Work Visa

Canada is a popular destination for candidates seeking opportunities to work and settle overseas. A work visa is the main requirement to stay and work in Canada. Temporary workers, students, and skilled workers can legally stay in Canada for a definite period and gain Canadian work experience to improve their prospects of becoming permanent residents.

A job offer from a Canadian employer is crucial to get a work permit unless you are applying for an Open Work Permit. Various work permits mandate different eligibility criteria. Seeking knowledgeable support from a certified Canadian immigration expert is essential to get help for the work visa application process. Keep scrolling down to learn more about Canadian work visas. 

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A work visa or a work permit is an official document permitting a foreign national to stay and work in Canada for a specific period. Over half a million applicants for temporary work visas get a Canadian work visa annually. A work visa enables applicants to get Canadian work experience, crucial for qualifying for permanent residence and settling in Canada.

 Typically, two types of work permits are available for foreign workers. The first type of work permit requires a job offer from a Canadian employer. Candidates without a job offer may choose an Open Work Permit that allows them to work for any employer and occupation.

Most candidates applying for a work permit from a foreign country require an LMIA-supported job offer from an employer in Canada. LMIA is a short form of Labor Market Impact Assessment. It establishes that the job offer will not deprive Canadian citizens and permanent residents of an employment opportunity.

Candidates with sufficient funds to support their Canada stay and no intention to live in Canada after the expiration of their work permit can get a work permit by submitting relevant documents. They should not have a criminal history. Applicants for a work permit should not be medically inadmissible because of certain medical conditions.

Several factors influence the process of a Canadian work visa. The type of work permit and the applicant are essential considerations. International students pursuing education in Canadian institutions can work off-campus with study permit authorization. Employee-specific work permits mandate an LMIA-supported job offer.

Getting a job offer is the first step to getting an employer-specific work permit. The employer arranges an LMIA approval by applying to federal authorities before sending a job offer to the candidate. The candidate applies for a work permit along with the job offer and other documents to get a work visa.

Applicants of open work permits do not require a job offer, but they must submit all documents to ensure a smooth entry into Canada.

Open work permit

Foreign nationals can work at any location or for any employer in Canada by getting an Open Work Permit. Application for an Open Work Permit may be from outside or within Canada. The open work permit mandates specific eligibility criteria, as one can get it under special circumstances.

An open work permit may allow certain individuals staying in Canada to sustain themselves if they do not have other means. Applicants for certain permanent residence programs can get open work permits until the approval or rejection of their PR application. The following individuals may apply for open work permits:

  • Participants of World Youth Programs
  • Participants of International Exchange Programs
  • Spouse or common-law partner of skilled workers
  • Spouses of international students
  • Humanitarian aid workers
  • International athletes 

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Post Graduate work permit (PGWP)

Post Graduate Work Permit is an open work permit suitable for international students who complete their Canadian study program. PGWP helps students gain Canadian work experience to improve their eligibility for becoming permanent residents. The student can work anywhere in Canada for any employer by getting a Post Graduate Work Permit. They can stay in Canada between eight months to three years as per the validity of their PGWP.

  • The candidate should be above 18 years of age
  • The duration of the study program must be over eight months
  • The study program must be from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) 
  • The student must apply for PGWP within 180 days after the study program’s completion
  • The student must apply before the expiration of the study permit to maintain the status

Employer Specific (LMIA) Work Permit

An Employer Specific Work Permit refers to a work visa that requires the work permit holder to work for a particular employee throughout the validity of the work visa. The application for an employer-specific work visa must accompany a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, showing the place of work and length of the job offer. A positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is necessary while applying for an employer-specific work permit.

An employer willing to employ a foreign national must convince the Employment and Social Development (ESDC) that they can not fill up the job position of a permanent resident or citizen. The ESDC issues an LMIA after assessing the facts and efforts by the employer to look for candidates within Canada. The foreign worker can apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for a work permit after getting the LMIA-backed job offer.

Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can be positive or negative. A positive or neutral LMIA permits the employer to send a job offer to a foreign national.

A negative LMIA shows the employer should fill the position by selecting a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada operate the Temporary Foreign Worker Program jointly. The program aims at helping employers deal with labor shortages by employing temporary foreign workers. The requirement of a positive LMIA is a crucial requirement of the TFWP.

As part of Canada’s global skills strategy, the Global Talent Stream is suitable for innovative firms willing to employ highly skilled overseas talent. International workers with superior talent can get a work permit through the Global Talent Stream within two weeks. The Global Talent Stream improves Canada’s competitive edge in the technological sector by welcoming foreign talent. Candidates should get a job offer from employers qualifying for the Global Talent Stream. The employer applies for the Global Talent Stream by mentioning the details of the candidates they wish to employ.

Canadian employers can fill job positions that have wages higher than median wages in a particular province through the high-wage workers’ stream. An employer should get the LMIA approval by demonstrating that no permanent resident or Canadian citizen can fill the position. The foreign worker can submit a work permit application after receiving a valid job offer and LMIA approval from the employer.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program enables Canadian employers to hire low-wage workers by securing LMIA. The employer should ensure safety and workplace rights of workers in a low-wage stream. Foreign workers can apply for a work permit with a job offer and positive LMIA under the low-wage worker stream of TFWP.

Improve your chances of getting the right Canadian Work Visa

Choosing the right type of work visa can be challenging unless you have a support of an immigration consultant. Royal Citizen Immigration helps you select a work permit and prepare the visa application. We provide end-to-end support with documentation to ensure visa application is up to the mark. We have proven experience in providing reliable immigration support for all types of immigration programs.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Canada accepts the concept of dual intent and allows an individual to apply for permanent residence with a work permit.

The candidate should get an LMIA-approved job offer to apply for an LMIA-specific work permit. The employer is responsible for getting LMIA approval before making a job offer. They can apply to IRCC without LMIA approval for an LMIA-exempt work permit.  

The person must apply for the extension of a work permit thirty days before the expiry of the present work permit. The work permit extension will not be more than the validity of the candidate’s passport.

Closed work permits are employer-specific work permits. These do not allow the work permit holder to work for another employer. Open work permit holders can work for any employer at any location in Canada.

There is no restriction on the number of work permits, as the work permit holder can extend the existing work permit or apply for another work permit if no extension is possible. The exception is a Post-graduate work permit, as you can apply for it more than once.

Individuals qualifying for electronic travel authorization and meeting all eligibility criteria to get a work permit may apply for a work permit at a Canadian border. Visitor visa holders can also apply for a temporary work permit in Canada as a special provision.  

Permanent residents can work for any employer at any location without a work permit.

Foreign workers receive equivalent wages compared to Canadian citizens. They have access to superior workplace safety and environment. Some work permits allow family members to accompany work permit holders. A Canadian work experience boosts chances of getting permanent residence status.

The lower age limit to get a Canadian work permit is 18 years. There is no upper age limit.

The healthcare facilities for work permit holders are specific to the province because every province operates individual health insurance plans. Work permit holders should live in Canada for a certain period to qualify for health insurance.

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