Home » Canada Work Permit – How to Apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit

Canada Work Permit – How to Apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit

Canada Work Permit - How to Apply for a Canadian Temporary Work Permit
Are you interested in migrating to Canada to work, but not sure how to go about it? Whether you want to make Canada your temporary or permanent home, it is important to get access to the most up-to-date information. This section of our website will help you answer the question: How do I immigrate to Canada and how to get get your Canadian work permit.


Canada is very cool destination offering the ideal environment for the everybody from any part of the world to work, do business or study in Canada. Every year, thousands of foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily or permanent basis.

Canada Temporary Work Permit

Each year, more than 300,000 foreign workers come to work in Canada on Temporary Work Permits.

In order to work in Canada on a temporary basis, most foreign workers require a work permit.

For foreign workers, an offer of employment from a Canadian employer is usually required before the worker may be granted a Temporary Work Permit by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). There are several steps to this process. Depending upon the foreign worker’s country of citizenship, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also need to be obtained in order to enter Canada. 

  • Step 1: Employer applies for Labour Market Impact Assessment, if necessary.
  • Step 2: Employer extends Temporary Job Offer.
  • Step 3: Foreign Worker applies for Work Permit.
  • Step 4: Work Permit is issued.

Step 1: Employer applies for Labour Market Impact Assessment, if necessary.

Before a Temporary Work Permit can be issued, the Canadian employer who wishes to hire a temporary foreign worker may need to apply for and be granted a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by ESDC, which will grant a positive LMIA if it is satisfied that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to do the job.
Work Permits may be issued by Canadian immigration officials without the LMIA requirement in a limited number of situations, as follows:

  • Under international agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
  • Due to the significant economic, social or cultural benefits the work activity will bring to Canadians;
  • As part of reciprocal agreements Canada and its provinces/territories have entered into with other countries, such as youth and teacher exchange programs;
  • So that international students studying in Canada can fulfill academic requirements, known as co-op placements;
  • To allow the spouses/common-law partners of Work Permit and certain Study Permit holders in Canada to work in Canada;
  • Because the nature of the work is charitable or religious;
  • In recognition that certain persons in Canada for reasons other than the above-mentioned, such as the making of a refugee claim, need to support themselves.

Step 2: Employer extends Temporary Job Offer.

Once the LMIA is granted, the Canadian employer can provide a temporary job offer to the foreign worker. The employer must send a copy of the positive LMIA along with a detailed job offer letter to the foreign worker.

Step 3: Foreign Worker applies for Work Permit.

With these documents, the foreign worker can apply to ESDC for a Canada Temporary Work Permit.


If the Canadian employer that is hiring is in the province of Quebec, the foreign worker may also need to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) in order to work temporarily in Quebec. There are a number of professions in Quebec that are ‘facilitated’ and eligible for streamlined processing. Local recruitment efforts do not need to be performed by employers as part of their applications to hire temporary foreign workers for these positions in Quebec. 

Step 4: Work Permit is issued.

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will issue the Canada Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry when the foreign worker arrives in Canada. 

Do you have a Canadian job offer and need a Work Permit?

In almost all cases, individuals with a job offer from a Canadian employer must secure a Temporary Work Permit to perform work in Canada.
A Temporary Work Permit may be issued for a period of time ranging from a few days to a few years. In most cases, the process of applying for a Work Permit is twofold. First, the Canadian employer must receive government permission to hire outside Canada. Once this permission has been granted, the designated employee must apply for and receive hi or her Work Permit.

A Work Permit granted for a specific job in Canada will be tied to that job. Consequently, an employee may only work for the employer specified on his or her Work Permit. If he or she finds different employment and does not yet have permanent resident status, he or she must apply for and receive a new Work Permit before performing another job in Canada.
There are a number of different ways to secure a Work Permit. Depending on one’s nationality, occupation, and intended work in Canada, there may be possibilities for expediting the process.

Are you a Canadian Employer who needs to obtain Work Permits for new employees?

