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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 submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) application for approval from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). A favourable LMIA decision confirms that the employer could not find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to hire for the job, despite advertising the position at a competitive salary, thus requiring hiring a foreign worker.
  • In most cases, one first needs a favourable LMIA decision before applying for a Work Permit.
  • 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 (Visitor) Visa.
  • A Work Permit does not allow you to live in Canada permanently. To live here permanently, you must submit an Application for Permanent Residence which is ultimately approved.
  • If you want your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children to come with you to Canada while you are working in Canada, they can apply for temporary status in Canada at the same time you apply for a Work Permit.

Eligibility to apply from outside Canada

To apply for a Work Permit from outside Canada, you must submit the following documents:

  • a job offer from a Canadian employer
  • a completed Application, that shows that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations, and
  • written confirmation from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This confirmation is called a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment.
    • In most cases, it is up to your employer to get that written confirmation. In some cases, you do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

You must also do the following:

  • Satisfy a visa officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your Work Permit.
  • Show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family while you are in Canada.
  • Respect the law and have no criminal record. You may have to provide a police clearance certificate.
  • Show that you are not a risk to the security of Canada.
  • Be in good health. You may have to have a medical examination.

Eligibility to apply as you enter Canada

You can apply for a Work Permit as you enter Canada, but only if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are from the United States, Greenland or Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.
  • You do not need a medical examination (or you already have a medical certificate).
  • You do not need a temporary resident visa to visit Canada and your job does not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment from ESDC.
  • You hold a Labour Market Impact Assessment from ESDC.

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