Work Permit

Every year, over 90,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages, or as live-in caregivers.  A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada, though for some positions and business people it is not necessary.  Some temporary workers require a work permit and some do not.  For some categories of workers, permits are approved more quickly.  The requirements and processing times depend on the sort of work you will do when you come to Canada.

What you should know

If you want to work in Canada, you must understand the following important information:

  • Your employer helps determine if you are eligible. Your employer may need to get a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). A labour market opinion confirms that the employer can fill the job with a foreign worker.
  • To work in Canada, you must meet the general requirements for entering the country and for staying here, in addition to those for getting a work permit. This means you may need a temporary resident visa.
  • A work permit is not an immigration document. It does not allow you to live in Canada permanently.
  • If you want your spouse or common–law partner and your dependent children to come with you to Canada, they must apply to do so.
  • If your family members want to work in Canada

    If you are authorized to work in Canada, your accompanying family members may also be able to work here by virtue of the permit you have obtained yourself. No other authorization is required. If they intend to work while in Canada, they should find out if they are eligible for an “open” work permit. Open work permits allow them to work in any job with any employer. An open work permit also means that they may be hired without the employer having to obtain a labour market opinion (the normal authorization required). Certain jobs may require medical checks or licensing from professional organizations. Their work permits will be valid for the duration of your own work permit.

    Your spouse’s (and in some cases your children’s) eligibility for open work permits depends on the skill level of your job. You must also be authorized to work in Canada for at least six months. Note that open work permits for dependent children are available on a trial basis in participating provinces only. Accompanying family members must always apply for their own work permit. They should apply for one at the same time as you, before entering Canada. If they only decide to work after they arrive, they can apply once they are here.

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  • Have any questions? Please don’t hesitate contact us. We will be happy to help with any inquiry you have.


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