Visa Application Fees

      The work permit fee is CAN 155 per person, including extensions.

      For an open work permit, the fee is CAN 100.

      For restoring the status as a worker, the application fee costs CAN 355 (status restoration at CAN 200 and a new work permit at CAN 155).

      The fees are subject to change. You can check the latest fee online on the official website of CIC.

      How to Apply for the Employer-specific Work Permits

      If you apply from outside Canada, you will need to submit the IMM 1295 form. If you apply from inside Canada, then you’ll need to submit the IMM 5710 form.

      To apply online, you need to create a profile and sign in with your GCKey or log in through a Sign-In Partner. To submit the form electronically, you need access to a scanner or digital camera for creating copies of your documents to upload and a valid credit card for payment.

      If you’re a Ukrainian national, recent graduate from Hong Kong, spouse or common-law partner sponsored in Canada, or vulnerable worker in Canada who’s been abused, you must follow special instructions to apply for your open work permit.

      Other Ways to Work in Canada

      There are other programs that allow you to work in Canada besides the employer-specific work permit and open work permit.

      Express Entry Program

      The Express Entry Program is designed for skilled foreign workers and recent graduates who want to immigrate to Canada permanently.

      If you qualify, you can bring your spouse and children with you, apply for Canadian citizenship, and access all of the government benefits available to citizens.

      You can also apply for the Express Entry Program if you want to become a permanent resident.

      The program is designed to attract immigrants that will contribute to Canada’s economy, so it’s important to have the right skills and experience in order to qualify.

      If you want to apply for Express Entry, you must first complete a profile in the Express Entry pool system.

      Once you’ve done this, you will be entered into a pool of candidates that are eligible for fast-tracked processing.

      If your profile is chosen by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), then you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

      Working Holiday Visa

      The Working Holiday Visa program allows you to live and work in Canada for up to 12 months. You have to be between 18-35 years old to qualify for applying.

      This visa gives young people the opportunity to explore life in Canada and gain some valuable work experience. It also helps them build connections with potential employers who may be hiring when they return home.

      There are some restrictions on what type of work you can do in Canada, but this is a great way to get started on your Canadian immigration journey.

      You can apply online or at any Canadian consulate or embassy abroad before you leave on your trip.

      Note that only citizens of specific countries can apply, such as Australia, Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Greece, and United Kingdom.

      Post-graduation Work Permit

      The Post-Graduation Work Permit program allows students who have completed their studies at a Canadian university or college with a degree or diploma to stay in Canada for up to three years after graduation.

      To qualify, you must have completed a degree or diploma from a Canadian post-secondary institution and must have studied full-time for at least eight months of your program. You can work in any type of job with this permit, but it may be limited depending on your field of study.

      If you’re studying science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), then you may only be able to work in certain occupations in Canada. This is because these jobs are considered “skilled” positions that need to be filled by people who have these credentials.

      Federal Skilled Worker​ Program

      The Federal Skilled Worker program will allow you to apply if you’re not currently living in Canada but have at least one year of skilled work experience, speak English or French well enough for daily communication, and meet any other basic requirements that may be necessary in your case (like having enough money saved up).

      You will be assessed on your education, work experience, age, language ability, arranged employment in Canada, and adaptability. You must meet minimum entry requirements for each of these categories, as well as pass all parts of the Canadian Language Benchmark test.

      The Canadian government will look at your overall profile when deciding whether or not you can come to Canada. If there are no other qualified candidates, you may be selected for immigration without having an arranged job offer in Canada.

      Federal Skilled Trades Program

      If you’re a skilled tradesperson—like a mechanic or electrician—you can work in Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades program.

      It’s an easier process than other programs because there are fewer requirements, but it’s still not easy: you need to prove that your skills are in demand here and that you can provide them in a way that will benefit Canadians.

      You also need to meet some basic requirements: you must be at least 18 years old, have at least two years of full-time work experience in your field within the last 5 years, and have at least two years of full-time education (or an equivalent combination) in your field within the last 10 years.

      If you have any questions about your Canadian work visa and eligibility, our team is happy to assist you. Contact us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        What Happens After You Submit the Application?

        If your work permit application is approved, you will be sent an immigration document. If it is refused, you must leave Canada by the expiry date of your current temporary resident visa status. If you applied to restore your temporary foreign workers’ resident status, you would receive a letter informing you of the decision and instructions on what to do next.

        If your application is incomplete, it will be returned to you. This means that the application was never submitted, and you will have to re-apply. If your application is referred to a local office, you will be notified and contacted by that office.

        How Long Does it Take to Process a Canadian Work Visa

        The length of time it takes to process a Canadian work visa depends on the type of visa you are applying for and the country from where you are applying.

        For example, if you are a citizen of Finland then it generally takes about 15 weeks to process the application, while for Indian citizens, the processing time is 38 weeks.

        You can also check the processing times to find out how long it typically takes IRCC to process most work visa applications.

        Renewing your Canadian Work Permit

        If you have already been working in Canada on a valid work permit, then you may be eligible to renew it before it expires. You will need to send an application to the ministry of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at least 30 days before your current work permit expires. You must also include all relevant supporting documents along with your application form.

        Your employer will also have to apply for a new LMIA. Employers exempted from LMIA will have to pay an employer compliance fee and submit a new offer of employment through the Employer Portal. If your work permit has expired, you can apply for another one only if your permit expired less than 90 days ago. However, you need to restore your temporary status in Canada first. Note that you can’t work while waiting for your application to be processed.

        We can assist you if you need help with your Canadian work visa application. Contact us

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          How can IAS help?

          Immigration and Work Permits are not easy to obtain. Many people think it is just a simple process. But it can be very difficult and take many months.

          The problem is that understanding the whole process can be quite difficult for someone who does not have any particular experience in the matter.

          IAS can help you understand and navigate the process of obtaining a work permit. We have been helping people with immigration issues for many years, so we have the experience necessary to handle any situation. We will ensure that all the necessary documents are in order and that your application is processed quickly.

          Our immigration experts are available 24/7 to answer all your questions and help you with the application process.

          Call us at +1 844 290 6312 for immediate help and assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

          Related pages for your continued reading.

          We offer immigration advice sessions face to face, over the phone, or online. Get in touch

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Advice Package icon

            Advice Package

            Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

            Application Package icon

            Application Package

            Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

            Fast Track Package icon

            Fast Track Package

            Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

            Appeal Package icon

            Appeal Package

            Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

            Advice Package image

            The Advice Package

            With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Advice Package
              Application Package image

              The Application Package

              With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Application Package
                Fast Track Package image

                The Fast Track Package

                Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  Request the Fast Track Package
                  Appeal Package image

                  The Appeal Package

                  By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                    Request a call back from our immigration experts

                    Request the Appeal Package