Campbell Cohen’s Work Permit Service can take care of the entire Work Permit process for both Canadian employers and foreign workers.
Note that a Canada Temporary Work Permit is for those foreign workers who plan on working in Canada for a finite period of time. To work and live in Canada on a permanent basis, foreign workers must undertake the Canadian immigration process. However, a Temporary Work Permit may be a stepping stone to Canadian permanent residencs. Once in Canada on a Temporary Work Permit, a foreign worker may qualify for Canadian immigration (permanent Residence) under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), through a Skilled Worker category, or through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

Work in Canada: Basic Facts

  • For Canadian immigration purposes, “work” is defined as an activity for which remuneration is earned or as an activity that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.
  • Canadian immigration authorities require a Work Permit to be issued for a limited number of work-related activities in Canada.
  • A job offer from a Canadian employer is usually a prerequisite to receiving a Canadian Work Permit.
  • In some instances, Canadian immigration regulations allow for Open Work Permits, which are not employer-specific.
  • Work Permits are always temporary in nature, but can often be extended from inside Canada.
  • Normally, Work Permits will only be granted by Canadian immigration authorities if supported by a positive “Labour Market Impact Assessment” (LMIA) letter issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), indicating that the proposed employment will not adversely affect Canadian workers. 

A step-by-step description of how to apply for a temporary work permit in Canada:
Step 1: Determine if you require a work permit to work in your desired job in Canada
Step 2: Determine if you are eligible to apply for a Canadian temporary work permit
Step 3: Determine if you will apply online or on paper
Step 4: Obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your potential employer, if required
Step 5: Obtain a temporary job offer from your potential employer
Step 6: Gather All Required Documents and Forms
Step 7: Pay fees : 

The general fee is $155 for each person submitting a temporary work permit application. The fee for a group of performing artists more than three persons is $465.


Step 8: Submit the application:

The application may be submitted online or to a Visa Application Center.


AND HERE IS THE FULL GUIDE ON HOW TO APPLY FOR A CANADIAN WORK PERMIT

Step 1: Determine if you require a work permit to work in your desired job in Canada

Foreign nationals can work in certain jobs in Canada without a work permit.  Note: Even if you do not need a work permit to work in Canada, you will still need to obtain legal entry to Canada. For example, you can enter Canada under a temporary resident visa.
If your desired job requires a work permit, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Determine if you are eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit

Your eligibility to apply for a Canadian temporary work permit depends on various factors, including the location in which you apply for a work permit. ALL work permit applicants, however, must:
    • Prove that they will leave Canada when their work permit expires
    • Show that they have enough money to take care of themselves and their family members during their stay in Canada
    • Show that they have enough money for themselves and their family members to return home
    • Have no criminal record
    • Not be a danger to Canada
    • Be in good health and pass a medical exam, if required
    • Not plan to work for an employer on the list of ineligible employers.
    • Not plan to work for an employer who offers striptease, erotic dance, escort or erotic massage services
    • Not have worked in Canada for one or more periods that total four years within the past four years
    • Not be otherwise inadmissible to Canada.
There are also other requirements that depend on the location in which you apply for a work permit.  For more information on these requirements, click here. 

Step 3: Determine if you will apply online or on paper for Canadian temporary work permit

If you apply online, you must have access to a scanner or digital camera. This will allow you to upload all required documents for Canadian temporary work permit online to be included in your application. If you choose to apply on paper, you can obtain all necessary forms from CIC.
Note: If you are applying under the International Experience Class Program, you must submit your application online.

Step 4: Obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your potential employer, if required

In most cases, an employer must obtain a positive LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) before hiring a foreign worker. Once the employer obtains a positive LMIA, it must be sent to the foreign worker applicant for inclusion in the work permit application.
However, not all jobs require a positive LMIA. 

Step 5: Obtain a temporary job offer from your potential employer

All foreign nationals applying for a temporary work permit must have a temporary job offer from their potential employer. The employer must send a detailed job offer letter to the work permit applicant. The applicant must then attach the job offer letter to his/her work permit application. The job offer letter must prove:
  • That the job offer is genuine
  • That the wages and working conditions are high enough to attract a Canadian worker
  • That the employment is full time
  • That the employment is not seasonal
The job offer letter must also include:
    • The job title for the job being offered
    • A description of the job’s duties and responsibilities
    • Requirements for the job concerning: education, professional credentials, work experience, skills and licenses
    • Details about the start date and end date of the job
    • Details on salary and the way in which salary will be paid
    • The name and address of the employer
    • The address of the worker’s future workplace
    • Contact information for a person at the company who is familiar with the job offer
If the employment is to take place in Quebec, the job offer must be approved by the Quebec government. (The Quebec LMIA Application Process and Extensions to Quebec Work Permits)

Note: The job offer letter must be submitted to the government by the employer AND a copy of the letter must be submitted by the applicant along with the work permit application. The applicant should also make sure that the employer has paid the employer compliance fee.

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