How To Get Your Canadian Work Permit?

Why Do You Need A Work Permit?

Now, the easiest answer to this question would be that in order to work in Canada, every foreigner needs an officiated permit. As a foreign national, you would require a Canadian work permit so that you can be employed in the country and receive a salary from a Canadian employer.

Work Permit ❌ Visa

A work permit should not be confused with the concept of a visa. Visa gives you legal permission to enter a country, whereas a work permit gives you the authority to have an occupation in a foreign country. 

Your type of permit is important

Your work permit and its type will dictate whom you can work for, where, and for how long. It will also outline the nature of the jobs that you are authorized to do.

Permission to stay

It is also essential that one understands that an individual with a Canadian work permit in hand is not allowed to stay in the country permanently and must leave when the duration of their stay according to their work permit ends.

⚠️ What is the penalty for working without a permit? 

The penalty could be in the form of a monetary fine or by serving time in jail. This may also lead to a temporary or permanent ban on one’s entry into the country. Likewise, there are also punishments set for Canadian employers that hire foreign nationals without a work permit.

📅 Can you start working earlier, before the work permit is approved?

Yes, you can start working while waiting for your work permit, as long as you have some documentation as proof that shows that your permit is in processing.

🛃 How many times can you extend your work permit?

There are no limitations on the number of times you can extend your work permit, as long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria to do so.

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Open Work Permit VS Closed Work Permit

Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows a foreign worker to work for any employer, at any position, all across the country.

Closed work permit

A closed work permit essentially restricts an individual to work for a specific organization at a particular designation for only one employer.

The main difference in the application process for the two is that for a closed work permit, you would have to show that your employer or company obtains a LMIA, which is the Labour Market Impact Assessment in Canada.

The fundamental idea behind a closed work permit is allowing a foreign national to visit the country on a temporary basis and limiting them to work with only one employer before they apply for permanent residence. This allows them to experience life in Canada and evaluates whether or not they would be willing to immigrate.

Applying For a Work Permit: What Do You Need?

Now, a huge part of applying for a work permit is understanding the type of work permit one would require. To give you a bit of perspective, an international student studying in Canada would be automatically authorized to work part-time as a part of their study visa.

One becomes eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit when they have a job letter from a Canadian employer (with an LMIA, if needed). 

It is also important to bring to attention that the province of Quebec has its own course of legalities to validate a foreign worker.

The cost

The cost for processing a Canadian work permit is CAD$ 155 per person; if it is an open work permit, it is CAD$ 255 per person.

According to the Canadian Immigration Law Firm, the following documents are required. The requirement may vary depending on the type of work permit one is applying for.

  • Completed application forms
  • Proof of status in Canada (if applicable)
  • Family member’s proof of status (if applicable)
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment (if applicable)
  • A written offer of employment (if applicable)
  • CV/ résumé
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (if applicable)
  • Proof that you meet the job requirements
  • A valid copy of your passport
  • Copy of education credential
  • Medical exam results (if requested)
  • Evidence of financial means to stay in Canada and return to home country
  • Proof of payment for applicable government fees
  • Recent passport-sized photos

Along with these documents, individuals must also submit a copy of a clearance certificate issued by the local police force in the country where the individual has been living for the past 6 months. 

You might also be required to give a medical examination depending on the nature of employment that you are looking for.

There is also an important requirement of biometrics that should be done along with documentation and cannot be overlooked.

The Work Permit Application Process

The time taken for the approval of a Canadian work permit depends upon the type of job one would seek after attaining their permit and the country of their stay at the time they have applied. 

This processing may take anywhere from several weeks to a few months. The Canadian government tries to address 80% of their foreign applications for work permit approvals within 60 days of submission. 

If the application is incomplete, it is returned as is. In case it gets approved, individuals are directed for interviews with officials present in their country of current stay.

After You Get Your Work Permit: Next Steps

Once you have gone through the entire process, you will receive a letter that says that you are allowed to work in Canada. This letter is referred to as your port of entry, and it is NOT your work permit. 

You will be handed over your work permit after you arrive in Canada and produce your port of entry. Your work permit will mention the following:

  1. The nature of work you can do
  2. The employer you can work for
  3. Where can you work
  4. And for how long can you work in Canada

With your work permit in hand, you would be able to work freely in Canada with proper authorization from the Canadian government. Once your work permit expires, you need to apply for its renewal in the first 90 days of its expiry to continue your stay in Canada. You will have to stop working because there is no guarantee that your renewal application will be approved.

Working and Living In Canada: Why Skilled Foreigners Choose Canada?

Canada is one of the world’s most desired countries to work and live in, because of its political peace, stable economy, and prospering future.


It has some of the best educational institutions in the world and hence the education system is excellent. The medical welfare of its citizens is also an important bonus. The country also has a powerful banking system which ensures that your hard-earned money is in the right hands. 

Social Structure

Canada also has a vibrant social support structure which makes it more comfortable to live in. Canada promotes welcoming skilled foreign workers, which is why it has not only introduced the concept of work permits and its various types but has also managed to make the process of attaining one as simple as possible. 

Developed economy

This makes the process look less daunting and more inviting. Canada has also had a rapidly flourishing tech sector that has uplifted its economy and opened new avenues for employment. 

Supportive government

Canada aims to increase its tax base so that it can remain a welfare state and help its underprivileged citizens. It expands its tax base by inflowing skilled workers from all over and issuing them a Canadian work permit. These foreign employees will pay taxes, which will boost the GDP; hence, it is improbable that Canada will ever shut down immigration.