Canadian Work Permit & Visa Process

A Canadian work permit or a Work Visa is a legal document permitting overseas individuals to secure a job within Canada. In most cases, you’ll need a work permit to fill a job position in Canada. You may visit the Government of Canada’s official website to learn about the exemptions.

In order to apply for a work permit in Canada, most of candidates will need a Canadian job offer that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, there are some exceptions to this requirement. For instance, foreign workers may apply for a work permit even without an LMIA or a job offer. Some examples of these exceptions are a recent graduate of a Canadian Designated Learning Institute (DLI) or the spouse of someone who already holds a Canadian work or study permit.

  • Demonstrate their intent to leave once their work authorization expires; and
  • Prove they have sufficient funds to support them and their family in Canada and to return home; and
  • Are not criminally or medically inadmissible to Canada; and
  • Plan to work with an eligible employer; and
  • Can provide any requested documents that may prove their eligibility to enter Canada

Types of Canadian work permits

Whether it’s the flexibility of an Open Work Permit, the job-specific focus of an Employer-Specific Work Permit, or the strategic mobility facilitated by programs like the International Mobility Program and Intra-Company Transfer, while others require that a person has some sort of connection to Canada (previous education, spousal sponsorship, etc.). These are the types of Work Permits in Canada:

Require Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA

LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. It is a form of assessment that the Canadian government uses for some companies looking to hire international talent. This assessment form is used by the Canadian government to evaluate some companies that are interested in hiring international talent. 

  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
  • Global Talent Stream

LMIA-Exempt with a job offer

  • International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • NAFTA (USMC) Work Permits
  • CETA Work Permits
  • Intra-Company Transfers

Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA)

  • Spousal Work Permit
  • Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)
  • International Experience Canada (IEC)
  • Spouse Accompanying International Student or Worker
  • Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)