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Canadian Work Permit & Work Visa Process

Work and Settle in Canada

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Various Work Permit options bringing you pool of opportunities

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Various Work Permit options bringing you pool of opportunities

The process of obtaining a Canadian work permit and work visa is a critical step for international individuals who wish to pursue employment opportunities in Canada. A work permit is generally required for foreign nationals who intend to work in Canada. This process is governed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and involves several stages, requirements, and criteria, designed to facilitate the entry of skilled workers into the country while safeguarding the local labor market.

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Various Work Permit options bringing you pool of opportunities
Types of Work Permits

Types of Work Permits

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Types of Work Permits

The work permit is categorized into different types considering the various categories of immigrants. Mainly, Canada offers two primary types of work permits:

  • Open work Permit
  • Employer-Specific work Permit.

Open work Permit

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Open work Permit
  • Allows individuals to work for any employer in Canada, excluding those companies that do not comply with the labor requirements of the country.
  • This permit is advantageous for individuals whose employment in Canada is not confirmed or those who wish to work for multiple employers.
  • There are several categories and examples of open work permits, including but not limited to:
Open work Permit
  • Step 1

    1. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

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    Recent graduates from eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions can obtain an open work permit under this program. The PGWP allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada, usually for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.

  • Step 2

    2. International Experience Canada (IEC)

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    This program offers young people from participating countries the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. Under IEC, there are three categories: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op. The Working Holiday category often results in the issuance of an open work permit.

  • Step 3

    3. Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

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    This permit is available for individuals who have applied for permanent residence in Canada and are waiting for a decision on their application. The BOWP allows them to continue working while their permanent residence application is in process.

  • Step 4

    4. Spousal Open Work Permit

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    Spouses or common-law partners of temporary foreign workers or international students may be eligible for an open spousal work permit, allowing them to work for any employer without needing a confirmed job offer.

  • Step 5

    5. Humanitarian Grounds

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    In some cases, individuals may be eligible for an open work permit on humanitarian grounds, such as those applying for humanitarian and compassionate consideration while already in Canada.

  • Step 6

    6. Refugee Claimants and Protected Persons

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    Individuals who have made a claim for refugee protection in Canada, as well as those who have been granted protected person status, might be eligible for an open work permit.

  • Step 7

    7. Temporary Resident Permit Holders

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    Some individuals who are in Canada with a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) may be eligible to receive an open work permit if they have valid reasons to work during their stay.

Employer-Specific Work Permit

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Employer-Specific Work Permit
  • This permit allows foreign nationals to work according to the specifications on the permit, including the name of the employer, duration of work, and location of work.
  • Before applying for this permit, individuals usually require a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and a job offer from a Canadian employer.
Employer-Specific Work Permit

Application Process

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The application process typically involves the following steps:

  • Step 1

    1. Determine Eligibility

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    Individuals must first ascertain whether they meet the criteria for a work permit, considering aspects like the type of employment and the location of work.

  • Step 2

    2. Obtain a Job Offer

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    Generally, a valid job offer from a Canadian employer is required. For employer-specific work permits, the employer may need to get a positive LMIA.

  • Step 3

    3. Prepare Documentation

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    Applicants need to gather all necessary documents, including a passport, proof of job offer, LMIA (if required), and any other documents proving the applicant’s eligibility.

  • Step 4

    4. Submit Application

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    Applicants can apply online through the IRCC’s website or through a paper application, which may be submitted to a Visa Application Center.

  • Step 5

    5. Pay Fees and Await Decision

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    Applicants must pay the requisite application fees and await a decision from the IRCC. Processing times vary depending on the type of permit and the country from which one is applying.

  • Step 6

    6. Undergo Medical Examination and Biometrics

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    Depending on the nationality, job type, and how long you plan to stay in Canada, applicants might be required to undergo a medical examination and provide biometric information.

Work Visa vs. Work Permit

Work Visa vs. Work Permit

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Work Visa vs. Work Permit

It’s crucial to note the difference between a work visa and a work permit. A work visa is typically a stamp on your passport allowing you to enter the country for work purposes, while a work permit is a document issued that allows a foreign national to work legally in Canada.

Acquiring a Canadian Work Permit and Work Visa is an intricate process requiring diligence, accurate documentation, and adherence to the guidelines stipulated by the IRCC. The process seeks to balance the influx of international talent while protecting Canadian workers and the labor market. Individuals interested in working in Canada should ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and follow the appropriate steps for application, ensuring all information provided is accurate and all required documents are submitted promptly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canadian Open Work Permit & Work Visa Process

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Yes, certain open work permits such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit and the IEC Working Holiday permit allow you to apply without a specific job offer, enabling you to seek employment with any employer once in Canada.

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, excluding ineligible employers. An employer-specific work permit, on the other hand, allows you to work only for the employer named on the permit, and you must adhere to the conditions specified.

The processing time for work permit applications can vary widely based on the type of permit and the country of application. Generally, processing times range from a few weeks to several months. Check here.

Yes, work permit holders can bring their immediate family members, including spouses and dependent children, to Canada. Family members might be eligible for an open work permit, allowing them to work for any employer, or a study permit, allowing them to study at Canadian educational institutions.

An open work permit can be a pathway to permanent residency, as it allows you to gain Canadian work experience, which can be beneficial when applying for permanent residency programs such as the Canadian Experience Class under the Express Entry system.

Whether you need a medical exam depends on the nature of the job and how long you plan to stay in Canada. For example, jobs in health services or with close contact with people may require a medical exam.

Yes, you can apply to extend your work permit as long as you do so before it expires. However, the extension is subject to approval from IRCC, and you must meet the eligibility requirements.

Typically, Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) are not required for open work permits as these permits are not employer-specific. However, it is crucial to check individual permit requirements as exceptions may apply.

An individual cannot convert an open work permit to an employer-specific one per se, but they can apply for an employer-specific work permit if they have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, subject to meeting other relevant criteria and obtaining a positive LMIA if required.

While an open work permit allows you to work in Canada, it does not authorize you to study. However, the general rule is that you may be able to take short-term courses that are less than six months in duration. This rule was temporarily altered on June 27, 2023, where work permit holders are permitted to study in a course that is more than 6 months. Read more about this temporary rule here.